Blog Entry

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

Posted on: November 8, 2011 10:26 am
 
Most of the comments on this week's bowl picks, besides questioning merely having Michigan in the BCS (one more loss and all this is moot), question why the Wolverines get in ahead of Oklahoma State, which would unquestionably be the higher ranked team.  To understand that, you have to understand the BCS bowl selection process.

You also have to understand what bowls are looking for when creating their matchups.  They want the best possible game they can get, and bowls measure that primarily in terms of ticket sales and TV viewers.  Things like rankings, records and conference standings are secondary considerations at best.  That's why there are so many bowl selection rules, like the one that automatically qualifies the highest-rated non-AQ team for the BCS, or the ACC rule that protects a team from being skipped over by a bowl for another team that won more than one fewer conference games.  If bowls could be trusted to go in conference standing/ranking order, those rules wouldn't be necessary.

The BCS has ten spots.  Six are reserved for the AQ conference champions.  In my projection, those are:

Clemson (ACC), Cincinnati (Big East), Wisconsin (Big Ten), Oklahoma (Big 12), Stanford (Pac-12), LSU (SEC).

There are also four at-large spots, but two teams automatically qualify for those in my projection:

Alabama, as the highest-rated AQ non-champion, ranked in the top four.
Boise State, as the highest-rated non-AQ conference champion, ranked in the top 12.

That only leaves two spots open.  The rest of my at-large pool contains:

Arkansas, Georgia, Houston, Michigan, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Virginia Tech.

Note that with LSU and Alabama automatically qualified for the BCS and a two-team limit per conference, Arkansas and Georgia cannot be chosen.

The first thing that happens is that the top two teams go into the title game, and the other contracted conference champions get put in their bowls.  So, we start with:

Title game: LSU vs Stanford
Rose: Wisconsin vs ?
Fiesta: Oklahoma vs ?
Sugar: ? vs ?
Orange: Clemson vs ?

The next step is that the bowls that lost conference champions to the title game get to choose replacement.  They always choose teams from their conference tie-in if one is available.  The Sugar chooses first because it lost the No. 1 team, and takes Alabama.  The Rose picks Oregon to replace Stanford.  Now, we have:

Title game: LSU vs Stanford
Rose: Wisconsin vs Oregon
Fiesta: Oklahoma vs ?
Sugar: Alabama vs ?
Orange: Clemson vs ?

Boise State and Cincinnati still have to go somewhere, so only one at-large spot is open.

The Fiesta gets the first choice of selections for its game in this year's rotation, followed by the Sugar and Orange.  The Fiesta can chose from Boise State, Cincinnati, Houston, Michigan, Oklahoma State and Virginia Tech.

Michigan blows all of those other teams out of the water in terms of fan base and marquee value.  Not even close.  Also, Michigan's fan base would not be jaded by a recent run of success, as sometimes happens with other schools. 

However, two other choices would be much higher ranked:

Oklahoma State isn't a good choice because conference mate Oklahoma is already there.
Boise State would be OK, but the Fiesta has had the Broncos both times it has been in the BCS (including one memorable meeting with the Sooners), and would probably prefer to leave them for someone else.

So, while the Fiesta might go with Boise, but I think the allure of Michigan will be too good to pass up.

The Sugar gets the next pick, and with only Boise or Cincinnati to choose from, the Broncos are an easy choice.  The Bearcats end up in the Orange, and Oklahoma State and its 11-1 record drop out.

Them's the breaks.  Note that if either of the other bowls had first choice instead of the Fiesta, Oklahoma State would almost certainly be that choice.  Also, if the Fiesta did decide to choose Boise, OSU would almost certainly end up in the Sugar.
Comments

Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: November 13, 2011 2:35 pm
 

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

Ohio State is looking better everyday for the Big Ten Championship game!!!!

Not today they aren't



Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: November 11, 2011 10:00 am
 

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

Why do you keep putting Michigan and Wisconsin in the BCS??? Wisconsin needs a ton of help to get there (They need to win out and hope OSU loses to someone other than Penn St.). Ohio State is looking better everyday for the Big Ten Championship game!!!! Penn State and Michigan will lose out!! So tell me how Michigan and Wisconsin are BCS caliber again???? Michigan St. or Ohio State and that's that!!



Since: Nov 8, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 11:42 pm
 

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

Barely is better than failing. And OU failed to outscore Texas Tech's offense. The same Texas Tech that Iowa State held to a whopping 7 points. WTF was that?  



Since: Dec 23, 2008
Posted on: November 10, 2011 11:30 pm
 

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

Really? you realize you barely outscored K-state's offense? you realize OU has the best defense you will see all year? You guys get so full of yourselves so fast.  Live it up while it lasts and be thankful weeden and blackmon came back, next year is a return to mediocrity for you. 



Since: Nov 10, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 4:09 pm
 

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

I meant to say why wouldn't the Fiesta Bowl want a rematch.  That is a made for TV event.





Since: Nov 10, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 4:07 pm
 

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

Jerry, you still have ONE slight problem.  Michigan is currently 24th in the BCS.  They are going to need to move up 10 spots in the BCS to be eligible for an at large selection.

Also, why would the Fiesta Bowl want a rematch of one of the greatest bowl games of all time?  Who cares if Boise State has been in the Fiesta Bowl?  Their fans can drive to the Fiesta Bowl, something they really can't do to the Sugar Bowl.



Since: Apr 4, 2008
Posted on: November 10, 2011 2:37 pm
 

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

How can you project Louisville to not end up in any bowl. They are on a three game winning streak and only need 1 more victory to be eligible



Since: Oct 20, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 1:02 pm
 

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

I expect OU to hang with us and keep it close, but i dont see OU being able to outscore OSU's offence.



Since: Mar 2, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 12:11 pm
 

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

I will enjoy it when OU still beats you without its best players.



Since: Oct 20, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 10:37 am
 

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

I love the way all the media is picking OU over Okie State. I hope this continues, this will give Coach  Gundy all the bulletin board material he needs to keep the Pokes motivated to win out. Its really going to screw everbodies Bowl predictions when my Pokes win out and go to the national championship game! With OU having lost Broyles and Whaley they dont have the offensive talent to beat the Pokes. I for one am going to enjoy watching the media on December 3rd when this happens.



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