Michigan fans – the biggest OSU supporters in CFB

FootballIf OSU beats Illinois next week, Michigan locks up a spot in the Rose, no matter what happens in their final two games. (Even if they lose for the rest of the season, they’re in to the Rose with a Buckeye win over Illinois).

Explanation? So long as OSU wins this Saturday, Michigan is in with a win over the Bucks (Big 10 champs, tiebreaker rules), or a loss against the Bucks (OSU would vacate the spot for a trip to New Orleans).

Granted, the latter assumes that the Rose would select UM in the Bucks’ place – which technically, they don’t have to do. But history shows that’d be a near lock.

What is more satisfying about this? That a Big Ten team who suffered the most humiliating loss in college football history has a shot at representing the conference in the grandaddy of all bowl games? Or that it will happen only if OSU allows it to happen?

In short, it’s not Lloyd Carr, or Chad Henne, or Mike Hart, or Jake Long that control Michigan’s destiny. It’s Jim Tressel that does. How awesome is that?!?

If the Bucks lose to Illinois, it gets a bit messier for UM. Win out and it’s the Rose, drop one and it could be the Capital One bowl.

As for the Buckeyes, there are four possible bowl games:

    Beat Illinois, Beat UM = BCS title game
    Lose Illinois, Beat UM = Rose
    Beat Illinois, Lose UM = BCS at-large – or – Capital One (unlikely)
    Lose Illinois, Lose UM = Capital One – or – BCS at-large (unlikely)

Sing it with me, Michigan fans**: O-H!!

** ‘Cmon… Your boy Braylon Edwards has been singing it

Some commenters have pointed out two important things I totally neglected… first, UM must finish in the top 14 to have an at-large shot at the Rose, and secondly, the BCS has a stated policy of avoiding matchups in bowl games if possible.

In short, that means it’s pretty unlikely that UM will get to the Rose after all. The only paths to Pasadena for Carr’s team are (1) for OSU to lose one of its last two games while UM wins out, or (2) for Oregon to self-destruct and lose the Pac10. Any other scenario occurs, and it’s likely the Capital One bowl for the Wolverines. (Where they’ll play the LSU/Tennessee loser, probably.)


  1. Not so fast. If Michigan doesn’t win out, they likely won’t have the prerequisite top-12 BCS ranking to be taken as an at-large. And if Ohio State is in the NCG, then Michigan would have to go as an at-large.

    If they don’t win, they won’t be eligible.

  2. it’s also worth noting that should OSU and LSU play in the championship game, Michigan’s prospective Rose Bowl opponent would be the same Oregon team that beat the everlovin’ snot out of them earlier this season. i’m not sure the Rose Bowl takes them in that case.

  3. “In short, it’s not Lloyd Carr, or Chad Henne, or Mike Hart, or Jake Long that control Michigan’s destiny. It’s Jim Tressel that does. How awesome is that?!?”

    Unless, of course, OSU loses to Illinois. In that case you could go with “It’s not Wells, Lauranaitis, Gholston, or Tressel that control Ohio State’s destiny. It’s Lloyd Carr that does!”

    However, I don’t expect OSU to lose to Illinois. And as a Michigan fan, I’m not sure how appealing a trip to the Rose Bowl is. Things have been kind of difficult out there since … uh, since we hired a guy named Glen.

  4. 1. At large teams need 9 wins to qualify, so Michigan would need to win 1 of its last 2.
    2. At large teams need to finish in the top 14 to be eligible. At #12, Michigan would have to hope for others currently ahead to drop further than them if they lose one of their next two.
    3. If OSU wins out, and Michigan beats Wisky AND finishes in the top 14, the Rose would still choose Oregon as their replacement pick (if Oregon isn’t playing in the BCS championship). If they choose Oregon, the BCS committee has a stated policy of discouraging regular season rematches in BCS bowls.

  5. snotball –

    If OSU loses to Illinois, they still get to the Rose with a victory over UM. So their destiny is never controlled by Carr.

    In other words, UM only has a shot at the Rose if OSU loses this weekend, where OSU has a shot no matter what happens in the UM/Wisco this weekend.

  6. If OSU loses to ILL and UM beats Wisky, then UM beats OSU, Michigan goes to the Rose. In short, Michigan controls its own destiny for the Rose.

  7. Sandrone… your sentence doesn’t make sense…

    “if OSU loses to ILL… in short, Michigan controls its own destiny.”

    How can UM control its own destiny if they are depending on OSU losing a game?

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