Roses gone, but Oranges are nice, too [Updated] [Update to the Update]

Penn State’s loss against Iowa has all but shut out increased the Buckeyes’ chances of making it to Pasadena.

Assuming a PSU win next week, the Lions and the Spartans will be playing for Rose Bowl rights on November 22nd. A Michigan State victory creates a tie between Ohio State and Michigan State, with Ohio State owning the tie-breaker in the head-to-head category.

Contrary to popular opinion, an MSU win will not put the Bucks into the Rose Bowl, as a Big Ten tiebreaking rule would then be applied: the team with the fewest I-AA opponents would go. Since Sparty did not schedule an FCS opponent, they would get the automatic bid by default.

Ohio State’s only path to the Rose Bowl is for PSU to lose next Saturday (15th), and MSU to lose the following week (22nd). Both situations are very unlikely to occur.

So, assuming that Ohio State wins out (a big assumption, as there are still two very tough games left), that would place them in position for a BCS at-large bid.

Here’s where it gets messy: there are only two teams per conference allowed in the BCS. If Michigan State wins the conference’s automatic bid, then only Ohio State or Penn State will be allowed to go to a BCS game (not both). In that scenario, Penn State would likely be chosen since they’d probably be ranked higher.

If Penn State wins, then it’s safe to say that OSU has a lock on one of the at-large bids. Since the Orange Bowl has expressed interest in getting the Buckeyes this year — representatives of the committee were at yesterday’s Northwestern game — it seems likely that we’re going to see Ohio State match up against the ACC champion in primetime on New Year’s Day.

Not a bad end to a season at all.

So, once again, Buckeye fans, we are rooting (1) to win out, of course, and (2) for Penn State to beat Sparty on the 22nd. Otherwise, the Bucks will probably be heading to the Capital One Bowl, where Georgia seems destined to appear.

Update: el Kaiser here, hopefully to clear up some things sportsMonkey perhaps didn’t realize when he originally posted this. I’ll leave it as-is and let him clean it up as he sees fit, but it should be clear: A Michigan State victory over Penn State will send the Buckeyes to the Rose Bowl, since Penn State will have two conference losses, and OSU and MSU will each have one. Since Ohio State owns the tie breaker, they get the nod to the Rose Bowl. (Recommended reading: Method to Determine Big Ten Conference Automatic Representative to Bowl Championship Series (thanks to all that sent that in))

Whether a Rose Bowl (and probably rematch with USC) trip is good for the Buckeyes is subject for another day.

Update to the updated update:
sportsMonkey here. Sorry, folks, for the original inaccurate conclusion. For some reason, I was applying the rules for a three-way-tie to a two-way-tie. I swear I wasn’t smoking or drinking anything when I wrote it.

I’d love to alter this post retroactively, but I’ll let it stand like the piece of fail that it is, and hopefully the shame will cause me to tread more carefully with predictions in the future.

In case you’re lost, the possibilities are these (assuming OSU wins out):

  1. PSU loses next week to Indiana, then beats MSU the week after. OSU wins Big 10 outright, heads to Rose Bowl.
  2. MSU beats PSU in two weeks. OSU and MSU share Big 10 title, OSU goes to Rose Bowl via tiebreaker rule.
  3. PSU loses next two games. OSU and MSU share Big 10 title, Rose Bowl for OSU.
  4. PSU beats both Indiana and MSU. Penn State and OSU share Big 10 title. Lions go to Rose Bowl via tiebreaker rule. Orange Bowl for OSU. (IMO, this is the most likely scenario.)

Again, though, those four outcomes all depend on OSU winning out. Based on the remaining SOS, it seems likely that the Buckeyes will be favored in both games. However, let’s not look too far ahead. Illinois matches up very well against the Buckeyes, and as always, the outcome of the Michigan game is 50/50, no matter the records, no matter the teams.

Sorry again for the ginormous post of FAIL. Mucho thanks to el Kaiser for spotting me (and saving MotSaG rep) while I was AFK.


  1. You should be more hopeful. If OSU wins its last two games, and MSU wins @ PSU, both OSU and MSU would be on the top of the Big Ten @ 7-1, with PSU 6-2. In this case, OSU wins the tiebreaker, because OSU beat MSU this year.

  2. Um, I think you are incorrect. If MSU beats PSU, and OSU wins out, then OSU would be in the Rose Bowl.

    “If there is a tie for the championship, the winner of the game between these two teams shall represent the conference. ”

    This rule comes right before the FCS rule. With the teams winning as stated, OSU would go to the Rose over MSU, because both teams would have 1 loss in conference, with OSU having the H2H over MSU.

    This is why the Iowa loss was almost as bad for MSU as it was for PSU. Our only chance of getting the Rose Bowl is if OSU somehow loses Illinois or Michigan.

  3. I may be reading it wrong, but I thought tiebreaking procedures were to be applied in order.

    Let’s say MSU beats PSU, and PSU and OSU win out otherwise. The standings would be:
    MSU,OSU 7-1
    PSU 6-2(elim)
    If the tiebreaking rules were to be applied in order, the tie would be broken at #2 (head-to-head). #3 (FCS opponents) has a clause that states it only applies if the teams did not play each other.

    If MSU beats PSU, PSU chokes vs. Indiana, and OSU drops a game, MSU would get in only because of the FCS clause.

  4. OK, so I’m a slow commenter today. GZEL and A Spartan beat me to it.

  5. buckeyebrowny919 says

    Beanie Hop Prez 2012

  6. thank you A spartan for finding that info that is great news for Buckeye fans ….

    needless to say though the monkey forgot that there is ZERO CHANCE for the big ten to get 2 teams in the BCS bowls this year beacause of 2 teams ….. Utah and Boise St. are more than likely going to finish unbeaten and with thier high BCS rankings already are a shoe in for 2 spots by rule…..

    college football is crazy and it is 1 reason we all love it lol.

  7. actually, only one is guaranteed a spot by rule, if there’s two(or more) non-BCS schools in the top 12, only the top one is guaranteed a spot, the other is just a normal at-large.

    As long as PSU loses one more game, OSU is guaranteed a Rose bowl, if PSU doesn’t lose, we still have a shot as an at-large

  8. Jeff @ The BBC says

    The FBS rule doesn’t apply until the second tiebreaker.

    First tiebreaker is head-to-head.

    My heart dropped when you posted on my blog, but I checked it at the Big Ten site….we still go if we tie with MSU.

    A three-way tie would send MSU, but that’s no longer possible now.

  9. SpartanDan says

    Sylvester: Only the highest-ranked non-BCS gets an automatic (and that’s conditional, but at least one of Utah and Boise will meet the requirements). When it comes to a second Big Ten team or a second non-BCS, I think the Big Ten team will be the bigger draw.

  10. Yeah, if OSU and MSU wins out, we’re going to the Rose Bowl.

  11. none of this matters without playoffs. There is only one bowl game that matters and OSU won’t be in it.

  12. Just for an even more interesting topic for the next week or so…..

    If Oregon St wins out they get the automatic BCS bid and Rose bowl trip….

    So there is still a chance we “could” see an OSU vs OSU rose bowl match up lol.

    last time that happened in a bowk game we destroyed an over ratted Les Myles and his cowboys. Then he got the LSU job lol.

  13. FlipBuckeye says

    What a gigantic piece of fail.


    I’d prefer not to see USC until next year. If the Beavers get the nod though, I’m all for Pasadena.

  14. And, as it stands now, Boise State and Utah will be taking automatic bids to the BCS bowls, because they both rank in the top 12.

    Ball State will likely be shut out, even though they should receive an automatic bid (top 16 and ranked higher than Big East leader Pitt)


  1. […] I see fellow Ohio State blog Men of the Scarlet and Gray also struggled with the tiebreaker thing. It looks like I’ve got it right as stated above. […]

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