A Hater's Guide to This Weekend

By Jason Priestas on December 2, 2011 at 1:00p
Michigan fans react in shock to something or other.Beautiful, isn't it?

At 10-2, the Michigan Wolverines have enjoyed a solid season under first year coach Brady Hoke. Sure, they pulled Notre Dame, Nebraska and Ohio State at home while avoiding Wisconsin and Penn State altogether, but when viewed against the run of the previous regime, 2011 has even the most pessimistic of Michigan men rattling keys like it's the mid-80s.

With a 40-34 victory over Ohio State last weekend that ended seven years of pain and earned the school it's 10th win in a season since their 11-0 start in 2006, Wolverine fans were thinking about something that was unimaginable recently: a berth in a BCS bowl.

And then a funny thing happened.

In a troll-swap for dropping the Buckeyes to 6-6 on the year, Ohio State's loss in the game actually dropped Michigan in the BCS rankings. They entered the game ranked 15th in the BCS -- just on the cusp of being BCS bowl eligible as a top-14 finisher -- yet showed up 16th in the standings when they were released Sunday night. Two places out of contention.

Now, before we start dancing a jig, we're heading into conference championship weekend, which means a few of the teams ranked ahead of Michigan in the BCS will play each other, creating more than ample opportunity for the Wolverines to slip into the top 14 and a potential date with Houston in the Sugar Bowl.

There is, however, a chance that things will work out in such a way as to keep Michigan out of a BCS bowl and I'm here to tell you how to root this weekend to make this dream a reality.

#9 Oregon vs UCLA - Pac-12 Championship - Friday, December 2nd, 8:00pm - FOX

You need to put on your finest pair of Nikes and root for Oregon in this one because if they lose to UCLA, there's a good chance they will fall below Michigan in the BCS standings. This would also put an awful UCLA team in the Rose Bowl, all but ensuring a Big Ten win in the game, but we're here to root against the Wolverines, not conference solidarity. So, yeah, root for Oregon, but considering UCLA are 31.5-point dogs, you shouldn't have to sweat this one too much.

Iowa State at #11 Kansas State - Saturday, December 3rd, 12:00PM - FSN

The Wildcats are currently five spots ahead of Michigan in the standings, so a loss to the Cyclones would definitely drop them below the Wolverines. K-State is favored by 11 and playing at home, but as Mike Gundy can attest, Iowa State is a dangerous team playing with confidence. Let's get this done, Bill Snyder.

Southern Miss at #6 Houston - Conference USA Championship - Saturday, December 3rd, 12:00PM - ABC

Houston enters the C-USA Championship as 17-point favorites and they're playing at home, but head coach Kevin Sumlin's name has been thrown out there for just about every possible current opening, so there is a bit of a focus risk with the Cougars. A loss here, probably wouldn't see Houston drop below Michigan, but just to be safe, rock your Houston scarlet red and albino white.

Texas at #17 Baylor - Saturday, December 3rd, 3:30PM - ABC

This one is interesting. The computers absolutely love the Big 12, and the Bears (.550) already have a leg up on the Wolverines (.410) on that front. RGIII is playing as well as anyone right now and Texas does have to travel, so you hope that Baylor can pull this one off and possibly jump Michigan in the standings.

BCS Standings
1 LSU 1.000 1.000 1.000 1.000 Georgia
2 Alabama .9551 .9586 .9566 .950 --
3 Oklahoma St .8712 .8397 .8441 .930 Oklahoma
4 Stanford .8559 .8737 .8739 .820 --
5 Virginia Tech .7811 .8480 .8753 .620 Clemson
6 Houston .7399 .7468 .7431 .730 Southern Miss
7 Boise St .7027 .7277 .7003 .680 New Mexico
8 Arkansas .7003 .6856 .6353 .780 --
9 Oregon .6862 .7329 .7058 .620 UCLA
10 Oklahoma .6710 .6150 .5980 .800 Oklahoma St
11 Kansas St .5702 .4689 .4617 .780 Iowa St
12 S. Carolina .5684 .5405 .5467 .600 --
13 Michigan St .5369 .5927 .6380 .380 Wisconsin
14 Georgia .5348 .5610 .5532 .490 LSU
15 Wisconsin .4576 .5450 .5776 .250 Michigan St
16 Michigan .4310 .4369 .4461 .410 --

#1 LSU vs #14 Georgia - SEC Championship - Saturday, December 3rd, 4:00PM - CBS

After losing games to Boise State and South Carolina to start the season, Mark Richt's Bulldogs have stormed back to the tune of a 10-game winning streak. Winning #11 will be a tall order against an LSU that has beaten on ranked teams all season long, but stranger things have happened in conference championships. If Georgia loses -- and as 13.5-point dogs, they're likely to -- they will drop below Michigan in the standings. If they win, they not stay above the Wolverines in the standings, but they also take a Sugar Bowl slot, so, yeah, GO DAWGS!

New Mexico at #7 Boise State - Saturday, December 3rd, 6:00PM - MTN

New Mexico is terrible. As in 1-10, outscored 455-144 terrible. They head to Boise as 48.5-point dogs, so you shouldn't have too much to worry about here, but pull for the Broncos anyway because a loss may drop them below the Wolverines in the BCS standings.

#20 Clemson vs #5 Virginia Tech - ACC Championship - Saturday, December 3rd, 8:00PM - ESPN

This game shouldn't matter, because even with a loss, there's a good chance the Hokies stay ahead of the Wolverines in the standings. And even if they were to drop, there's an tiny chance of Clemson closing on Michigan in the polls. Still, you'll want to pull for Virginia Tech, just to be safe.

#13 Michigan State vs #15 Wisconsin - Big Ten Championship - Saturday, December 3rd, 8:00PM - FOX

All you want here is another close game. If this one ends on another Hail Mary, even better. If it's a close game, there's a decent chance that both teams will remain above Michigan in the standings. If one team blows the other out, you can bet the losing team will drop below the Wolverines. We hate to do this, but pulling for the Badgers -- again in a close one -- is probably the best course of action, especially when you consider Michigan State has already defeated the Wolverines this year, so that will help them in the eyes of voters.

#10 Oklahoma at #3 Oklahoma State - Saturday, December 3rd, 8:00PM ABC

You'll probably want to root for the Sooners here because an Oklahoma win keeps both teams ahead of the Wolverines. An Oklahoma loss may still keep the Sooners ahead of Michigan, especially if it's a close game, but why take the chance. The Cowboys are 3.5-point favorites at home here, but the Sooners have dominated the series to the tune of 82-16-7 including 11-straight and 15 of the last 16.




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nickma71's picture

Put them in a BCS bowl. That is fine. As long as it is a decent opponent. Oklahoma, Oregon, Oklahoma State (assuming LSU win). Not Houston. They suck. They are not in my ESPN 25 fan poll. I was talking football with a Bama fan back in October and said Mich loses 4 or 5 games. I didn't know they were not playing Wisconsin, and the Buckeyes-as unprepared as they were-still should have beaten them. I am suprised to say the least. I maintain they are a below average team, and will get dominated if they play another BCS confrence opponent in a BCS bowl game. I am not sure of the Big Least, I don't watch their games.

BuckeyeChris's picture

That picture screams for a caption contest. 


BuckeyeChris's picture

My first thought is that if scUM lands in the Sugar and draws Houston, they will destory them. However, I think tOSU did a pretty solid job of exploiting scUM's secondary without a rock-solid "precise" passer (yet). Imagine what Keenum would do to that secondary. Of course, imagine what The Nard would do to Houston's D? 65-58, Michigan. 1,100 yrds of offense. 

jfrank373's picture

If Clemson wins, wouldn't both V-Tech and Clemson be available for an at large?

Jason Priestas's picture

Conceivably, yes.

jfrank373's picture

Awesome. I don't know what it is about V-Tech but I can't root for them under any circumstance. Plus Dabo went off on Spurrier, which makes me like Clemson even more in this game.


cronimi's picture

Actually, Clemson's would be an automatic bid, whereas VT would be up for an at-large (and I don't think they'd slip out of BCS eligibility unless Clemson blows them out).  But I think your more general point is accurate -- if VT wins, the ACC is only getting one BCS slot; if Clemson wins, ACC takes one, possibly two, slots.  So I think we want to cheer for the fightin' Dabos, not the Hokies.

DallasTheologian's picture

I for one want to see UM in a BCS bowl against Houston because I think they will get rocked. As pointed out above our passing attack (118th in the nation) put up big numbers on them. Houston will score everytime they get the ball, and you can usually depend on Denard to give the ball away a couple times a game.

A second reason is UM in the BCS helps our chances of playing in the Gator bowl against UF. I would love to see this game as I believe OSU can definitely win this game and officially (given the vacated win over Arkansas) get the SEC monkey off their back in a low tier bowl.

Conroy's picture

If Oklahoma State plays for the tile instead of Alabma, Michigan would Alabama or Stanford.  I think that would be ideal because the Big Ten still gets more BCS money, and Michigan would get absolutely obliterated by either of these teams.

The Braden's picture



BrewstersMillions's picture

Given the fact that the sun is shining in that God forsaken hole that is Ann Arbor, I can only assume that is a reaction to the Appy State game? I don't know if there is any caption that can properly capture the sheer joy I felt in those few fleeting moments in time.

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

I think Michigan would lose to Houston...it'd be a fun game.  I just don't think Michigan has done enough to justify a BCS berth.  They played a weak schedule and basically get rewarded for not playing in the B1G championship, though it's pointed out in this article that even the loser of MSU/Wisc could stay ahead of Michigan in the polls.  I don't see how, even if it is a close game, because that team would still have 3 losses to Michigan's 2.  It'd be awesome if that could happen, though, because MSU and Wisconsin are the 2 best teams in this conference, and making the conference championship game should be rewarded, not punished.

I didn't think the SEC championship game would matter at first, but then I realized, isn't there a rule that if there are 2 teams from the same conference in the BCS title game, then that conference can get a 3rd bid?  Is that what we're banking on here when we're pulling for a Georgia win?  LSU vs. 'Bama for the title and Georgia in the Sugar?  Instead of Michigan?  Bwahaha, I hope so.

I don't care what bowl OSU goes to at this point, I'd much rather see Michigan left out of the BCS.  Though it would be cool to play UF...

Edit:  And I think it would make more sense to root for Clemson over VT.  Clemson gets the auto-bid, and VT would be able to get an at-large.  I doubt VT would fall that far.

Class of 2010.

cronimi's picture

One reason to want scUM to get a BCS bid: show me the money.  For several years, the Buckeyes lined the coffers of the rest of the B1G with BCS coin.  It's about time scUM contributed their share.  (Because we wouldn't have the expense of a BCS bowl appearance, OSU would probably net more from scUM's BCS bowl game than scUM would itself.)  And it's not like we won't have some big checks to write in the coming year....

And it would give them the opportunity of being embarrassed on a large national stage. 

btalbert25's picture

Yeah hell last year the rest of the conference benifitted from Ohio States BCS bowl and it actually cost Ohio State money since they gave their share back.

btalbert25's picture

I don't know that outside of the Big East BCS representative Michigan could beat any of the others.  I'm not even sure they'd beat some of the teams in a lesser bowl game.  Georgia, Arkansas, and South Carolina would all pose a big challenge for Michigan or any other B1G team that will make a bowl this year.  K-State, Baylor, Ok State or Oklahoma would all pose quite a threat as well. 

I'm not sure Michigan would win the Alamo, Cap One, or Outback game either.  For what it's worth I'm not sure Penn State or Michigan State have a chance to win any of those bowls either though.  We'll see I guess.  Outside of Wisconsin, I don't like the B1G's chances in bowls this year period.

BuckeyeMark's picture

This is a hard truth but it's time for us to re-examine cheering for our Big Ten brethren, including the abomination in navy and yellow to the north.  Wait - don't shoot the messenger - I know, I know... I have said a million times "I would cheer for Nazi Germany if they lined up against scUM."  I get that.

But in our day and age getting to the NC game is based solely on POPULARITY and influencing the (low-down, no good, SEC agenda wielding) jerks who vote in the polls.  In this (badly skewed) world we do have to worry how the overall conference looks or we risk not getting a chance at the Big Game.  It is just that simple.  TCU went undefeated last year.  Did not get invited to the party.  Why?  The Opinion Makers said they weren't worthy.  Houston is going to go undefeated this year.  They aren't going to the Big Game either.  Why not?  "Not worthy" we are told.  

To make that point even sharper look at Bama.  They LOST already.  But they will, in all probablity, get a ticket to the Big Game because the Opinion Makers say so, while Okie State (with arguably a better resume) will not because they have no one to shill for them (I'm looking at you Gary Danielson).  

There may be reams of statistical data that can be put out there for this team or that team but in the end it's a popularity contest.  In a world like this we need the Big Ten to look good or we don't look good.  It's just that simple.  I'll admit I don't know how to pull for scUM but we need to figure it out.  If scUM wins a BCS game they start the season highly ranked.  They beat Bama at Jerry World next September they will stay highly ranked.  We beat them in November and we get that "quality win" that the voters are looking for.  

And, if it makes you feel better, it's always more fun beating scUM when they are highly ranked.  Remember 2006?

buckeyenut10's picture

I refuse to be like the SEC. I saw a Bama fan rooting for Auburn in the Big Game last year, chanting SEC the entire time in a bar. That's not a rivalry at all. That's pathetic. The mere thought of doing that for scUM makes me sick. Don't get me wrong, I pull for all B1G teams during bowl season...except for scUM.

WMBuckeye's picture

I agree with your post. I <3 the 2006 game!!

 Just out of curiosity and in a completely hypothetical sense..I propose that the B1G Ten have their own "Mini Rose Bowl" (I am no way endorsing the name, just the type of game) i.e. if the LordsofBS (BCS opinion makers) deem Okie State/TCU (contenders subject to change) not worthy or not popular enough (so high school...). Invite them over for a new bowl B1G Runner's Up vs. the team "not worthy". I could easily be way off base here but an opportunity to see more smashmouth football makes me have joygasms (unless it's scUM) and play in a B1G arena (yeah baby cold weather!!)...my $.02

Proud to be a Buckeye in SEC territory...Long Live the Vest!!
Class of 2003 OSU/ATI "Where the men are men, women are few and the sheep are scared.."

cronimi's picture

I don't buy this argument. Comparing a one-loss or undefeated OSU to TCU, Houston or Boise is ridiculous. Guarantee if OSU were undefeated we would be in the MNC game. We don't need the rest of the conference to prop us up. Look at what happened in the 2006 and 2007 seasons -- the B1G wasn't particularly strong ('06 saw 3 teams with 10+ wins, '07 saw 1) and we still made it to the MNC game. I think OSU -- because of its history and its national following -- is judged irrespective of the overall strength of the conference.

I'll admit I was hoping scUM would hand Urbz what turned out to be his sole bowl loss the year after he broke our hearts in the MNC game (you're forgiven, Coach!), but I don't foresee my having that same feeling again -- certainly not while Jabba the Hoke is in charge up there.

(Interesting side note: Scientists recently warned that scUM should not be allowed to hire Charlie Weis for any job as the presence of Hoke and Weis on the same sideline could throw the Earth off its axis.)

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

I don't buy it, either.  If our Buckeyes handle their business the way they need to, they'll get where they want to get.  I've seen the Buckeyes complete two undefeated regular seasons in my 24 years on this planet, and both times they ended up in the NC game.  Not to mention '07 when we had one loss and mostly everyone else had two or more.  Not to also mention '08, where we didn't really beat anyone of significance, got humiliated at USC, went 10-2 and still ended up in a BCS game.  I think it's more about program brand name, fanbase travel, and money more than anything else.  After all, that's why Michigan is being projected to go to a BCS game despite being ranked 16th in the BCS, right?

Bottom line, if OSU takes care of their business, then I could care less what the rest of the B1G does.  I'm not like an SEC fan who has to lean on their conference as a crutch to make themselves feel better about their probably mediocre team.  My program is the shit, in my opinion, and the rest of the conference can do whatever they will.  Except for scUM, they can go straight to hell.

Class of 2010.

btalbert25's picture

TCU and Boise don't get snubbed because they aren't worthy.  Sure maybe that's the party line, but they get snubbed because they are non AQ schools WHO WOULD PROBABLY WIN THE BCS TITLE. Conspiracy theory I know.  That's going to change soon too as TCU will be an AQ school.  Tulane, the first year of the BCS, Hawaii, and Houston are absolutely pretenders, they are not cut from the same cloth as Boise or TCU and I think both Boise and TCU have proven that by their games against BCS schools.  Hawaii got destroyed in their BCS bid, and I'm willing to bet Houston probably doesn't win the BCS game either unless they play the Big East rep.

There may be some quirky season like the one where Auburn was left out when they were undefeated that keep an undefeated B1G team out of the BCS title game, but I can never see a scenario which an undefeated Ohio State team doesn't make the BCS title game.  The B1G, bad as it is this year , is still better than ACC, Big East, and is comparable to the PAC12 this year and B1G 12. 

I'd much rather see teams like Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Iowa continue to emerge as legit programs, along with Nebraska to provide depth in the conference than to have it be back to the days of Michigan, Ohio State and everyone else.  It seems to me that Michigan being down, helped MSU and Wisconsin get stronger.

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

Very well said about Boise and TCU.

This year's Boise State team would give LSU a run for their money. They have a very complex and well-run offensive scheme and they would score points, and their defense is extremely fast and physical. Their defensive front dominated Georgia. After the breakdown in assignments that lead to an early 80 yard TD run for Georgia, Boise held the Dawgs to 57 yards on 30 carries. That's 1.9 yards per carry. And after that TD run for UGa, Boise scored 28 straight. Boise looked like the SEC team and Georgia looked like a hapless Big East team.

William's picture

This is true, but right now I'd pick Georgia over Boise in a heartbeat. The Georgia offense has gelled. Aaron Murray has really calmed down and the passing game has developed, also the emergence of Isaiah Crowell has certainly helped their run game, even though he does seem to put the ball on the ground a bit too much. Right now UGA is one of the hottest teams in college football, their offense has gelled, their defensive front has solidified, and the secondary has figured out their schemes and coverages. I wouldn't be surprised if UGA beats LSU.

btalbert25's picture

For a couple of weeks I've thought Georgia had a chance to win that game.  Murray is looking really good.  I don't know that they'll pull it off, but I wouldn't be shocked if they did. 

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

Agree with you on one point: LSU's win tomorrow is not a fait acompli. Georgia can put up points.

As for the idea that their offense wasn't really meshing for the Boise game, the very next week they put up 42 on South Carolina (4 TDs by Murray), whose defense is currently ranked 4th in country, so I think it had more to do with the Boise defense being that good than the Georgia offense not being in sync.

ih8rolltyde's picture

I live in sec land (worse than you think) and I'm convinced the reason for Uga's "resurgence" is scheduling.....

They got to miss lsu, bama, and Arkansas........

Pick for me the good team: ole miss, vandy, miss st, Kentucky, auburn, Florida, Tennessee.

If they beat lsu I change my stance. But lsu wins by at least 17.

Boise was the best team uga played, and they got outplayed.... By a lot.

****igan smells like old water that hot dogs were boiled in.  FACT

BuckeyeChief's picture

To piggyback, IF UGA beats LSU, then the playoff machine goes into full mode, since Boise beat UGA. Like I said IF.

"2014 National Champions...deal with it!!!"

toledobuckeyefanjim's picture

I have this gut feeling that ESPN is working behind the scenes to control the BCS bowls, usnce they broadcast all of them. I guess it’s logical for them to influence bowls to put together the best games for TV ratings and ticket sales. That’s where Michigan comes into the picture. The nationwide media bandwagon trumpet-blowing about the Wolverines going to a BCS bowl is for those two reasons, no more. Michigan has only one quality win, over Nebraska, who is not even a remotely close resemblance to Osborne’s and Devaney’s great teams. The rest of the UM wins are low-quality victories. Leastern Michigan, always overrated and good at beating itself Notre Dame, the Frightening Illini, Purdue, Northwestern and Western Michigan are wins, that are nothing to beat the drums about. The losses were to a much better Michigan State and up-and-down 7-5 Iowa. Beating the Buckeyes by only a touchdown is not one of them. The rivalry game excuse is just that, an excuse to cover up the Michigan deficiencies that are still there for a good QB like Luck or Wheeden to expose with consistency. The best UM team in the past five years should have blown out the worst Ohio State team in the past 10 years. Instead, the Wolverine secondary was exposed as frauds by a freshman quarterback who hadn't completed 50% of his passes until he saw the leaky scUM secondary. How about that first TD pass Miller threw, Hoke? Your coverage was somewhere near the Mackinac Bridge on that play. Michigan’s 10-2 overall record is very soft at its highest regard. It is not deserving of a BCS game. The BCS will make sure Michigan gets a soft opponent like Houston or Louisville in the Sugar Bowl to keep the overrated Wolverines as the sports media’s darling team. Michigan making the BCS bowl series also ruins the whole BCS system by rewarding the third- or fourth-best Little Eleven team and not the second best team — Wisconsin or Michigan State, who also crushed them head to head. The BCS should be sent to the graveyard if they take the Wolverines over more deserving teams like MSU, Wisky, and either one of the Oklahomas, and an 8- or 16-team playoff based on polls should replace it next year.


onetwentyeight's picture

I dont get responses like this. The whole time we're here ranting about how "eSECpn" has a Huge Anti-Big Ten agenda and how they always go after OSU b/c we're the face of the B1G and ESPN's SEC contracts mean they got an axe to grind with us, etc. All these conspiracy theories ... and then now somehow ESPN is playing favorites with Michigan. A B1G Ten team the last time I checked. 

It's like how ESPN was hyping up Wisky the first half of the season like CRAZY and we gripe about that and turn around and claim that whenever ESPN goes after tOSU its b/c they've got an anti-Big Ten axe to grind. 

MAYBE, just maybe, there is no Vast Conspiracy against BuckeyeNation. Maybe we just had a rough stretch of negative press punctuated by underachievement on the field during Tressel's last years. 

I will be very interested to see how OSU is covered in the coming years once we start plowing a path of destruction under the Meyer DeathStar Regime (mmmm). 

toledobuckeyefanjim's picture

ESPN is still chasing in court after OSU documents about all the parties involved in the tattoo scandal. They still want to cause more trouble for the school and that's part of my reasoning behind ESPN's motiviations to control college football. How many inaccurate stories about the Buckeyes did they report? They are exceedlingly biased toward their programming -- ACC and SEC football and basketball. ESPN would love to see the Buckeyes go down big. Do you notice how quiet they are about Penn State's scandal, which is far worse than a few discounted tattoos? And Miami's years of money flying all around the football team has hardly merited a blip on ESPN's radar.

onetwentyeight's picture

I don't know about you guys but I WANT M*chigan to face Houston in a BCS bowl. Bring on the month-long avalanche of stories slurping about how they're BACK, BABY! and "nationally relevant" again. All well and good. 


Then, when the game starts, I want them to lose to Houston. C-USA Champion Houston. It would be glorious. Like App. State on a Nat'l stage Glorious. I doubt Hoke would ever recover. 



BuckeyeChief's picture

In other news, Ohio is looking pretty good right now.

"2014 National Champions...deal with it!!!"

BuckeyeChris's picture

Update on Ohio:  Fail. 

robcard2's picture

Oh how O-H-I-O has fallen to be concerning itself over such pathetic, bottom dwelling, irrelevant matters. So pathetic worrying about what 10 other teams do on the field to keep a deserving Michigan team out of a BS BCS game.... Just sad...