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Friday, December 02, 2011

A Michigan fan's weekend rooting schedule

I'm not a fan of a playoff (I'm an old bowl tie-in then unseeded +1 supporter), but this weekend's conference championship games are a complete waste of time.  Seriously, how bad is the system when the only impact from a ranking standpoint isn't at the top but whether or not #16 Michigan -- which isn't even playing -- will end up in the BCS top 14 and thus be eligible for a BCS bowl game?

I mean, just about everybody agrees that LSU can lose the SEC title game on Saturday and it won't matter -- they'll still play in the BCS Championship against Alabama.  But who doesn't want that dream match up of a team that didn't win its division versus a team that didn't win its conference to prove on the field which is the best team in America?

At least there's some excitement in the other title games.  Like will UCLA yell mercy in the 3rd quarter of the PAC-12 championship game against Oregon, in which the Bruins are a 31 point 'dog?  Or who will win the ACC, where...uh...Clemson plays...somebody else...in a game nobody watches anyway?  And let's not forget the Seat Filler B1G Championship where Sparty takes on the Badgers in a showdown featuring two of the angriest, stick-up-their-ass coaches in America.

Damn, somebody pinch me!

Of course, as mentioned above, the only reason to watch this weekend's games is to see if Michigan can rise from its current spot at #16 in the BCS standings into the top 14.  So, who do we need in which contests?  Let's discuss, shall we...

B1G Championship -- # 13 Michigan State vs. # 15 Wisconsin

Root For: MSU (although if you can't stomach the thought, it hopefully shouldn't matter)

Why: A win by either should drop the loser behind Michigan.  That goes for Sparty even though they beat Michigan since this would be their third loss.   And who doesn't like to see Sparty suffer?  However, from a strength of schedule standpoint, it might be more helpful if Sparty wins, thus dropping Wisco and beefing up U-M's SOS.

SEC Championship -- #1 LSU vs. #14 Georgia

Root For: LSU to win in a rout

Why: While it probably doesn't matter in terms of the BCS Championship, it does matter big time for Michigan.  A Bulldog victory would be very bad.  And even a close Bulldog loss could be troublesome.  Thus, this is no time for Crazy Les to be on the sidelines.  We need focused, grass-eating Les.

Bedlam -- #3 Oklahoma State vs. #10 Oklahoma

Root For: Okie State

Why: Simply put a loss won't drop the Cowboys below Michigan.  Maybe a blow out could, but it would have to be massive.  But the game's in Stillwater so don't count on it.  With two losses already, a Sooner set back would be perfect for the Wolverines' hopes.

PAC 12 Championship -- # 9 Oregon vs. How-The-F*ck-Is-This-6-6-Team-Here UCLA

Root For: UC.. I can't even type it with a straight face

Why: The answer to the question about how on God's earth UCLA is here is that 10-2 USC is on probation.  Look, obviously it would be extremely helpful to Michigan if UCLA won (as Oregon would drop like a stone in the BCS rankings) but if you're hoping for that, you're also hoping to find out Santa Claus is real this December and thinking the NCAA is actually going to impose sanctions with teeth against OSU.

Ed. Note: The only good thing about this is the where the PAC 12 stages its title game -- at the home stadium of the team with the better conference record.  Thus, there is no need for seat fillers.  And it keeps teams playing hard in order to lock up this benefit.  Take note, B1G.

#11 Kansas State vs Iowa State

Root For: Iowa State

Why: The computers love K-State.  Even though they're only #15 in the human polls, they're #11 in the BCS.  A loss ends that problem.  And ISU has a lot to play for -- they're 6-5 and another win would significantly improve their bowl outlook.  But the game's in Manhattan, KS so it's going to be tough. 

ACC Championship #5 Virginia Tech vs. #20 Clemson

Root For: Virginia Tech

Why: A Hokie loss probably won't drop them below Michigan while a Clemson win might -- maybe -- help them vault the Wolverines.  So play it safe: Go Va-Tech!

Texas at #17 Baylor 

Root For: Texas

Why: Baylor is breathing down Michigan's neck at #17.  A win -- with their Heisman Trophy candidate QB -- against a name program and there's a good chance the Bears jump the Wolverines (plus, Baylor President Kenneth Starr will sue if they don't).  Go Longhorns!

Conference USA Championship -- #6 Houston vs. #24 Southern Miss

Root For: Southern Miss in a rout

Why: This is another example of a game that may not matter since Houston is #6 and undefeated.  However, maybe a big Southern Miss win will cause voters to realize that Houston's "best" victory this season is against...nobody.

Well, Michigan fans, that's the weekend.  You now know who to root for.  Get at it!

Fingers crossed and...

Go Blue!


Mikoyan said...

I think I'm gonna hop on the Wolverine and take a ride over to Chicago this weekend.

As for playoffs...that's never going to happen.

Dennis said...

I do like the Pac 12 championship game location plan.

The B1G game looks to be one of the better games this weekend, despite the location.

If you guys start regularly getting in the hunt for BCS bowl games maybe you should make this a regular feature. I know how much you like to do tht kind of thing. How goes the 25 things you love about Michigan football. :)

Actually, I have enjoyed and been impressed with the autopsies.

Craig said...

I think the B1G could take a cue from itself.
The men's soccer tournament is hosted by the school that won the conference championship the previous year. So, make it going forward that the winner of the conference championship game hosts the next season's title game. This will give you a year to prep, if you are a dynasty, you can earn some home field advantage. Plus, I'm chuckling at the idea of say Nebraska vs. Ohio State at Michigan Stadium one year. Or Iowa vs. OSU at Camp Randall. Or Michigan vs. Wisconsin at Spartan Stadium or some such.

Crock said...

Thanks - I needed this guide.

Also - I live in Phoenix and am praying for the Fiesta bowl.

Brady Hoke will rank right behind my Dad and Husband in the "men I love category" if he gets this team in my back yard.

MMQ said...

There's no Santa Clause?????

surrounded in columbus said...

so we want Okie State to win, but not too big, do we? if they were really impressive, isn't there a chance that they could move ahead of Bama? which would lead the Sugar to pick the Tide instead of us?

yeech, this is complicated...

James said...

Craig - the downside of course would be if OSU were the defending champ. For the hooligans of Columbus, tens of thousands of Michigan fans coming in would be like shooting fish in a barrel.

GoBlueBob said...

Since Michigan is not playing in the championship game I have no interest in it at all. May watch it but will not care who wins. It is fun to try to figure out all of the scenarios and how it may impact Michigan but I really do not care about that too much either. Since the PAHC (previous ass hat coach) ruined the 33 year bowl streak I am just happy to be going to a decent bowl and do not care if it is a BCS game or not.

Bigasshammm said...

Crock I agree with the Fiesta! My step kids are both in the marching badn and their band trip this year is to the Fiesta Bowl where they will get to play. I wouldn't have a hard time convincing the wife to go to the game if Michigan were in it!

If you do head to the game shout out to the Cuyahoga Falls Black Tigers.

Coincidentally the same school that UMASS' (it was UMASS wasn't it?) band played at and stayed at the night their band director died before they headed to Michigan.

Dennis said...


There is a Santa Clause. And a Santa Clause 2. Unfortunately there is also a Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause that, much like the 2011 OSU football season, I am trying to forget. :)

I typo all the time. Couldn't resist, no spelling Nazism intended.

JamesD'Troy said...

The best comment on tonight's Pac-12 CCG by USC's Devon Kennard on twitter;

Devon Kennard RT @farrenbenjamin

PAC-12 championship game tonight...the Team we beat vs. The team we killed #USC #pac12champs #FIGHTON"


Ramona said...

Hope you get some nice pics of the Windy City, Mik :)

And thanks Yost for this column. I greatly miss the old days when the national rankings used to make sense, but I read through your analysis several times, then dragged my son away from the TV to give me additional explanation, and I actually have a tenuous grasp on it now.

Mikoyan said...

The only next immediate game I care about is the Army-Navy game.

I'm not sure how many pics of Chicago I'll get, as I'm probably going to take a cab to the Science and INdustry Museum and then head back. Crazy....

Jim said...

Won't that loss cut Houston out of the BCS picture altogether?

Yost said...

Yes, but we still need to make it into the top 14. Houston's spot may still get filled by non-AQ TCU or *maybe* even Southern Miss.

surrounded in columbus said...

it should, but it may not drop them outta the top 14 in the BCS. we need to move up to spots (now #16) to be BCS eligible. so, Houston needs to drop about 9* spots to really help us (even if they won't get a BCS game for themselves).

as badly as they lost today, they may drop that much. that, combined w/ the Big Ten loser dropping below us (hopefully) or UGA dropping after LSU pastes them (again, hopefully) should be enough to move us up 2 spots into the top 14

surrounded in columbus said...

our comments crossed each other. i don't think the problem is really enough spots. it's more a question of whether we can move into the BCS top 14.

i'm pretty sure if we get into the top 14 & are eligible, the Sugar is going to take us.

Jim said...

But if Houston doesn't get an automatic spot anymore, doesn't that create another at large spot fortune taking? Why would a BCS bowl take either TCU or USM over us?

Yost said...

SiC, I know it's not about spots. But...

Jim, BCS may HAVE to take TCU/SMU (prob TCU) if they are in top, I believe 18 AND above Big East AQ Champ.

Also, what happens if Boise moves into top 4 due to other team losses? They have to be taken, correct?

Brandon said...

It's looking alright so far. Okie State is blowing out OU, Southern Miss won in a blowout, MSU beating Wisconsin. Unfortunately Va Tech is laying an egg

Jim said...

We're going to get Wisc and Georgia...and maybe Oklahoma. I'm a little worried about Baylor and Clemson mucking stuff up.

Josh said...

Must be nice to play in a terrible conference to get a game in the last week and a chance to move up in the polls. I'm looking at you Clemson.

And once again Michigan will be penalized for not playing a game...

surrounded in columbus said...

well, some of this is on us. we don't gack up a hair ball of a game against Iowa? this isn't a debate. and that's our fault.

Bigasshammm said...

I still think we'll be in at #14. The human polls are a lot and a lot of people know that Michigan brings $$. Politics will decide a lot of this.

Ramona said...

I'd have been LOST without the Weekend Rooting Schedule. Actually I'm still confused. This may need its own autopsy report.

bigGexpress said...

VA Tech? That is surprising. A very winnable game I'll take it.