Stevie Brown: Michigan has 'good chance' of making Rose Bowl this year
Despite two Big Ten losses, Brown said Michigan has "a good chance" of reaching Pasadena this year.
"I have a feeling,” Brown said. “I don’t know if anybody else has a feeling, but I have this feeling. If we can win out, I think we have a chance that we might be able to make it to the Rose Bowl."
While not yet mathematically eliminated from winning the Big Ten, the Wolverines (5-2, 1-2) are a long shot to represent the conference as league champion in the Rose Bowl.
Iowa (7-0, 3-0) has a favorable remaining schedule, and six teams are ahead of Michigan in the Big Ten standings.
If Iowa stays undefeated, however, and Michigan wins out - the Wolverines host No. 13 Penn State this week and have games remaining against Illinois, Purdue, Wisconsin and Ohio State - the Wolverines could go as an at-large selection.
The Rose Bowl hosts the national championship game. If a Big Ten or Pac-10 team plays for the BCS title, the game gets first or second pick from the pool of at-large replacements.
“I think we all know there is a situation with Iowa being the only undefeated team left, but we need some help and all we can do is worry about ourselves,” guard Steve Schilling said. “If we win the rest of our games it still might not happen. So we got to win our games and hope we can get some help along the way from other teams with some upsets and take it from there."
Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said he hasn’t addressed bowl scenarios with his team - the Wolverines will become bowl eligible with their next win - but he doesn’t mind his players dreaming of a Rose Bowl appearance.
“We mentioned after the Iowa loss that there’s a lot of things can happen and we got to stick together,” Rodriguez said. “You see it every weekend, crazy things happen, not just in Big Ten but throughout the country.
"There are a lot of ways we can control our own fate as far as bowl games and Big Ten championships, and sometimes you need a little help. This thing’s going to play out until the end, probably. We just hope we’re in it."
Brown said his desire to return to the Rose Bowl is fueled in part by memories of his 2006 experience. Michigan lost to USC, 32-18, but Brown said the experience was “great” and he always figured he’d go again.
“It wasn’t necessarily that I took it for granted,” he said. “It was just more so, this is what the goal is to be, we made it here, that’s how we’re going to do it every single year, we’re going to make it to the Rose Bowl. But we haven’t been back since. I really want to get back.”