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Posted on Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 2:55 p.m.

Bowl projections scattered for Michigan football team

By Pete Bigelow

It took three years for the Michigan football team to reach bowl eligibility under Rich Rodriguez. It will take a little while longer for the Wolverines to figure out their destination.

Depending on the way a wide-open Big Ten race shakes out over the season’s final three weeks, the conference will send either one or two schools into the five BCS games.

That will affect the pecking order for the seven other bowls with Big Ten partnerships. Seven conference teams have already qualified, and Illinois sits one win away from eligibility.

Right now, predictions are scattered. A sampling: projects the Wolverines (6-3 overall, 2-3 Big Ten) will face Oklahoma in the Insight Bowl on Dec. 28.’s Adam Rittenberg has Michigan facing an unknown Big 12 opponent in the Dallas Football Classic. puts the Wolverines in a matchup with Baylor in the Texas Bowl, while places them in the same bowl, but facing Texas instead.

Big Ten rules dictate the Capital One, Outback and Gator bowls can select any team they please - except if that team has two fewer wins or two more losses than another eligible team.

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon is confident the Wolverines will be a popular option.

“Michigan always travels well,” he said. “We’re always an attractive choice for a bowl because of who we are, the way we travel and the reputation and tradition of the program.”

Pete Bigelow covers Michigan football for He can be reached at (734) 623-2556, via email at and followed on Twitter @PeterCBigelow.



Tue, Nov 9, 2010 : 10:23 a.m.

You're almost like a paparazzo, just waiting around to incite the Michigan fans, so when they react you can point and say, "See? Just like us!" At least a paparazzo is doing it for a living, not for purely perverse enjoyment.


Tue, Nov 9, 2010 : 9:59 a.m.

@ MetricSU Simply because your comments don't revel in our struggles does not in itself mean you're not obtaining manic satisfaction from participating in these discussions. On the other hand, by needing to incessantly verify the quality of the Michigan fanbase, based on the fraction of fans that comment on this site, fans who do not necessarily reflect the quality of the Michigan fanbase in total, and then make definitive, critical statements again and again, makes it clear you have a fault-finding agenda to disparage the Michigan fanbase, for your satisfaction. Call it whatever you like. You think we are just like everyone else. We get it.

Jay Allen

Tue, Nov 9, 2010 : 9:56 a.m.

They will win against PU, probably. They are going to get systematically destroyed by Wisconsin and OSU. That means they will be 7-5 or 6-6. EXACTLY what I said at the beginning of the year. For a few of you, NO I will NOT allow that to go unnoticed. What high caliber bowl in their right mind would bring in a 7-5 or 6-6 team? Especially one looking for a new head coach. The natives, er, ah, um, the boosters are restless. RR days are numbered.


Tue, Nov 9, 2010 : 2:24 a.m.

Wow reading this column makes me laugh. Nothing but kids bickering who's program is better. How about finding more important issues to bicker about then a schools that make millions every weekend and say its all about the student athlete. Right!!


Mon, Nov 8, 2010 : 11:25 p.m.

Wow reading this column makes me laugh. Nothing but kids bickering who's program is better. How about finding more important issues to bicker about then a schools that make millions every weekend and say its all about the student athlete. Right!!


Mon, Nov 8, 2010 : 10:46 p.m.

Rude Jude: Do you know what Schadenfreude is? That would be if I came here after a U-M loss to revel in your misery. Instead, I come here after a U-M win to find that U-M fans are back to the tired "little brother" comments about MSU. I wouldn't leave a response if U-M fans could accept a win and just focus on their team. But they act like MSU fans of old.


Mon, Nov 8, 2010 : 4:33 p.m.

Isn't it true that the only reason OSU students and alums know how to spell Ohio is because of that stupid cheer -- "OH-IO?" Excuse, me while I barf!


Mon, Nov 8, 2010 : 4:01 p.m.

If Michigan loses the final three, they can play the Jayhawks in the toilet bowl!!!


Mon, Nov 8, 2010 : 1:58 p.m.

Thanks WV. I gotta say I'm still disappointed by the upity "we are better than everyone" attitude some of our fan base still decides to display. Pride is one thing, but haven't we learned anything from the past three years. 3 years ago I was the same JA fan, you get that way when you're accustomed to winning. Three years later and reaching the lowest of lows enable you to realize the error of your ways. The true hatred for Michigan (sans OSU or MSU) comes from the faction of our fans that still need an attitude adjustment. Saturday gave us a much needed win and we should be happy any time we get to play in the postseason. I said happy, not complacent. That being said, Rich Rod is on notice and I do believe he will be gone next year if we are not contending... that's coming from someone who has supported him from Day 1.


Mon, Nov 8, 2010 : 1:25 p.m.

In the round-about way things work, this may not have been the best game to prove that UM is a school to watch out for, but on the other hand, you have to start winning somewhere, and this WAS a win instead of a loss. It could be the start of something good to come for UM, or it could just be that Illinois got tired, or whatever, but the end result was that Michigan won another game. For now, that is all that it means, other than they might get a bowl game, and have finally become eligible to do so. DR is going to continue his in-and-out of health problems, your backup QBs will prove they can play and win, and for now, UM has something to feel good about. Don't let anyone take that away from you.


Mon, Nov 8, 2010 : 1:02 p.m.

"The Ohio State University" sounds like they are the only University in the state of Ohio to me. Must be awful boring to read other teams websites. Go back under your bridge.

peg dash fab

Mon, Nov 8, 2010 : 11:26 a.m.

did a spartan really come in here and say the michigan program "has its pros and cons"? little brother made a funny!

Big 10 Fan

Mon, Nov 8, 2010 : 11:16 a.m.

Whatever Rich Rod is, has done or will do his offense can score points! The question is can he develop the defense needed to win the Big 10 title (not just win), be a national title contender and does he deserve more time to do it? To our other Big 10 cohorts, a strong Michigan is good for the conference and I assure you, one way or the other, Michigan will be back! GO Blue, Go Big 10!


Mon, Nov 8, 2010 : 10:23 a.m.

...and yet you are here. And MetricSU has to repeatedly reconfirm that Michigan fans are just like any other. Schadenfreude is a trait of poor character, fellas. Regarding your question concerning the Illinois victory, as much as I loathe Coach Rod, I would never cheer against Michigan. I believe unless some deeper violations emerge from the West Virginia investigation, Coach Rod is going to have another year. He is a shady character, there is no doubt. I believe Dave Brandon sees the potential in his offense, and will keep him on a short leash for another season. I don't like it, but I trust Dave Brandon in whatever he decides.


Mon, Nov 8, 2010 : 10:07 a.m.

@ethanblue: RR by the rules had to sit his QB. It was shown on another link yesterday. And you criticize Carr for not doing more with his team, yet what in RR's record at WVU convinces you that he achieved more than Carr did or could? In a 'weak' conference like the Big East, and with talent on offense like White, Slaton, Devine, how in the world could WVU not have made it to the championship game? It's not like he had to play Wisconsin, OSU, Iowa, etc every week. According to your logic, RR underachieved big time. As 'innovative' as RR is, at the end of the day, his record was really no better at WVU than UM under LC. LC took us to a bunch of BCS games. RR's offenses are exciting, yes, but there is more to it than an exciting offense to make a winning program.


Mon, Nov 8, 2010 : 10:01 a.m.

One thing for certain: Most wins that RR has treated us to have been exciting, back and forth affairs which makes for great football watching. I think RR would make a terrific offensive coordinator in the B10/12 but all those predictions that he will take us to the promised land seem to be pulled from the land of Oz (to take the halftime show into this discussion). It was a great win for M this w/e as they hung in there and kept fighting. But to celebrate making a bowl game seems beneath Michigan historically. I mean, let's face it. You never saw LC, Bo, Mo even doubt that there would be post-season. I guess RR is in a great spot for himself in that expectations have been lowered to such extent that making a bowl is now celebrated. And that's what I found most pathetic of all.


Mon, Nov 8, 2010 : 8:26 a.m.

A reliable litmus test for Michigan's relevance is the number of comments by OSU and MSU fans on the Michigan post. I'm a huge critic of Coach Rod, but, as bad as the defense was, I smile seeing how that that 67 has gotten their attention. Regarding Michigan's bowl game, the biggest bowl game eligible to accept Michigan will take them because the bowl games are all about making money and Michigan fans travel well. There is no doubt Michigan will make a bowl game. They only go to the pizza bowl if better bowls cannot accept them because other Big Ten teams have better records. I don't see how the numbers work that Michigan would play Oklahoma, but I would love to see that game!


Mon, Nov 8, 2010 : 8:13 a.m.

Paco: Did you just discover the question mark as a form of punctuation? Actually, I come over here for amusement. Not so much when U-M loses -- in fact, I almost never post in that case. It's more fun to see how a single victory, in rather ugly fashion over a middle-of-the-road team, gets U-M fans back on their high horse. Coming here is an easy way to confirm that U-M fans are no better than the typical fan of other teams, and in some ways worse. Tru2: Did you come up with "Misdemeanor State" all by yourself, or did you borrow it from tater? Looks like at least you might be a U-M graduate, although in that case I would've expected more originality. clarklaker: Thanks for the predictable reaction. Further confirms that it is U-M fans now obsessed with MSU. "Little bro" is back just a month after MSU took down U-M 34-17, keeping U-M's vaunted offense from even breaking 20 points.


Mon, Nov 8, 2010 : 7:58 a.m.

docj, Obviously, you misunderstood what I was saying. You went off on another tangent. I never said that Michigan was better than MSU. You've beaten us 3 straight years and got us pretty good this year. What I was saying is that I feel bad for you guys that no one cares or talks about you and you are having one of the best years in the history of your's just sad and that equals irrelevance when no one cares outside of the people in East has to be frustrating that you have to come on and comment on Michigan articles and pump your chest because nobody else cares to talk about you guys.


Mon, Nov 8, 2010 : 5:49 a.m.

Wow look at this hotbed for trolls.This win must have struck fear in our opponets.Stay thirsty lil bro.

Basic Bob

Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 11:14 p.m.

Fortunately for Michigan, there are more bowls this year. The NCAA will be lucky to have enough bowl eligible FBS teams this year to fill all the games. The BCS will take two schools (pick any two - Wisconsin/OSU/MSU/Iowa), and then it will go by won/lost record. Following a three-game losing streak, the ninth place Wolverine team will end up at the Dallas Football Classic and lose to Iowa State.


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 11:10 p.m.

Metric, If you don't care and will let the record speak for itself then why are you posting on our site??????????????????


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 11:09 p.m.

Who turned out the lights? I see the cockroaches are back. Please call the exterminators before you call it a night. Sparty you will will ALWAYS be little brother no matter what.


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 10:05 p.m.

Rodie: I'll agree with you. We Spartan fans are "bored" because beating Minnesota 31-8 is just no big deal anymore. I'm glad the Wolverines were able to pull out a victory, but the reason people are talking about U-M football has its pros and cons. The pro is scoring 67 points. The con is giving up 65. Is this what U-M football fans really want? I'll take a 26-6 victory of Illinois any day. All I'll take 9-1 over 6-3. We don't especially care who is or isn't talking about MSU football. We'll let the record speak for itself. You can let the "what ifs" speak for U-M football.


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 9:45 p.m.

The OSU fan has to knock UM, that is what low class does. But what he does not understand is that with a 2.0 and a 17 on the ACT, you are "in". Now that is unique.


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 9:32 p.m.

Alot of living in the past in these here comments from Wolverine Nation, I see.


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 9:30 p.m.

Even spartys think their own team is a boring, they have to hang around our Blogs for any excitement. So sorry little bro, but your program will never replace ours, no matter how bad it gets in Ann Arbor.


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 9:22 p.m.

It's true though, nobody is talking about little brother. Everbody is just waiting for UM to come back to greatness. I don't know if RR or JH will do it, but we will be back, and state will go back to the shadows.


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 9:04 p.m.

Hey goblue18, LOL! Because UM barely beat a mediocre Illinois team having a really bad day in 3 OTs, while Mich.St. dismantled Minnesota 31-8, and Sparty isn't front page news, that means something?! Sparty could very well win the Big Ten and go to the Rose Bowl. If UM gets any bowl at all, it will be some pathetic Dec. 21st bowl nobody will bother to watch against some MAC conference team or something. And you have the nerve to talk trash about State? Who won this year at the "Big House?" Oh, yeah, Sparty whooped your tails 34-17! And until today's win, Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio had as many conference wins in the Big House than Michigan Coach Rodriguez! That about says it all.

Ted Bundy

Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 8:58 p.m.

Johnny spirit! Whats up little buddy? Must be sad that your season is only one game long. Just remember UM may be your number 1 rival, but you'll always be #2 to us... Peace.


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 8:48 p.m.

These Sparties are so comical...trying to make fun of Michigan for the Little Caesar's bowl and I haven't seen/heard anything about them on ESPN since their blowout loss to Iowa and we're still all over the news, basically for what we all knew was no big deal with the 15 minutes of extra stretching a day and having one of the most explosive offenses in the country....I feel bad for you sparty because you guys are clearly better than us the last 3 years, having the best year you've had since 1966 or whatever it was and you're still completely irrelevant to the football nation....everyone is still just saying Iowa, Wisc, and OSU....haha. It'll be alright though, the nation does care about you in basketball and that's right around the corner.

Mike Vrabel

Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 8:30 p.m.

Yes, there are fleabag bowls that would love to have a "name" school like Michigan. However, if Michigan loses out, it would be shameful for them to accept a bowl bid. And, what percentage of fans would lower themselves to attend?


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 7:50 p.m.

how far has this program fallen? six wins and a crappy bowl is now a big deal! and we are one play from people calling for RR to be fired how sad is this?


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 7:45 p.m.

With such a large amount of young players, the extra month of practice afforded to bowl teams will prove valuable in the continuing development of the players, so that is significant even if it isn't a major bowl. Most bowls would be happy to have U-M since U-M has lots of fans and most bowls they are in tend to set attendance records both in the stadium and on TV.


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 7:36 p.m.

We need to win the next three games or at least compete with OSU to get a good match up in a bowl. I have mixed feels on this RR thing. His offense can be explosive, but the team really is awful and not coached well, at least not yet. I think he does compete well outside of the B10.


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 7:31 p.m.

Boy, aren't we getting ahead of ourselves? No Bowl is going to take a 6-6 team if they can help it. Just because you are "eligible" doesn't mean your automatically going to get an invitation. I don't see Michigan winning another game this year, except *maybe* Purdue, but I have a suspicion they'll be so overconfident after this "big" win they'll get blown out by the Spoilermakers. Wisconsin will destroy them, and OSU will feast on the remains. After their annual pathetic beatdown to OSU, and their resultant 6-6 record, no Bowl is going to be interested in touching them, except maybe the Little Caesar's Bowl.

Rob Pollard

Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 7:23 p.m.

Pete, many of these links (e.g., Rittenberg, Scout and Rival) are BEFORE the last game, in other words, they don't take Michigan's win over Illinois into account. That's why they predict things like the "Dallas Football Classic" (and other items, like Texas getting to a bowl game, which probably won't happen, as they lost yesterday). Please look before you link. This whole story is almost worthless b/c it is out of date.

Jonny Spirit

Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 7:22 p.m.

Hey "The OSU" did you know that Michigan has the most wins in the entire UNIVERSE. I hope the Mich fans bring that sweet fact up. You know when they played The School of Nurses. No MI fan wants to talk about the present, they want to bring up facts from 100 plus years ago. Face it, MI sucks right now. They are getting better but they are awful. Oh and I hope you bring up MSU losing to Iowa. Yup we lost, we crapped our diapers. That was 1 lost we will be in a bowl in Jan, the real bowl games. Rich Rod for pres. We hope you stay!

Macabre Sunset

Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 7:04 p.m.

The bowl streak itself was irrelevant. It was an artifact of 40 straight winning Big Ten seasons. What we asked from a coach was that he never allowed us to enter a game with little or no chance of winning. We had three coaches during that 40-year period who took that responsibility seriously. There are some silly people here who think you can magically create a game plan that is so good that you can automatically win a national title. They point to Michigan's one national title in those 40 seasons as evidence that Carr, Moeller and Schembechler were frauds. Where's the evidence, though? Rodriguez dominated a minor conference. He came here, insisting on keeping his playbook the way it was, suited for athletes that weren't here. That's bad coaching. Predictably, he's 5-16 in the Big Ten, whereas it took our former coaches nine full years to get to 16 conference losses. We've been sold a pile of magic beans. At some point, we have to get back to football at Michigan, and building teams that can win in the Big Ten. We have to get back to recruiting athletes with the size and strength to survive in an elite conference. They won't come here if the coach doesn't have a record of producing successful professional athletes. As for the bowl game itself, I don't care. I'll watch because it's Michigan. But the stupidity of the bowl system, and inviting 70 teams to post-season play makes the games irrelevant. College football is our only even semi-major sport that has no playoff system. That needs to change, and part of that change will necessarily eliminate post-season play for 6-6, 7-5 and 8-4 teams.


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 6:57 p.m.

There are 3 reasons to qualify for a bowl. First, the team gets 15 extra practices after the season, which are incredibly important. Secondly, no matter what the bowl, it is reward to the players for their hard work during the season. Third, it hopefully satisfies at least 51% of the alumni.


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 6:23 p.m.

@doctrsnoop: If it's all about academics, why care about a silly football game? Either way, academic rankings are highly suspect. Academics do not even agree on the best way to rank programs. And FYI - Looking at the latest NRC rankings, UM does not do so well when it comes to rankings involving student outcomes (i.e., do they actually find jobs). Either UM cannot place their PhD graduates, or their graduates are too arrogant to take a job at an institution they feel is beneath them.


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 5:47 p.m.

well, THE, I'll give you that THE is better in football right now. That pendulum swings back and forth. But we've always been better academically. Which the actual point of college, so we have that going for us.


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 5:41 p.m.

No bowl for blue... oh, wait! :-)


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 5:38 p.m.

Looks like I touched a nerve. (1) B1: "The" is part of our name, get over it. (2) No, it is not incorrect grammer. "The" describes the entire three-word term, Ohio State University, not soley the word, "Ohio." By your logic, it would be incorrect to say, "The big red ball" because "the" would describe "big," not the ball. Retake English 101. (3) FlintMaize: I really don't care what UM did 100+ years ago. Currently, OSU (not UM) is one of only about 3 schools that offer varsity athletics in ALL men's and women's NCAA sanctioned sports.


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 5:20 p.m.

I'm with you azwolverine..... The matchup makes sense and fulfills my own selfish hankering to bring U-M to Tempe!


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 5:20 p.m.

By the way, when UM went 3-9 two seasons ago, some fans (you know who you are...because I sure do) said it was okay to end the bowl streak because mediocre bowl games didn't matter anyway. They said the ultimate prize, the BCS title game, is what RR was bringing to UM. With that in mind, I don't want to see those same fans (one in particular) celebrating UM's return to a mediocre bowl game...we're still not in the BCS championship by a long shot.


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 5:17 p.m.

The University of Michigan is the only school in the NCAA to win national titles in Football, Baseball, Basketball, and Hockey. I'm sure glad we're only a pedestrian school. GO BLUE!!!!


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 5:12 p.m.

Oklahoma in the Insight would be a good matchup. Not only do they have name recognition, they are a decent team. I'd much rather play them than Texas who is awful this year, or Baylor who is awful every year. If you're going to go to a lower-tier bowl, you might as well play somebody worthwhile.


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 4:59 p.m.

Here's the problem. The University of Michigan has "the" in front of it because it is "the university". On the other hand, the Ohio State University has "the" in front of it because it is "the Ohio"... wait... That makes no sense. The Ohio? Oh i get it. "The Ohio" demonstrates the ineptitude of OSU to understand basic grammar. Thanks OSU! Somebody might actually mistake your school for being academically superior otherwise.


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 4:56 p.m.

tOSU, I live in Marion, 44 miles north of scumbus Ohio, I have been a Michigan fan for over 50 years and the only ones that say tOSU are the players. I know you had the weekend off, but you must be worried about Michigan after watching them score more points against Ill. than the suckeyes could. GO BLUE!!!!


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 4:54 p.m.

I am so thankful that pedestrian Michigan has more college football wins than any university in the country. I also feel blessed that pedestrian Michigan leads the all time series vs Ohio State. Just think how we would do if we were not pedestrian?


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 4:54 p.m.

I'm from Ohio. When I got the application from OSU I basically needed a Social Security number and I was in. I decided against it and went to one of the top-ranked universities in the country, as ranked by academic authorities, not trolls.


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 4:54 p.m.

It's called The University of Michigan.


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 4:46 p.m.

"THE" is an article which demonstrates uniqueness. Consequently, it is appropriate to be incorporated into our name, unlike more pedestrian schools like UM.


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 4:36 p.m.

Well thanks for visiting. And representing OSU fans with the usual class. What's with the University obsession with the article "The" by the way? Was there a rivalry with Ohio U?


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 4:14 p.m.

How about the Little Caesars (formerly Motor City) Bowl? It's in nearby Detroit. All the BLUE fans could carpool to the game and still be home for dinner (pizza). Maybe they would get a coupon with their game ticket. Only in Michigan would someone put pizza in a bowl! Of course that's because bowl games are special occations in Ann Arbor; most of the time UM fans eat their pizza off a napkin and save the bowl for their beer!