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Posted on Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 8:07 p.m.

Brady Hoke wants 2nd BCS bid for Big Ten; will it go to Michigan?

By Kyle Meinke

The Michigan football team is among 30 teams officially being considered for a BCS bid as it prepares to face Ohio State.

And, for the first time in five years, the Buckeyes are not.

Michigan has won two in a row and risen to 17th in the country heading into the final week of the regular season. Ohio State, meantime, has lost twice in a row and is an underdog in this game for the first time since 2004.

It seems roles have reversed as The Game approaches.

"Well, I think it’s in life," coach Brady Hoke said Monday. "Things change everyday. Babies are born, people die, things happen all the time. It’s just how things are."


With one more victory, a BCS bowl berth may be in store for the Michigan football team and its fan base.

Jeff Sainlar |

The Wolverines are 9-2 and 5-2 in the Big Ten, and are considered the leader to earn the league's at-large BCS bid, provided it beats Ohio State on Saturday (Noon, ABC). Of course, that also assumes the Big Ten receives a second bid at all.

The league currently has only one team in the top 14 — a requirement of playing in the BCS as an at-large team. The Wolverines, though, are No. 15 and likely would climb into the top 14 if they beat the Buckeyes.

"The biggest problem with that sentence is it's 'if' we win Saturday," senior defensive lineman Ryan Van Bergen said, when asked about the pressure of playing for a BCS bid. "We don't pick that. Nothing we can do influences that decision, aside from us preparing and giving our best effort to win Saturday."

The BCS announced on Tuesday 30 teams it is considering for an invitation to the sport's top-five bowls. The at-large candidates with whom Michigan is battling include Baylor, Boise State, Houston, Kansas State, Notre Dame, South Carolina and TCU.

Michigan would receive the nod for an at-large bid over the loser of the Big Ten title game because that runner-up team is guaranteed to have at least three losses. The Wolverines would be 10-2 with a win against Ohio State.

The question, though, is should the Big Ten be extended an at-large bid? Each team has at least two losses, and Michigan State is the league's highest-ranked team in the BCS at No. 13. Not exactly stellar stuff.

Hoke says: Without a doubt.

"This conference always deserves whatever it can get, to be honest," Hoke said Tuesday during his weekly conference call with reporters. "The competitiveness that's shown every Saturday, I don't know why they wouldn't (give the league a second bid)."

Now, should that second bid be extended to the Wolverines?

Hoke wouldn't go there.

"We don’t make any decisions," Hoke said earlier this week. "What’s important is what we do (Monday), when they come in to look at some film on the opponent, and then how we practice Tuesday, how we practice Wednesday and Thursday, and how our meetings go on Friday night and how we walk-through Saturday morning.

"We have to finish, and that’s what this game is. It’s a finishing game.”

The prospects of a BCS berth is surprising, considering Michigan's 15-22 record the past three years, 6-18 record in the Big Ten and an off-season coaching change.

Players, though, are not satisfied, even with a possible BCS bowl lingering on the horizon.

"I thought we were going to win more games than this, to be honest with you," quarterback Denard Robinson said, gazing downward, when asked about bowl scenarios.

"Now, we got to be ready for this game."

BCS picture
A list of teams still contending for their conference championships:
ACC: Clemson, Virginia, Virginia Tech
Big East: Cincinnati, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, West Virginia
Big Ten: Michigan State, Penn State, Wisconsin
Big 12: Oklahoma, Oklahoma State
Pac-12: Arizona State, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, Utah
SEC: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, LSU

The at-large contenders: Baylor, Boise State, Houston, Kansas State, Michigan, Notre Dame, South Carolina and TCU.

The ACC and Big East will not earn two bids. The SEC will earn two. Additionally, one non-AQ team will qualify, likely Houston.

That leaves two at-large bids for three leagues: Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12. That means Michigan fans should root against these teams, who are the Wolverines' biggest competition for a BCS at-large bid:

Big 12
Kansas State (9-2, 6-2): The Wildcats will be a heavy favorite in their finale against Iowa State (6-4, 3-4). They likely are on the outside looking in, regardless of outcome against the Cyclones.
Oklahoma (8-2, 5-2): The Sooners lost their inside track on a BCS bid by being upset by Baylor last week. They close with Iowa State, then a showdown with Oklahoma State.
Oklahoma State (10-1, 7-1): The Cowboys were upset last week by Iowa State, and now must win their finale against Oklahoma to make the BCS. Their candidacy would take a serious hit with a second consecutive loss to end the season.

Oregon (9-2, 7-1): The Ducks likely are a lock, provided they don't stumble in their finale against Oregon State (3-8, 3-5).
Stanford (10-1, 8-1): The Cardinal also likely are a lock. They close with No. 22 Notre Dame (8-3) this week, and would play in the Pac-12 title game with a win.

Bottom line: Root for losses in the Big 12. That's the easiest road for a Big Ten team — that is, Michigan — to crash the BCS party.

Kyle Meinke covers Michigan football for He can be reached at 734-623-2588, by email at and followed on Twitter @kmeinke.



Fri, Nov 25, 2011 : 6:52 p.m.

Interesting/possible scenario where UofM ends up with the best record in the Big 10: "IF" MSU loses this weekend to NW and wins the title game, they will be 10-3 and "IF" The winner of this weekend's PSU/UW game loses the title game to MSU, all 3 teams will have 3 loses and "IF" UofM beats OSU, UofM will be 10-2...the only 2 loss Big 10 team True, this is not likely to happen but anything is possible...


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 8:52 p.m.

I just want Michigan to beat Ohio. After that they could play in the Gerber baby food bowl for all I care.

Macabre Sunset

Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 7:07 p.m.

You can safely eliminate South Carolina from the discussion. The SEC is limited to two invitations, unless there's a series of results (not impossible) that leave Georgia as the SEC champion and two 11-1 West Division teams, which did not participate in the title game, 1-2 in the country. I doubt the voters let that happen. South Carolina is fifth in line in the conference. Notre Dame and Texas Christian are not earning at-large bids. They won't finish in the top 14. If Michigan beats Ohio State, we're on the short list for an at-large, no question about that. I think we're only behind Stanford and Virginia Tech (if Virginia Tech doesn't win the ACC). Houston gets an automatic BCS berth if it wins out. So we're rooting for Virginia Tech and against Houston the next two weeks. The remaining worry is finishing in the top 14. While Michigan is 15th now, there's no guarantee we'll rise in the rankings by beating a team we're favored to beat at home. I think we'd rise a place or two, but it's still something to think about. """The ACC and Big East will not earn two bids. The SEC will earn two. Additionally, one non-AQ team will qualify, likely Houston.""" The ACC could, if it's Virginia Tech. Houston is the only team from an non-AQ conference that can earn an automatic bid because Boise State cannot win its conference. Houston's strength of schedule is so low that one loss would remove it from the discussion. Boise State remains a possibility as an at-large pick, but the bowls would undoubtedly take Michigan first.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 9:30 p.m.

our best chance to rise up to 14th or better (assuming we beat Ohio) lies in the 3 teams immediately ahead of us, MSU, Georgia and South Carolina. It is highly likely at least one or possibly all of them will lose another game: * MSU has to play in the B1G championship (vs Wiscy most likely) * GA finishes with GA Tech and then they have to play in the SEC championship game vs LSU, Alabama, or Ark. * S. Carolina plays Clemson

Lorain Steelmen

Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 8:08 p.m.

Sunset...I think you've covered this thing! But lets' focus on 'ohio' right now. And if possible , I hope Brady, keeps the ha mmer down, all the way to the end. I'd love to pound 'em.

Wally the Wolverine

Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 6:52 p.m.

Assuming a win over OSU, I think we are virtually guaranteed an at large bid? How so? Because we travel well and spend money - plain and simple. Here are the strength of schedule rankings: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Though there were several teams that may be &quot;technically&quot; more deserving than us, the reality is that we &quot;make it rain&quot;. At large bids have never been about fairness, and you know what, I'm OK with it. Kansas St (3), Baylor (4), S. Carolina (22), Michigan (38), TCU (54), Notre Dame (63), Boise St (64), Houston (104) GO BLUE - BEAT OSU


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 6:35 p.m.

the SEC in reality could have three teams in the B(C)S. one of the top three is already in the championship game and that won't count as an at-large. ESPN said that if MICHIGAN beats ohio they'll more than likely play houston in the sugar bowl. GO BLUE BEAT ohio!


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 5:27 p.m.

I agree: the only thing to think about now is how the Wolverines handle themselves in The Game on Saturday. Early in the year, people were saying that, &quot;Hoke will be OK if he gets eight wins in his first season.&quot; Now - it looks likely he'll rack up 10 wins! But it's got to be done - before it can be called done. The best thing about Coach Hoke is that he knows (and teaches) that fundamentals and hard work must take first place in every player's mind. These things are necessary in all kinds of endeavor - the path to mastering your endeavor. That said: I just hope all this effort and progress pays off against Ohio. By around 3:30 PM Saturday: we'll know what we have to talk about. TiM! Go Blue!

Lorain Steelmen

Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 3:55 p.m.

Note to UM fans....Lets' slow down here, and focus on osu saturday. Any conversations about bowls are way, way, too premature! osu's defense is the strongest and quickest team, we will have faced a this year, and I'm not blowin' smoke here. And guess what, they get films. So they will be able to see what msu and Iowa did, and make NO mistake about it, osu WILL come after Drob, and try to knock him out. If they can distrupt the UM offense, and turn this into a low scoring, ugly game, they have an excellent chance to win.... Folks they have NOTHING to lose. absolutely NOTHING..this is their last bowl game for a while. Urban or no Urban, there WILL be sanctions, ...and they know it. They just want to minimize the impact, and try to maintain recruiting for the next two years.... If UM wants to win this thing, the O-line WILL have to show up, and UM WILL need to get off to a good start..because if UM has to come from behind, by passing, that osu 'D' WILL tie-off on him....


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 2:39 p.m.

Good conversation for AFTER the game against ohio. Too many ifs at this time. First, let's get the victory over the buckeyes, next: let's see how if WI can beat Penn State, then let's see if that winner can beat Sparty in the B1G championship game. Brady Hoke can gain a tie, albeit lose the tie breaker to MSU if NW does beat them on their home field for the Division. Hoke gets the moral victory on that one. All of this will be resolved Saturday, then we can drill down into where this Michigan team will end up. GO BLUE!!!


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 2:32 p.m.

Hoke is Coach of the Year... ]V[ichigan deserves a BCS game!

angry bird

Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 2:06 p.m.

So, if Ohio loses and there is no BCS bid then Michigan goes to the Rose Bowl! Not bad ...


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 3:09 p.m.

Wrong..winner of B1G championship game goes to Rose Bowl. UM cannot be there. If an at large BCS the Fiesta is the most likely place. If not Orlando.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 2:25 p.m.

Where is the winner of the B1G Championship Game going then?


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 1:54 p.m.

Given Blue's BCS drought, I understand your excitement about the possibility of a BCS Bowl IF you beat the Buckeyes. However, that is a mighty big &quot;IF&quot; and is not to be taken lightly or as an &quot;automatic win.&quot; Regardless of both our feelings about our respective teams, this BCS talk further demonstrates the shortcomings of the current bowl selection system. Certainly, there is parity in the B1G as demonstrated by the W/L records of the various teams. Certainly, a B1G team should consider for a &quot;at-large&quot; spot. However, it SHOULD be the 2nd place team. You're correct. The loser of the 1st B1G championship won't be considered because they will have 3 losses. But they only will have 3 losses because they play an extra game. The league (and NCAA) should have everyone play in Dec. 1st Legend vs. 1st Leader for 1st &amp; 2nd 2nd Legend vs. 2nd Leader for 3rd &amp; 4th 3rd Legend vs. 3rd Leader for 5th &amp; 6th ect... all they way to 11th and 12th place. I'll tick off more than one Maize-&amp;-Blue fan, but Michigan is, at best, the third place team (tied with the loser of Wisc/PSU) in the overall B1G standings. However, we'll never know for sure. However, we must live in the real world... Given the current mechanism, Blue stands a good chance to grap an &quot;at-large&quot; spot. Money speaks and Blue has a huge fan base, starving for a major bowl. A major bowl would love &quot;M&quot; because of ticket sales. Same with the TV networks. &quot;M&quot; should be chosen ahead of ND because you beat them. The other teams being considered at &quot;poor little sisters&quot; and don't have a history of fan support to be attractive to a major bowl. Like it or not... bowl games are based on attracting teams that will make interesting match-ups and attract vacation travellers for the local businesses. Ghost... what do you think??? I always enjoy your perspective (even when you're wrong).


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 1:41 p.m.

I'm not getting my hopes up for a BCS Bowl. If Arkansas loses, they would have only 2 loses (to the number 1 and number 2) team in the country. I could see the SEC getting 3 teams in the BCS (you have Georgia in there as well). Not sure if that is allowed or not, but that is they way it probably should be. Beat OSU and let the chips fall as the may!!! GO Blue!!! Please beat the Buckeyes!!!!!!! That's all I want for Christmas!!


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 4:12 a.m.

Not apropos of this BCS at large thing ... but Michigan ... what's the skinny on Pharaoh Brown decommitting from Michigan? Rivals hints at an explanation, but it's hidden behind their subscriber wall. Anyone know?


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 1:44 p.m.

Brown was a wishy washy candidate from the begining. Hoke and Co recruited him to play DE, which he then asked to be recruited at TE. They agreed to go through with this, and then he took an official visit to Oregon. Hoke does not want players like that!! He is all about Chemistry. This is why I don't see Stephon Diggs coming to Michigan. That kid needs to be knocked down a few pegs!

1st Down

Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 7:57 a.m.

a popular michigan blog reports that Pharaoh stated on his twitter that Michigan's policy is that if a player is committed, then that means no official visits to other schools... Pharaoh ignored this rule and went to Oregon, after which he was informed that Michigan pulled the offer...whether he gets re offered remains to be seen but probably not... imo having the number 1 class overall puts you in a position to be choosy, particularly with only a few scholarships left...and if a player ignores your rules well it may be best for all parties to move on


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 3:30 a.m.

Let's have this discussion after we play Ohio State. Anything can happen in he Big Ten; we beat both teams that beat State, and then we lose to a team that lost to Minnesota ( whom we blew out ).


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 2:44 a.m.

I think the lack of experience in the big time is starting to show on Hoke. The only thing he should be worrying about is beating OSU. That's realy the only thing he has control over. Now it's if we beat them badly. The fact is UM has beaten 1 team with a winning b10 record in 4 years. Thats 1 team in 4 years. Slow down a little there partner.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 3:47 p.m.

Bo didn't care much for easy starts. In fact, I remember his attitude when he became AD. He jumped all over the soft early basketball schedule. I don't remember the quotation, but it was, in effect, no mor of this nonsense. You play real teams or get out of here. I also agree that it's nicer to lose, if you have to lose, to a Notre Dame type team than App. State of Slippery Rock. Tuning up the team is nice, but what about setting up a great season with wins against strong teams. Still, I'm not the coach or AD, so it's easy to talk.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 1:13 p.m.

As a contrarian I would like to see schedules where the one game, preferably the first, would be outside the conference. Then every team would play the other 11 conference teams. If a playoff is desired the top two teams play each other. I hate the two divisions they are artificial and arbitrary.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 6:11 a.m.

And trust me, I understand playing better competition improves the team. It's how I improved my golf game. : ) I just feel that In the early part of the season it's best to start with confidence building games that &quot;work the kinks out&quot;. And it looks like ND will be a consistant early game on the schedule going forward.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 6:05 a.m.

Hoke* not Hole


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 6:03 a.m.

Heartbreak, Thanks for the reply. I appreciate your answer to my question and I agree with you to an extent. My take though is that in the current system where 1 loss is virtually a death sentence, especially in the big ten, it's just to risky to schedule 2 or 3 tough opponents in the non-conference. If all Michigan is interested in is winning the big 10 and going to the rose bowl then yes, make the 4 non-conference games as brutal as you want. But in this BCS system, when your in a conference that is not the SEC, you can ill-afford to lose even 1 game in many cases. And to answer your question, no Olympians do not train against highschoolers to &quot;work the kinks out&quot;. But when they are training, they can lose a race or 2 and still become a world champion. Michigan can not. If its winning the big 10 and going to rose bowls your after, then do be it. I feel like when Hole has a couple seasons of recruiting under his belt this team will have a shot now and again to run the table. That's a tall order when the big 10 alone will put 3 or 4 ranked opponents in your way to accomplishing that goal. Especially when we go to 9 conference games.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 4:50 a.m.

Thanks for responding GoBig: If I were in charge, I'd schedule no more than one MAC team ever (and that would be to share revenue with in-state programs, like Central/Eastern/Western). I'd never schedule FCS schools. Then I'd go to a national power home and home, and a national BCS school that is middle to top. If you look at Michigan's schedules through the 1970s and 80s, that is the way it used to be--even 1997 we scheduled Colorado, Baylor, ND plus B10. In late 80s, we had one year with Florida State and ND (think the third was Oregon State), and 1991, we had FSU, Boston College and ND--and got Desmond a Heisman. Used to have UCLA, Maryland, South Carolina, BC, even Syracuse on the schedule now replaced by Toledo, UMass and App State. What does it prove? Nothing (except how bad we are when we lose to those teams). Would rather lose to Texas than App State. Would much rather beat Texas than App State. And if you can't beat the competition, you don't deserve to be top ranked anyway. There is risk-reward for both teams that schedule those, but you don't improve against the likes of what we have been scheduling. Look at USC and LSU for examples of competitive scheduling--not afraid to travel. Boise State is itching to go anywhere to prove itself, and now that they are winning, nobody wants them. I think it ruins the spirit of competition to shy away from tough teams. Do the Olympians train against high schoolers to &quot;get the kinks out&quot;? And I think it is what the fans and players want. No interest in seeing 2-3 MAC teams plus FCS in a given year. Yawwwwnnn.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 3:15 a.m.

He was asked if the conference deserves the BCS bid. He answered the way he did because he believes the conference is very competitive. I agree with him. When asked if Michigan deserves the bid he clearly stated that all that matters is this weeks preparation for this weeks game. Clearly not looking ahead as you state. Read the article and his answers more clearly next time. @heartbreak, You often bring up how the big 10 teams always schedule soft non-conference opponents. I agree that most if not all teams do that. I think if you look at any of the bigger programs in various conferences, you will see the same thing. Most these coaches want warm up games to work out the kinks. Not to mention they know the conference grind is not easy to get through without a loss. So if your a big time program why would you make it that much more difficult to get a shot at that unbeaten season and BCS birth by scheduling highly ranked teams in the non-conference? Especially when you know you will have to play a few in the conference.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 2:52 a.m.

have to agree with you rightmind. I don't know what to think about the B10 vs. other conferences, since so many teams are losing games, but based on out of conference schedule (or lack thereof since they schedule so many MAC and FCS teams) and based on no dominant teams in-conference, I'm not sure that the B10 has earned it. At this point, I think there are probably a few teams that are top 20 level, but that's more to do with other teams not showing that they deserve it rather than the B10 teams actually demonstrating competence on the field. Still, like the turnaround that Michigan has shown this year, whereas in previous 3 years, we got wiped off the field against any real competition


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 2:42 a.m.

It'd be cool to be in a BCS bowl, but really, if Michigan beats Ohio State and then wins whatever bowl game they go to, I'll be completely satisfied with that. BCS or not. 11-2 seems almost surreal at this point.

UM owns

Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 2:42 a.m.

&quot;Oklahoma State (10-1, 7-1): The Cowboys were upset last week by Iowa State, and now must win their finale against Oklahoma State to make the BCS. &quot; Uhhh, this is why I read mgoblog.

Terry Star21

Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 1:28 a.m.

Hoke is right on - the B10 commands those BCS bowls. Even a 3-5 off year last year, they had the second most wins only behind the ACC's four wins. The B10 had the most wins (two) over BCS teams. The B10 is most likely one of the most dominating conferences, despite the pollsters picks.

Terry Star21

Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 1:39 a.m.

BTW Kyle - I believe Michigan should command the BCS bid if it wins convincingly against ohio state and at least one of the current #10-#14 BCS teams lose; should be any question.

Charley Hiltunen

Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 1:27 a.m.

Also might want to add that USC is ineligible to play in the Pac-12 CG this year.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 1:21 a.m.

&quot;Oklahoma State (10-1, 7-1).... They also could play in the Big 12 title game with a win against the Sooners.&quot; C'mon Kyle! The Big 12 doesn't have a title game since they have under 12 teams.