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Posted on Sun, Oct 16, 2011 : 10:08 p.m.

Michigan No. 18 in first BCS standings of the season

By Nick Baumgardner

The first edition of the 2011 Bowl Championship Series standings were released Sunday, and the Michigan football team is at No. 18.

The BCS standings combine the coaches' poll, Harris poll and a compilation of six computer rankings.

The Wolverines (6-1, 2-1 Big Ten) are ranked No. 18 in The Associated Press' latest poll, and No. 17 in this week's USA Today coaches poll and have a BCS average of .2995.

Michigan's No. 18 ranking is its best since it held the same spot after closing the 2007 season with a win against Florida in the Capital One Bowl. That also was Lloyd Carr's final game as head coach at the school.

The Wolverines haven't been ranked higher than 18th since Nov. 4, 2007, when they were 12th.

LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State hold the top four spots, setting up two potentially huge conference games that could determine which teams play for the national title.

Southeastern Conference rivals first-place LSU and second-place Alabama meet Nov. 5 in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Third-place Oklahoma and fourth-place Oklahoma State have to wait longer to play their potential Big 12 showdown. The Bedlam rivalry is set for Dec. 3 at Stillwater, Okla.

The only other time the top four teams in the first BCS standings of the season came from two conferences was 2000, when the Big 12 (Nebraska and Oklahoma) and the Big East (Virginia Tech and Miami) did it.

Wisconsin is the Big Ten's highest-ranked team, coming in at No. 6. Nebraska is No. 13, while Michigan State enters the rankings fresh off its 28-14 win over Michigan at No. 16.

Penn State sits at No. 21 and Illinois rounds out the Big Ten's representation at No. 23.

Full standings: BCS

Kyle Meinke and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan sports for He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.



Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 11:32 p.m.

Hoke has already won twice as many games than RR in his first year. Looking at recruiting bigger things to come. Go Blue!


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 5:05 p.m.

Just for fun, how about looking at those "BCS Average" numbers (in Week 1) which follow the descending order numbers? Michigan's BCS number is .2995 (#18) Now look at the numbers for ONLY those opponents who are listed and remaining on Michigan's 2011 schedule, they are: Nebraska .4972 (#13) Illinois .1516 (#23) That means: Purdue, Iowa and Ohio State are not even in the 25 team BCS list, so naturally they have numbers below Michigan's. Taken as probabilities, this means ONLY Nebraska is considered by independent judges to be able to hand Michigan a loss. Of course that's "probabilities" were talking about. But it's still exciting to see that one independent reference source shows Michigan could still end with a 10-2 season! Even if somehow Illinois also prevails over Michigan: Hoke's first season will likely be no worse than 9-3! Lucky that Michigan doesn't face Wisconsin: .7708 (#6). But Michigan State DOES: .3288 (#16)


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 5:18 p.m.

Michigan is more likeley to go 1-4 than 4-1 with what's left of their schedule. By the time they play, UM will be out of the BCS and OSU will be in the mid teens. I saw this movie before. Three times.


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 4 p.m.

I think this is actually a good consensus, so far, among M fans. At least I see no bailing out and shrieking for Hoke to be fired. I feel BETTER as a Michigan fan about this. :-) IMO, though it's clear TO US the biggest need from here on is improvement on the O-line, we must keep in mind that Michigan's offense wasn't wiped out by the No. 1 defense in the country! They have a long way to go: but look at how far the Defense has progressed. I won't venture an opinion about the BSC ranking - it's still too early but I still think Michigan can soldier through the rest of this season and come out "decently" which is 100% better than the "Disgrace & Laughing Stock" rating M suffered with the past three years. I do think it "can't hurt" Michigan to be seen back in the BSC rankings. Michigan's return to relevance is becoming a reality - even if it's still a bit green around the ears. Maybe in the future, we'll look back at this loss to MSU and think of it as another opportunity to learn in a season which turned out to be almost perfect for Michigan's come back. Like this bye week: when the Wolverines and their coaches will (continue to) recover and make improvements. Victors don't quit and quitters never become victors. Yes, and the loss to MSU hurt but the reality has become clear. At least this year, we understand the problems and know they can be fixed as time allows. And they ARE fixable. That's the biggie as far as I'm concerned.


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 5:35 p.m.

I hope it is not too late for Brady Hoke to watch the 13 games of RR with this team last year as he would have seen many things that got RR fired. But I think Brady Hoke knows the real problem coz he has been inserting Gardner in there in important games but he has to be decisive and decide once and for all. Michigan was abused by the defense because they do not have a passing threat. The offense is run only and if Brady's goal is to win the Big Ten, then he will not get that with this kind of run only offense. All Brady has to do is to watch RR's team last year and how it did in the Big Ten, last season is happening all over again. RR used this style and lost, if Brady used the same style, he will also lose.


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 2:42 p.m.

WOW,I don't see that UM shoud even be ranked, they beat no one this year.Even with all the yards State gave UM, they had nothing. Look for the same as the last few years, they will fall apart against the Big boys.lucky you dont have wisky, that would be an easy 40 + blowout. As for the punch, if I was grabed gy the face mask and had my head twisted, he wouldnt even be standing after I punched him. They would be dragging him off the field. That said I disagree with the face maskon DR that was BS.


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 2:59 p.m.

We are all looking forward to next week when the Spartans show the rest of the Big Ten how to get a win over Wisconsin. Sounds like it should be an easy two-score "gimme" win for guys of your caliber.


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 1:27 p.m.

Even a really good passing QB would have had big problems on Saturday. How many sacks did State have ( against the fastest QB in the land) ? The protection was awful ( against the highest ranked defense in the country) so before everyone jumps on the " put Denard at running back" bandwagon remember how many points he scored last year. He is in a new system and he's learning. I think the coaching staff has done a great job considering what they have to work with. It's not like they got all new players when Hoke came to town. Despite the loss we were in the game until last six minutes -- a first down- a score-- no need for a risky play called -- a win for Michigan.


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 6:05 p.m.

Only QB in D1 history to pass for and rush for 1500 yards--- broke big ten record for total offense @ 4272 yards-- Broke big ten rushing record for single game rushing record--- Voted Big Ten MVP-- All American --- All in his first year as a starter-- need I say more? Good thing happen to those who are patient. Maybe his pass percentage could be better but in total I wouldn't change a thing.


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 5:23 p.m.

Tim - do not be blinded by stats as those yards were because he was the one who ran ball most of the time. Did a UM led offense beat a single Big Ten team with a decent defense with Denard as the QB? Last year or this year (Illinois was won by Tate Forcier's passing). The answer to that question is the real problem of this Michigan offense.


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 2:15 p.m.

As a passer in Big Ten play, Denard had a 12TD/9INT ratio in 2010 and currently has a worsening 5TD/4INT ratio in 2011 against a fairly weak first three games (Minnesota and Northwestern). If they are expecting him to be more a passer and less a runner, it is very unlikely they'll be successful with those numbers in the Big Ten. I wish I had all the games recorded so I could count the number of 15-yard-or-less pass plays where the ball flew over his receivers heads while they were jumping and in full extension. I don't have these numbers broken down, but I'd guess the majority of his successful passes have been 15+ yard plays on play-action (often with Denard pretending to run with the ball first before throwing) where Denard just throws it up to a lightly guarded (if guarded at all) receiver. If he were in the running back position with Gardner doing the majority of the passing, Denard would be able to focus on these types of throws and, what he does best, his running. 5/4 ratio = losses, Gardner/Robinson combo = a chance at winning. Maybe this is a "bandwagon" issue, but it's something I've wanted to see since September, personally, and clearly something on the coaching staffs' minds since the Minnesota game. Denard is the best player on this team, he's just not a passer. Put him in a position that allows him to use his ability! Go Blue!


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 12:39 p.m.

I agree with RJ12688, somewhere in the 20s, no better. I hope it's dual-QB sets with Gardner at the helm and Denard in a running back position. With all due credit to Michigan State, the wind was the biggest defensive obstacle for Michigan, especially when your QB can barely make a good pass in perfect conditions. That 4th quarter 4th-and-one was the low point though, and that's all on Borges. He'll receive angry letters in today's mail. Even if Denard got free and was able to get a pass off to a wide-open receiver, who is to say it would have even been catchable with 35-40 MPG gusts blowing? Even a pocket passer could have been off in those conditions. Unbelievable. Go Blue


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 8:11 p.m.

lol, well it's the truth. I mean no disrespect to Denard. He's a class-act, one-of-a-kind player. You can only watch Michigan's receiver jump up, hands held high, to catch a ball, only to see it sail five feet above their heads so many times before you have to say something. I'm really hoping we'll see more Gardner and Robinson dual sets after this bye week. I can imagine if Gardner starts passing well, and Denard is out there with him, you'll start to see some of those 80-yard runs he is known for.


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 5:19 p.m.

"especially when your QB can barely make a good pass in perfect conditions" - Funny phrase. Yeah, the 4th and short playcalling and the last interception by the heisman QB was the one ended the comeback.


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 9:09 a.m.

Ohio State? Nebraska? Illinois? I don't think so. The wolverines were beaten by a bad team with some really good players last Saturday and were exposed as we knew deep down they would be. Still a ways to go before reaching the upper tier of the Big Ten even. Certainly a big improvement over the last 3 years, but it is what it is.


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 5:28 p.m.

Michigan is a good team with a very good kick returner playing QB. You know how that gameplan played out lol!


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 5:10 a.m.

This is a more realistic rating, but probably a little high still.. I think 22-25 is closer, but whatever, ratings are useless at this point. Start Gardner at Purdue.