Michigan football team has strong shot at BCS bid with win against Ohio State
Michigan football fans are quickly becoming big fans of the state of Oklahoma.
After all, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma are doing all they can to ensure the Big Ten receives an at-large bid to the BCS for the seventh consecutive year. And, if the 20th-ranked Wolverines (9-2, 5-2) beat Ohio State next weekend, they almost certainly would receive that selection.
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
The Cowboys and Sooners both lost this weekend, meaning the Big 12 is in danger of losing a second BCS bid that at one point seemed certain for the league.
Oklahoma State (10-1, 7-1) suffered its first loss of the season Friday to lowly Iowa State. Oklahoma (8-2, 5-2) sustained its second loss in a thriller Saturday night against Baylor.
The pair meets on Dec. 3 in Stillwater, Okla. One of two things will happen: Oklahoma State loses, its second in a row to end the season, or Oklahoma loses, its third loss of the season. Either way, a two-loss Big Ten team likely would be preferred over either of those two scenarios.
Especially if that team is Michigan, because of its national brand, ability to travel and five-year absence from the BCS. It also is trending upward after a 45-17 thrashing of No. 17 Nebraska, and has a national story in first-year coach Brady Hoke.
Four teams are in the mix for a BCS berth from the Big Ten: Penn State, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Michigan. Each has two losses, but Penn State and Wisconsin play each other to end the season, meaning one of those two will have three.
The winner of that game will play the Spartans in the Big Ten title game, meaning one of those two will have three losses. The other will earn the Big Ten's automatic bid to the BCS.
That leaves just Michigan, provided it beats Ohio State, as the best bet to earn an at-large bid, likely either to the Fiesta Bowl or Sugar Bowl.
If that scenario were to play out, there's no doubt the Wolverines would become the biggest beneficiary of the league's divisional split this year. Without it, they would be ticketed for the Outback Bowl, at best.
Now, that's the worst-case scenario for the Wolverines.