I would argue that no, a Michigan win does not in fact save face for the B1G. We sealed our fate with yesterday's losses. However, I would also argue that the 2011-2012 bowl season was one of the least consequential bowl seasons in history (yes, more meaningless than usual for you playoff lovers). This is not a diatribe about a need for playoffs though. Expansion and complete program overhauls made bowl results, in many circumstances, completely meaningless to the bigger picture. Let's discus.
The B1G is all set to go 4-6 or 3-7 in the bowl matchups. Compare that to the PAC-12, which posted a 2-5 record, or the SEC, which will post a winning bowl record along with a nat'l championship, or the Big 12, which has so far posted a monster 6-1 record.
What did we learn from these games? Very little. That exceptional Big 12 record is rendered semi-moot because the conference is losing two of those victorious teams. Furthermore, the Big 12 featured a preseason national #1...who just won the Insight Bowl. Congrats. The B1G has two top programs getting facelifts; wins for OSU and PSU wouldn't have affected their system overhauls. The PAC 12 has Oregon, Stanford, USC...and little else; did this bowl season change that idea? Finally, the SEC, with MNC in tow, is king. Don't give me that "the SEC has no middle" argument. Which conference does in fact have a strong middle tier?
Would it have been great for the B1G's programs, players, and fans to get wins this bowl season? Absolutely. But our respective fates and national reputations were pretty much sealed before the bowls began. Even an winning overall record for the conference would have given us little besides a month of chest beating and declarations that the haters had been proven wrong.*
*which wouldn't have been bad times