Just when you thought that all was lost. Just when it seemed that the B1G was having the worst day since...well, this year's first day, Michigan won the most exciting game in the history of a twelve team Big Ten. What will drive the anti-Michigan crowd nuts, is how nicely their schedule sets up for a legitimate run at the BCS. Yes, their defense is flawed. No, they won't play against Notre Dame's turnover team every week. But, they're going to win their last two non-con games. They'll beat Purdue, Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois. That's eight. Can they get two wins from Northwestern, Michigan State, Nebraska and Ohio State? It says here they can. And at 10-2, they may not win the Legends, but they may get selected for the BCS ahead of the B1G Title Game loser, much like 10-2 Arkansas getting the SEC bid last year. There's still room. Feel free to hop on the Michigan bandwagon.
As for the projections, let's remember that there are rules:
- The best teams don't always go to the best games. In the end, butts in the seat and eyes to the television are the biggest factors.
- The order of BCS selection is 1) Replacement for #1 Team; 2) Replacement for #2 Team; 3) Fiesta Bowl; 4) Sugar Bowl; 5) Orange Bowl.
- Until a team is officially bowl banned, we assume that they can and will go. So, no USC. Ohio State, Oregon, North Carolina, <ahem> Miami...you're in consideration until otherwise notified.
- If a Big Ten or Pac-10 team qualifies for the BCS Championship Game, the Rose Bowl will NOT be required to take a non-automatic qualifier. This was only required of the Rose Bowl the first time (2010 season) it occurred over the current four-year contract.
- The Insight Bowl picks its Big Ten team ahead of the Gator Bowl this year. It will rotate the other way next year.
Got it? Good. Let's get on to the projections.