Thursday, November 16, 2006

OSU v. Michigan Rematch. It may be inevitable

While a lot of people have been talking about how voters don't want to see a rematch, it may be inevitable. Look at the BCS rankings as they stand right now:

1) Ohio State
2) Michigan
3) USC
4) Florida
5) Notre Dame
6) Rutgers
7) Arkansas
8) West Va.
9) Wisconsin
10) Louisville

Does anyone imagine that the loser of this game (doubtless Michigan) will fall further than number 5?

Most of the people who think that the voters would vote against a rematch don't realize that the OSU v. Michigan game is not the last game of the season. There are still some very important games to play among other highly ranked teams which, since they are playing each other, will by definition knock at least half of them out of contention.

If USC loses to Cal and then beats Notre Dame, both of them (having two losses) will fall below Michigan in the BCS poll and Michigan will move up. Florida will likely play Arkansas in the SEC tournament final, thus one of those teams will fall below Michigan and Michigan will move up. Should Florida lose to FSU (very unlikely but it is a rivalry game) and then beat Arkansas, both of those teams will be below Michigan and Michigan will move up.

Rutgers has to play Cincinnati and West Virginia (at Morgantown), and a one loss Rutgers team will not be ranked higher than a one loss (to OSU) Michigan.

If Notre Dame beats USC, few people would rank one loss Notre Dame higher than one loss Michigan for the obvious reason that Michigan shelled them so badly at South Bend earlier in the season.

The voters vote on rankings, and I don't think that enough of them would rank a team lower than they should be just to avoid a certain result (a rematch). At the end of the regular season (early December, not mid November) I think we can all agree that the No. 2 BCS team is going to play the No. 1 BCS team. That No.2 team might just be the loser of the OSU v. Michigan game.

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