Sunday, October 29, 2006

Michigan vs. Ohio State II?

The idea of an Ohio State/Michigan rematch in the BCS Championship game is starting to get more media attention. This is a possibility that started to pop up about three or four weeks ago. The odds of a rematch have increased each of the last few weeks. It’s still not likely to happen but the odds are probably better than most people think.

I don’t think Texas, Notre Dame, Tennessee and California can make the BCS Championship game over the loser of the OSU/UM game as long as The Game is fairly close. Ohio State smoked Texas this year and Michigan clobbered Notre Dame. California got blown out by Tennessee in its only loss. I don’t think USC could possibly make the Championship game with a loss to Oregon State. Tennessee is behind them all in the BCS standings. The computers won’t like any of those four teams.

The remaining contenders are; Auburn, Florida, West Virginia/Louisville winner, and Tennessee. If Auburn or Florida finishes the season with one loss, then it will have a good shot at the BCS Championship game over the OSU/UM loser. If both Auburn and Florida lose, the West Virginia/Louisville winner may have a higher BCS rating than the OSU/UM loser. It will be close.

I tried to calculate a ballpark figure on the chances of an OSU/UM rematch based on the events that need to occur. Those events are; Auburn losing, Florida losing, West Virginia/Louisville winner losing, Michigan wins its next two games, Ohio State wins its next two games, and the OSU/UM game being close.

The good news for people hoping for a rematch is that the odds of each of those events happening individually are at least 50%. The way I see things, there’s roughly a 24% chance of an OSU/UM rematch. There are other factors that I didn’t include in the calculation like Auburn/Tennessee finishing with one loss but not having to play in the SEC Championship game.

Another important thing to remember is that even if Auburn or Florida wins out, it is still possible for the OSU/UM loser to finish ahead of them in the BCS standings. That means the odds of a rematch are probably even higher because there might not need to be any teams to lose for a rematch to happen. The current gap between #2 Michigan and #3 West Virginia is huge. It’s even bigger between Michigan and #4 Florida. A lot will depend on how far the human voters drop the OSU/UM loser. If it appears evident that Ohio State and Michigan are the two best teams in college football (a strong possibility considering their body of work, BCS rating heading into The Game, and their 1-2 ranking heading into The Game) then voters may drop the loser to #2 knowing that would probably be enough to secure a rematch. The computers probably won’t drop the loser below #2 unless it’s a blowout.

Kirk Herbstreit had been trying to downplay the possibility the last week on ESPN but I think he is starting to realize the chances are much better than he had thought. An OSU/Michigan match-up in the BCS Championship game is definitely in play. It won’t take a miracle or combination of unlikely events for it to happen either. It’ll only require a close game on November 18 to be a major possibility. I’m not necessarily an advocate of a rematch. I’ll have much more on my personal opinion in a future post. There is no question that a rematch would be a historical event never before seen in the history of The Game.


Anonymous said...

awesome way at describing this whole ordeal. im a UM student and am desperately hoping for a rematch! thanks for the helpful post...

Jake said...

No problem. Although, the odds of a rematch are a lot more likely than they were back in October when I wrote that. Check out my latest post. The chances look much better. Unfortunately, you have to root for Notre Dame!


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