Being a lifetime Michigan fan, normally I would like nothing more than to pound aOSU into rubble, then bounce the rubble. As appealing as that prospect sounds, that is not Michigan's best case scenario. That would be this - and it would probably send the Wolverines to New Orleans rather than Pasadena:
TCU loses, removing a BCS distraction.OK, we already got that one.
- USC loses to either 6-5 UCLA or 7-3 Oregon State. That would drop USC below Michigan in the polls, maybe below them in the computer rankings, and add a point for the loss. Likelihood: quite possible.
- LSU loses to Ole Miss. See above. Likelihood: Possible.
- Texas loses to 4-7 Texas A&M. Likelihood: not much. You've always got a chance in a rivalry game, but Texas' last minute victory over Texas Tech on the 15th really hurt - that was a golden opportunity for Michigan to gain ground.
- After beating LSU, Ole Miss loses at Mississippi State but wins the SEC Championship (over either Tennessee or Georgia) Likelihood: Miracle Required. Mississippi State is one of the worst major conference teams in the country. But, hey, it's a rivalry game, it's on the road, and it would be after (hypothetically) the biggest Ole Miss win in my lifetime, so you never know...
- U-M opponents (Big Ten except Wisconsin and Penn State, ND, Oregon, Central Michigan, Houston) win out to help Michigan's strength of schedule.
- Now here's the key: Michigan needs to beat aOSU by as little as possible. This will minimize aOSU's drop in the BCS rankings and maximize Michigan's Quality Win number. Since by BCS order, none of the computer rankings account for margin of victory, Michigan wouldn't be hurt there. A close win wouldn't hurt them in the polls, since the #5 team beating the #4 team won't be caught by a lower-ranked team, regardless of the margin. It would also help if Purdue could somehow work its way back into the BCS top ten.
Oh, who am I kidding? Go Blue! Bounce That Rubble!