Around 11 o’ clock Saturday night, Michigan football fans
couldn’t help but feel like their Wolverines were a team of
Waking up Saturday morning with their team ranked No. 8 in both
polls, the maize-and-blue faithful had the pleasure of watching No.
3 Florida State, No. 5 Virginia Tech and No. 6 Miami (Fla.) each
suffer their second loss of the season.
Apparently fans weren’t the only ones who noticed that
two-loss Michigan could be back in the hunt for the Sugar Bowl.
“I actually yelled at a few of the younger guys (Sunday),
telling them to stop looking at those things,” wide receiver
Jason Avant said.
Judging by the Bowl Championship Series standings released last
night, Avant made a wise decision to ignore Michigan’s faint
hopes of a national championship run.
Ranked No. 8 in last week’s BCS standings, it seemed
logical that Michigan would jump to No. 5 in the BCS after this
weekend, much like the Wolverines did in the Associated Press and
coaches’ polls released Sunday.
Instead, Michigan stood still at No. 8 in the BCS, as two-loss
Texas (No. 5), undefeated Texas Christian (No. 6) and two-loss
Tennessee (No. 7) vaulted the Wolverines.
Texas, ranked No. 12 in the BCS with a schedule ranked No. 44 in
the country before Saturday, took advantage of a huge road win over
Oklahoma State to bump its schedule strength to No. 18. The
Longhorns also improved from 15.83 to 7.83 in the computer rankings
average, whereas the Wolverines dropped from 9.67 to 11.17 in the
Texas Christian, No. 9 last week, remained undefeated by beating
Louisville, which increased the Horned Frogs’ schedule
strength from No. 98 to No. 87. Texas Christian’s computer
average skyrocketed this week to 4.67, almost seven points less
Tennessee, No. 13 last week, knocked off then-BCS No. 6 Miami,
increasing its schedule strength from No. 16 to No. 8. The
Volunteers’ biggest improvement came in the computers, where
they went from 13.5 to 5.
In other words, the Wolverines’ only hope of backing their
way into the Sugar Bowl is to beat BCS No. 3 Ohio State, receiving
a boost in schedule strength and computer average big enough to
jump Texas, Texas Christian and Tennessee. Oh, and Southern Cal.
and Louisiana State still have to lose.
Luckily, it doesn’t seem the Wolverines will spend too
much time the next few weeks trying to figure out the arbitrary and
confusing BCS system.
“That’s what everyone wants us to (say),”
Michigan defensive end Larry Stevens said. “ ‘Hey,
we’re looking at a national championship.’ As soon as
we start looking at that, we’re going to get our brains blown
out in a game.”
“It is like a poison,” Avant said. “When you
look at that type of thing, you think about if they lose, we can go
here, and you stop worrying about what we have to do this week and