Big Ten in the BCS After Week 14
The final BCS standings of the regular season have been released. Two Big Ten teams have moved up, one into a prominent position, and another managed to stay on the list despite taking a home loss.
The Ohio State Buckeyes have moved up from No. 3 to No. 2 in the standings by virtue of their narrow win over the Michigan Wolverines and the No. 3 Auburn Tigers‘ win over the No. 4 Alabama Crimson Tide. This move puts the Buckeyes in position to play in either the Rose Bowl or the BCS National Championship Game if they can win the Big Ten Championship Game on Saturday.
In that game, they will play the other Big Ten team that ascended the listings, the now-No. 10 Michigan State Spartans.
The Spartans moved up one spot because of their win over the Minnesota Golden Gophers and No. 13 Clemson‘s loss to No. 8 South Carolina. If Michigan State can defeat Ohio State on Saturday, they would get an invitation to Pasadena to play in the Rose Bowl as the Big Ten Champion. A loss could still find the Spartans getting a BCS at-large bid because of losses of teams in front of them.
Auburn and No. 5 Missouri will play for the SEC championship this weekend, along with No. 1 Florida State and No. 7 Stanford, who will also be engaged in conference title games this coming weekend. With a win and some help, Michigan State could find itself in the top-five in a week. One team that will need a lot of help to get into a BCS at-large bid now is the No. 21 Wisconsin Badgers.
The Badgers fell six spots because of their home loss to the Penn State Nittany Lions yesterday, and getting into at-large position now seems a very long shot. Wisconsin doesn’t have another game scheduled right now, and there simply won’t be enough teams in front of them that will lose to get the Badgers into the top-10.
Based on the current standings, the Big Ten is in position to have one team play for the national championship and another play for a BCS bowl trophy. For all the perceptions about the conference as being “weak,” that’s not too bad.