NOVEMBER 19 Looks like the voters were impressed enough with Michigan’s performance on Saturday to keep them just about where they started before the game. The BCS Poll which was just released had Michigan holding fast at #2, just ahead of Southern Call. The Associated Press, which doesn’t factor in the BCS ratings, have Michigan holding fast at #2 albeit losing a little ground. The Coaches Poll & Harris Polls dropped Michigan to #3 but close behind #2 USC.
Here’s the thoughts on this:
1. I really think this gives Michigan the better-than-expected track to head to Glendale. Of course many pollsters may be waiting to see how USC performs against the Irish next week, and some may be reserving judgement on the to-be SEC champ.
2. The computers won’t adjust much, but as sad it is, Michigan fans will be forced to root for the Irish to take USC next week. If USC wins out (they play UCLA after the Irish) they will have enough to pass Michigan.
3. The human polls seem to be intentionally blocking out Notre Dame, basically already making that call on a 1-loss Michigan over a 1-loss Notre Dame in the second BCS spot. Arkansas actually jumped the Irish in the polls this week, I’m sure Coach Weis is furious. Here’s ESPN’s Brad Edward’s on the pickle that the Irish are in, from a November 20 ESPN chat:
Brad Edwards: No matter how bad Notre Dame might beat USC, I don’t think the Irish could ever get over Michigan in the BCS Standings. For starters, Notre Dame will finish behind Michigan in the computer ratings, which means they would need to be comfortably ahead of the Wolverines in both polls in order to jump them. There might be a few voters who would rank ND ahead of Michigan if the Irish look really impressive on Saturday, but the majority will refuse to do it because of Michigan’s 26-point win at Notre Dame in September. Unless I’m wrong about how the voters will handle Notre Dame in relation to Michigan, the Irish have no shot of reaching the BCS championship game.
4. Whether the rematch pans out for Michigan or not, the #2 slot in the AP opens the possibility of a split national championship if they win impressively in the Rose Bowl, and the Buckeyes stumble. Hmmmm.
5. You have to wonder in pollsters in the South will be inclined to drop Michigan in future polls to ensure that their SEC champ doesn’t get left out of the action. Not that pollsters would do anything unscrupulous :) (keep an eye on the Tennessee vote)