With all the craziness of this year, would it be a shock if Michigan was thrust back into the conversation after the Rose Bowl?
A national title split is unlikely under any circumstance, but Michigan is a close enough #3 in the AP poll that some voters could be swayed to take Michigan under the right conditions after the season is through. Having been tossed out as a the BCS poll of choice in favor of the low-brow Harris Poll makes the ‘let’s stick it to the BCS’ a scenario within the realm of discussion.
Side note: Don’t know much about the Harris Poll? Here’s a few data points for you:
– Boomer Esaison is a voter.
– One voter, former Iowa State coach Jim Walden, actually took Florida #1 in the final poll. WHAT?
– I heard a couple voters put Florida #5. Equally as ridiculous.
Anyway, here’s how the split title would have to play out, along with the chances of each scenario:
– Florida eeks out a sloppy win over Ohio State (three or less points) – 20% chance
– Michigan smokes USC by 14+ and looks good doing it – 25% chance
AP voters would have to then have Michigan leapfrog over Florida and the now 1 loss team that already beat Michigan (Ohio State). The arguments would have centered on the take that Michigan proved to be the best team at the end of the season, and that in looking at the three options (Ohio State, Florida and Michigan), AP couldn’t take Ohio State because they just lost to Florida and would give Michigan some love for having impressed in the Rose Bowl and the loss to the Buckeyes was on a very not neutral field.
The arguments against, and I’m speaking for Urban Meyer Wiener, are pretty simple. Florida beat Ohio State, and Ohio State beat Michigan. If there are three teams in the argument, the Gators would have the best case by far. Also, unfortunately for Michigan, a big win over Pete Carroll’s USC just isn’t a cool as it was last week after that egg they laid against UCLA, whereas a Gator victor over the Buckeyes would be the biggest win of the season – by any team. The AP voters would have to not only propel Michigan ahead of Florida, they’d have to move Michigan ahead of Ohio State. It’d be tough but it could happen. If it took the 2 scenarios above [tight Gator win, big Michigan win] give the voters a decision to make, I give it a 25% chance that enough AP voters would give Michigan the nod over the Gators. All in all, that would give this about a 1% chance of working out.
A lot of it would have to be centered around a BCS protest vote (right or wrong). To help Michigan’s case, there would be about a week to talk about it before the big game in Glendale. Is it possible? Here’s CFN.com’s take on it:
Will there be more controversy after the fact?
Let’s say Michigan obliterates USC by three touchdowns and Ohio State annihilates Florida. Will everyone be wishing we had the rematch? What would happen if Florida wins by some fluky, quirky, controversial play and Michigan wins in a walk; will the AP vote Michigan No. 1 to prove a point? What happens if the Gators stink and Louisville beats Wake Forest by 35 and/or Boise State beats Oklahoma? There might be a very unsatisfying feeling when all is said and done.