Ohio State Wins The Game 42-7

It was a close battle for awhile as Michigan came to play on defense.  Except for a few good runs by Minor, however, the Wolverines continued their season long trend of having a stunning lack of offense.  I think the key sequence of the game was Michigan’s opening drive of the 2nd half stalling and Rich Rodriguez electing to punt rather than go for a 4th down.  The punt successfully pinned Ohio St back on their 9 yard line, but it took exactly 2 plays to cover those 91 yards, the Buckeyes were up 21-7, and from there the rout was on.  So Ohio State finishes the season 10-2 (7-1 [1-0]) and co-champs of the conference with Penn St.  The Nittany Lions get the BCS auto-bid based on their win in Columbus 4 weeks ago, so the Buckeyes will now spend the next 15 days watching various bowl scenarios play out.  As I see it, there are 3 different options:

1. Ohio St ends up at the Rose Bowl after all.  Its not likely that Penn St., who entered the week 8th in the BCS rankings, could end up in the national championship game.  But it is possible.  Keep in mind Ohio St was 7th entering this week a year ago and was #1 in the final rankings.  Its actually very simple.  Start with Oklahoma beating Texas Tech tonight, then the Sooners turn around and lose to Oklahoma State next week.  This would give the Red Raiders the Big XII South title, and they turn around and lose to Missouri in the conference title game.  Have Alabama lose the Iron Bowl to Auburn and Florida lose to Florida St, then the Gators beat ‘Bama in the SEC title game.  Then have at least 2 of 3 amongst USC losing to Notre Dame or UCLA, Texas losing to Texas A&M, and Utah either losing a game or 1 loss Penn St finishing ahead of the Utes in the final standings.  If that all happens, the Lions are in Miami and I assume the Rose Bowl people would pick the Buckeyes to replace them in Pasadena.

2. Ohio State gets a BCS at-large bid.  This is the most likely scenario, but it is not a given.  There are 4 at-large spots.  Right now Utah would be mandated an at-large spot, and even if they lost a game, Boise St could jump up and claim that mandate.  Ball St is also undefeated, but probably can’t climb up far enough to claim the mandate.  That leaves 3 spots for Ohio St to compete for.  They would be jostling for room with a 2nd team from the Big XII, and at least one of attractive Texas and Oklahoma figure to be in the at-large pool.  Also, whoever doesn’t win the SEC-C figures to be under prime consideration.  And, if Oregon St beats Arizona tonight and wins the Civil War next weekend, USC is in the at-large pool.  Now, Ohio St is very attractive to bowl people and might have a good shot at getting a bid over a perhaps more deserving team from another conference, but if one loss Texas (a non-champion that finishes in the top 4 in the final BCS standings would be mandated in), one loss USC (who beat the Buckeyes) and one loss Alabama are all on the list w/ a non-BCS conference team being penned in , the Bucks probably get left out.  Which would leave them at scenario #3:

3. The Capital One Bowl.  In Orlando against a top non-BCS bid SEC team New Years Day.  That’s the worst they can do.

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