It's championship week! And State's in it! RAWK. Before the start of championship week coverage here (which I promise I'll have something football related each day), we've got a few rankings to take care of. MSU's 11th in the AP Poll and 9th in the Coaches' Poll, due to Arkansas being 10th in the coaches poll and sixth in the AP (go figure), and USC being ranked at 9 in the AP poll and not ranked at all in the Coaches' poll.
Polls are secondary to the BCS rankings, and Michigan State is 13th due to computer rankings. Remember, BCS bowls can consider only the top 14 teams for at-large bids, which is irreleveant in MSU's case because they'll dip below 14 with a title game loss. I bring this up however because the rankings look like this: 13th, MSU; 14th, Georgia; 15th, Wisconsin; 16th, Michigan; 17th, Baylor.
Now before you search the internet for nelsonmuntz.gif in response to Michigan, consider this --- the loser of the Big Ten title game will most likely fall below 16th in the BCS standings, and Georgia has to face LSU in the SEC title game. This most likely means Michigan will get to at-large consideration. What does this mean for Michigan State? Three things, depending on the outcome of the title game.
- MICHIGAN STATE WINS THE FREAKING BIG TEN TITLE GAME. Party, because MSU is heading to the Rose Bowl to face Oregon, because LOL UCLA. The defensive linemen start running gassers immediately to prepare.
- MICHIGAN STATE LOSES THE FREAKING BIG TEN TITLE GAME, MICHIGAN IS 14TH IN THE BCS STANDINGS OR HIGHER. This most likely means Michigan is going to a BCS bowl, probably the Sugar. I'm guessing the Capital One Bowl will take Nebraska, and then the Outback is faced with a choice between a 10-3 MSU and a 9-3 Penn State squad. I have to believe the Outback selects MSU, and we go to Tampa and tres speedy Ybor City to face an SEC squad, most likely South Carolina or Georgia.
MICHIGAN STATE LOSES THE FREAKING BIG TEN TITLE GAME AND MICHIGAN IS 15TH OR LOWER IN THE BCS STANDINGS. Now may not be the best time to look for nelsonmuntz.gif either. If Michigan can't get BCS eligible, they're being selected by either the Capital One or Outback, most likely the Capital One. Nebraska will probably be snapped up by the Outback. This leaves the Insight Bowl in Tempe, and they take MSU (I think they have to, since the championship game loser can't fall farther than the fourth pick? Either way, they're not taking Penn State ahead of MSU). The Spartans will probably face Kansas State in that game.
EDIT: Or not. There's a rule that states that if only one BCS school is in the top 14 from its conference, bowl selection committees can take a team from the top 18. I don't think Michigan's falling below that, so this point could very well be void. However, I'd rather not leave it up to chance.EDIT THE SECOND: This tweet from Jerry Palm will clear things up: "At this time, there would be at least five eligible at-large in the top 14, so no need to go to 18." This means the previous thought stands.
I could be wrong -- the Capital One or Outback could take MSU no matter what happens. The only thing that is 100% is winning the Big Ten title game and heading to the Rose Bowl, so let's just go ahead and win the darn thing, OK?