Big Sports Wins in Michigan Yesterday

Yesterday the Detroit Tigers clinched a spot in the World Series. It is too early for any team to clinch a spot in the college football national championship game, but Michigan’s victory over Penn State yesterday did place Michigan in control of their destiny, and makes the Michigan vs. Ohio State game one of the biggest ever.

Prior to starting the misnamed Bowl Championship Series (as it is not a series but a number of individual match ups), there would be arguments over who deserves the national championship. More than one team which won their bowl game could have a valid claim. The BCS was developed to attempt to give a more definite result by matching the number one and number two teams. The problem is that, if it was not always totally clear who deserved to be number one after the bowl games, it is also not totally clear who deserves to be number one and two after the regular season. If there are more than two undefeated teams, or if the championship game includes one game with a single loss while others with the same record don’t go, the result remains controversial.

While it may change by the end of the season, this year there remains several undefeated teams and the possibility exists that a team can remain undefeated but still not make the championship game. Last week Michigan was ranked 4th and 5th in the two major polls, and faced the prospect that it could remain undefeated and possibly still be shut out of the championship game.

Assuming that the BCS Poll mirrors the results of the AP and USA Today Polls, Michigan has now moved up far enough (2nd and 3rd respectively) where this is unlikely. Even a number three ranking gong into the Michigan-Ohio State game, assuming Ohio State remains number one, would virtually guarantee them a spot in the championship game by defeating Ohio State.

The big loser may be the Rose Bowl. Before the BCS was developed, the Rose Bowl had one of the best bowl games every year with the champions of the Big Ten and Big Twelve conferences. If things remain as they are, the Big Ten champion (winner of the Michigan-Ohio State game) would play USC. While a lot can change, most likely as has already happened in recent years, the Rose Bowl will lose at least one of the two conference champions from their traditional match up.

If the results for the Tigers and Wolverines weren’t good enough news, The Detroit Free Press reports on a surge by Jennifer Granholm in the polls.

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