So who's going to the Rose Bowl? Following wins today by Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin, there's a 3-way tie atop the Big Ten with all 3 teams posting records of 11-1, 7-1 in conference play. So how does the tiebreaker work to determine who's going to the Rose Bowl? Here's the rule breakdown:
A. Rose Bowl. Unless ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in the final BCS poll, the conference champion shall participate in the Rose Bowl. The championship shall be determined on the percentage basis of conference games (tie games counts ½ win and ½ loss). If there is a tie for the championship, the Rose Bowl representative will be determined as follows:
1. An ineligible team shall not be considered in the standings for determination of the conference representative.
2. If there is a tie for the championship, the winner of the game between these two teams shall represent the conference.
3. If there is still a tie, or if the tied teams did not play each other, the representative shall be determined on the percentage basis of all games played.
4. If there is still a tie, the highest-ranked team in the final BCS standings shall be the representative.
5. If more than two teams tie for the championship, the same selection procedures shall be followed with the following exceptions:
a. If three teams are tied, and if one team defeated both of the other teams, then that team shall be the representative.
b. If three teams are still tied, and if two of the three teams defeated the third team, the third team is eliminated, and the remaining two teams shall revert to the two-team tie procedure.
c. If three teams are still tied, and there is a tie game between two of the three teams, or if two or all three of the teams did not play each other, the representative shall be determined on a percentage basis of all games played.
d. If three teams are still tied, and one of the three teams is eliminated through the percentage basis of all games played, the remaining two teams shall revert to the two-team tie procedure.
e. If three teams are still tied, and all three teams have the same winning percentage of all games played, the highest-ranked team in the final BCS standings shall be the representative.
So here's how it breaks down. Wisconsin beat Ohio State. Michigan State beat Wisconsin. Ohio State and Michigan State didn't play each other this season. All three teams have the same record in conference, and overall. Therefore, we go down to paragraph e. The BCS standings are going to decide who represents the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl. AWESOME! Gotta love those secret computer formulas. Going into today the BCS standings had Wisconsin 7th, Ohio State 8th and Michigan State 10th. That'll likely change as Boise State (4th), LSU (5th) and Oklahoma State (9th) all lost this weekend. However, barring any major changes that means it's looking like Wisconsin is going to Pasadena. All things being equal though, I think they have the best case. They beat Ohio State and they didn't have a bad loss (Michigan State's 37-6 loss to Iowa). They've also put up 70+ points twice in their last three games. We'll see how it all shakes out though. Nothing like a little BCS controversy, right?