Michigan Football: Wolverines' 5 Most Likely Bowl Opponents
With Nebraska's victory over Penn State on Saturday, Michigan's Big Ten title hopes took a huge hit. Those hopes now basically rest on Iowa beating Nebraska the day after Thanksgiving.
Even if that happens, Michigan would still then have to win in Columbus the following day.
The odds of those two scenarios happening is slim, so it looks like Michigan will wind up in the Capital One Bowl. Who will the opponent be?
Here's a look at the five most likely SEC teams that could potentially wind up playing Michigan.
5. South Carolina
This wouldn't be a bad matchup for Michigan, especially with Marcus Lattimore out. South Carolina basically fell out of SEC East contention in mid-October with back-to-back losses to LSU and Florida.
The Gamecocks are already done with conference play, as they finished 6-2. Their overall record is 8-2, but they still do have a big game to close out the year—traveling to take on Clemson.
It's likely that both LSU and Texas A&M finish the year with a conference record of 6-2 as well, which would set up a three-way tie.
LSU holds the tiebreaker over Carolina, but the Gamecocks didn't face Texas A&M this year. There's a good chance that both LSU and A&M would be more popular picks for this game, making South Carolina not too likely to end up here.
4. Texas A&M
Texas A&M is currently 5-2 in conference play, with only one SEC game remaining. That game is against Missouri at home, which at this point looks like a definite win.
That would put the Aggies at 6-2, creating the likely three-way tie mentioned earlier.
Texas A&M seems to be growing immensely in popularity after its upset win at Alabama. Plus, Johnny Manziel makes this an attractive team to watch.
However, would the Capital One Bowl choose A&M over a powerhouse name like LSU?
This would be a nightmare scenario if Michigan met LSU.
LSU is a lot like Alabama, and Michigan just isn't quite ready to compete at that level yet.
We've already seen this year how good LSU can be at times, as it nearly beat Alabama before losing in the final minute.
The Tigers have two losses by a total of 12 points, the other coming on the road at Florida.
LSU closes out the year with Ole Miss and Arkansas, both looking like definite wins. Michigan fans better hope that LSU winds up somewhere other than Orlando.
These last two choices is where it really gets tricky. Georgia has locked up the SEC East and will likely play Alabama in the championship, but what happens if Georgia loses that game?
Do the Bulldogs still get an at-large bid? That could depend on whether the game is close or not.
It could also come down to a number of other things, including which fanbase would draw more money: Florida's or Georgia's?
If Florida beats Florida State in its final game and Georgia loses to Alabama, then it will likely be Florida getting the at-large bid.
However, I don't think Florida will beat the 'Noles, setting up a heated debate on whether Georgia or Florida deserves to be in a BCS game more.
Michigan fans should love it if this matchup happens. Sure, Florida plays great defense, but a dismal offense would set up for this to be a game that comes down to the wire.
Plus, we all remember what happened last time Michigan met Florida. Sure, the names and faces are all very different now, but it would still set up a great atmosphere and make for a great game.
As mentioned earlier, we probably won't know if Florida or Georgia will get that second at-large bid, setting up a lot of suspense.
Heck, don't rule out LSU either. They could still sneak in and get that bid.
Either way, it should set up for a very suspenseful final few weeks of the season!