It's been a brutal Big Ten season—especially with the best team, Ohio State, forced to stay home for the holidays thanks to Jim Tressel being an egregious violator of NCAA regulations (the NCAA doesn't really appreciate that), but with the cream rising to the top there's some new chatter about the Big Ten getting an at-large bid in the BCS.
The way it works is this: Nebraska is two spots away from a Top 14 ranking in the BCS, and with so many SEC teams also in the mix (and the BCS only able to accommodate two teams from any conference), basically anyone outside the SEC who gets into the Top 14 is getting a look from the BCS.
Then there's Michigan, who's in the Top 25 and has an opportunity to rocket up the charts with two more wins—especially with one coming against Ohio State. More importantly, like Alabama last year (and this is the only time we're ever comparing that team to Michigan), the Wolverines have the benefit of being second in their division and thus not taking a conference championship loss en route to being the second-best team in the conference.
ESPN.com has a breakdown of what Michigan needs to have happen around the nation for an at-large bid to fall into place. It involves a lot of losing above the Wolverines in the standings.
We'll make it easier for everyone who's trying to keep up with this: NOOOOOOOOOOPE.
It's not happening. Won't even come close.
Credit goes to Adam Rittenberg and ESPN.com for concocting scenarios in their heads (we of the darkest timeline approve, obviously), but this requires so much help from other teams that it strains credulity past the breaking point. One of the things Michigan is supposed to root for, for example, is Maryland beating Florida State. Come on.
There's also the fact that this is all predicated on Michigan beating Ohio State, and that is one hell of an assumption to base your postseason fantasies on. You know what Michigan beating Ohio State would be called? A massive upset. We're not talking Maryland over FSU levels of implausibility here, but we are confident in assuming that one's going the way of the scarlet and gray.
Look, we know how nice it is to hope good things will happen in your conference. That hope is all that's gotten us through this season. But two Big Ten teams in the BCS? Not happenin'. Let's just accept that now and spare ourselves the disappointment come December.