The final BCS rankings of the 2011 college football season are out. At the top of the standings are LSU and Alabama, meaning those two teams will meet in the 2012 BCS National Championship in a rematch of what was dubbed as the "Game of the Century" earlier in the season.
The top of the standings isn't what Michigan fans cared about most, though. Instead it was if the Wolverines made the top 14 of the standings or not. It turns out they did -- Michigan is 13th in the final BCS standings -- which means the Wolverines are eligible for an at-large bid and in turn are headed to the Sugar Bowl to take on Virginia Tech.
The AP Top 25 doesn't play a role in deciding the BCS standings, which is sort of good news for Michigan. Unlike the USA Today Poll, which ranked the Wolverines ahead of Michigan State, the Spartans are the higher ranked team in the AP Top 25. Michigan State is 12th, one spot ahead of Michigan.
Of course, the fact that the human voters think the Wolverines are deserving of being in the top 14 is a good indicator that they will move up enough in the BCS to be eligible for an at-large bid. No, the AP Top 25 doesn't count for the BCS, but the Harris Poll does. There's no telling how similar or dissimilar the polls will be this week, but the AP Top 25 is usually a good indicator of what to expect in the Harris Poll.
If the USA Today Poll is any indication, Michigan is in good shape as far as making the top 14 of the final BCS standings is concerned. The Wolverines got a lot of help on Saturday, and the coaches responded by moving them all the way up to 12th in the Week 15 USA Today Poll. Michigan State is actually one spot behind Michigan despite winning their rivalry game earlier this season. That makes no sense, but there is rarely much sense involved in putting together college football rankings.
Michigan went from 16th to 12th by passing Michigan State, Houston, Georgia and Oklahoma. There was some concern that Baylor might move ahead of the Wolverines after an impressive win against Texas, but the Bears actually got jumped by TCU and Clemson.
The USA Today Poll is only one part of the equation that decides the BCS standings, but this is a very good sign for Michigan. Even if the computer polls don't give Michigan a big jump, the human voters seem more than willing to put the Wolverines in the top 14, which would make them eligible for an at-large berth in the BCS.