Michigan, Wisconsin and Penn State marched around the Capital One & Outback Bowls as though it were a game of musical chairs. And when the music stopped, it was the Nittany Lions who were left without a seat. The Cap One picked first, and with Illinois gone to the BCS, they opted for Michigan. The Outback Bowl had secured an agreement with Wisconsin earlier in the week.
For Michigan, a matchup with Florida is exactly what they need. While the possibility of a blowout is very real, the Wolverines need an opportunity to vindicate their season and establish that the next head coach is not walking into a house in need of major rebuilding. Beating the defending national champs and the possible Heisman winner, in their home state for a national audience would do just that.
Two years ago, Barry Alvarez came here for what was already ordained as his last game. And Wisconsin filled in the last line of his resume, giving him his first win over an SEC team. It will be interesting to see if Michigan is motivated with the same passion to send Lloyd Carr home a winner, or if the uncertainty at the top of the program will instead be a distraction.
Wisconsin drew a date with Tennessee. The Vols won the SEC East and had LSU on the ropes in the conference title game before falling short. The Badgers have beaten SEC teams the last two years in the Capital One Bowl and will look to score the hat trick to get New Year's kicked off. Jeff Potrykus of The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel gives the locals a look at their upcoming opponent.
The instability and disappointing finish surrounding the Michigan football program has served to provide cover for the basketball team, which suffered an embarrassment of its own over the weekend, in losing to Harvard on Saturday. As if that weren't bad enough, the Crimson is now coached by Tommy Amaker...who you may recall was canned by Michigan last month. The Detroit Free Press reports that the Harvard fans chanted "Appalachian State!" at the fallen Wolverines. No, these are not good times in Ann Arbor. It might be time to brush up on hockey and start watching the Red Wings.