Tony Ding, Associated Press
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan coach Brady Hoke isn't much of a politician, he's a straight-shooting, aw-shucks kind of guy.
When Hoke was asked if the 17th-ranked Wolverines deserved a BCS bowl bid on Monday, he started off by saying no one in Ann Arbor will make that decision or have anything to do with the questions or answers that'll shake out this week.
Hoke, though, closed with a bit of a pitch.
"Is it deserving? Probably," he said Monday. "A 10-win team out of the Big Ten conference, I think that speaks for itself. "
Michigan closed the regular season Saturday with a 40-34 win over Ohio State, ending a school-record, seven-game losing streak in the storied series.
"There are a lot of text messages that I haven't even seen yet, to be honest with you," Hoke said. "It's nice and it's great that people want to congratulate you, but we're not done with this year yet.
"Our goal was to win the conference championship and we didn't do that, so we got a lot more prove."
The Wolverines are ranked No. 16 in the BCS standings and might need help in conference championship games to move up in the final standings Sunday to be eligible for an at-large invitation to perhaps the Sugar or Fiesta Bowl.
Hoke insisted he doesn't have time to figure out which teams he should root for or against to improve the Wolverines' chances of playing in a BCS bowl for the first time since the 2006 season. He's too busy recruiting and keeping his team "active" while it waits to find out when, where and against whom it will be playing in the postseason.
"There are other people who can look at all that stuff and figure it out," Hoke said. "When they figure it out, they'll tell me."
Michigan's players don't sound that picky.
Other than the fifth-year seniors, who were on the team when Lloyd Carr capped his career at the Capital One Bowl in 2008, the Wolverines have only experienced last season's Gator Bowl blowout loss to Mississippi State that may have sealed the firing of Rich Rodriguez.
"Wherever we end up, we'll be happy about it," Martin said.
Martin and his fellow seniors endured a school-record nine losses just three years ago in Rodriguez's debut season when college football's winningest team didn't qualify for a bowl for the first time since the 1974 season.
The Wolverines weren't much better in 2009, going 5-7, and slumped to a 7-6 record last year in Rodriguez's third and final season.
This year, though, Michigan closed the season with three straight wins and four of five after losing to Michigan State to finish 10-2 with a desperately needed victory over its archrival.
"Those who stay will be champions," said Martin, repeating Bo Schembechler's famous mantra. "It's something that means a lot to us and it relates to us.
"Even though we didn't win the Big Ten championship, we came a long way."
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