Other than Boise State, all the top seeds advanced, but how would the teams fair from here? Before we get going, here are the ground rules again.
- As we have been preaching all season (big thanks to Lambeth Field writer brodonnell), it is a 16 team bracket with each conference having an automatic qualifier plus 5 at-large selections.
- They are seeded by the BCS rankings. Hey they got to be good for something!
- First round and Quarterfinal games are played at the higher-seed sites.
- We got help from National Sport Ranking, who run simulations of over 50 sports and teams from decades worth of teams.
- Each matchup was simulated a minimum of 25 times with the later rounds simulated up to 100 times.
- Then each team was put into a bracket formation and simulated to generate box scores consistent to the previous simulation results.
- The stories generated are a representation of how the game would play out based on the box scores.
PLEASE NOTE: This is for informational purposes only and on any given Saturday, any team can win. But with the number of games simulated, we have a very good understanding how it would play out.
Here are our simulations for the final eight teams.
#1 Auburn 22, #8 Arkansas 21
In a classic SEC dual, Arkansas walked into Auburn not afraid of the Tigers. It was the Razorback passing game vs. the ground attack of the Tigers. Ryan Mallet threw for 253 yards and 2 touchdowns, including the go-ahead score to Joe Adams with 2:30 left to go. But that was too much time for Cam Newton (146 yards, TD passing; 80 yards, TD rushing). Cam scored his rushing touchdown as time expired, and instead of kicking the extra point, they went for two. Noticing that the middle linebacker had been spying him all game, it allowed for his tight end to get around him and catch the ball for the two point conversion, and the game winner, 22-21.
#4 Stanford 35, #5 Wisconsin 17
It was a much more inspired effort against Wisconsin than UCF as Andrew Luck passed for 318 yards and 2 touchdowns and ran for 52 more and a touchdown. The key to the victory for the Cardinal was their defense which picked off Scott Tolzien 3 times and only allowed one rushing touchdown, a 2-yard dive from James White. John Clay only had 83 yards on 22 attempts as Stanford was able to shut down the bruiser. What worked for the Badgers against Virginia Tech, was their downfall in this game, as they turned the ball over a total of 5 times, which lead to 28 Stanford points, and that was more than enough to push the Cardinal into the semi-finals.
#3 TCU 29, #6 Ohio State 17
Turnovers were the name of the game in Fort Worth as both TCU and OSU committed 3 each. Both quarterbacks had poor days as well, with Andy Dalton only going 12/17, 208, TD, 2 INT; 47 yards rushing TD and Terrelle Pryor going with out a touchdown on 158 yards, 2 INT passing and 28 yards rushing with a fumble. In the end, the Horned Frogs rushing game took over and scored 3 touchdowns, including a dramatic 62 yard rush by Ed Wesley in the 4 quarter to put the game away. Nerves were kicking in on both sides as TCU had 9 penalties and OSU had 7. But the home field advantage was definitely on TCU’s side and they held on for the 12-point victory.
#2 Oregon 62, #10 Boise State 43
Defense? We don’t need no stinking defense!!! The stat of the game: both teams combined for 1,500+ yards of offense in a rematch of “Punchgate” from 2009. Kellen Moore had 414 yards passing and 3 touchdowns, but it was his 2 interceptions which gave the Ducks a short field for 2 quick touchdowns. That was all Oregon needed as Darron Thomas did his best Denard Robinson imitation. Thomas had 370 yards passing, 3 touchdowns and 39 yards rushing, 3 touchdowns. LaMichael James’ 206 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns were just icing on the cake as Oregon blasted their way past the overmatched Broncos.