Bowl Playoff System: Round 1, Top Half

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Well here we go folks! It’s tournament time.

That’s what we would be saying if there really was a football playoff.  But lucky for us, we can create a bracket and simulate the games.  Before we get into the top half of the first round, here are the ground rules.

  1. 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.
  2. They are seeded by the BCS rankings.  Hey they got to be good for something!
  3. First round and Quarterfinal games are played at the higher-seed sites.
  4. We got help from National Sport Ranking, who run simulations of over 50 sports and teams from decades worth of teams.
  5. Each matchup was simulated a minimum of 25 times with the later rounds simulated up to 100 times.
  6. Then each team was put into a bracket formation and simulated to generate box scores consistent to the previous simulation results.
  7. 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 is the schedule of the Bowl Playoff System:

  • Tuesday, Dec. 14: Top Half, 1st Round
  • Wednesday, Dec. 15: Bottom Half, 1st Round
  • Thursday, Dec. 16: Quarterfinals
  • Monday, Dec. 20: Semifinals
  • Tuesday, Dec. 21: Finals

Without further ado, here is the top half of Round 1

#1 Auburn 34, #16 FIU 3

Cam Newton throws a pic on the first series of the game, which allows the Golden Panthers to kick a field goal.  From there, it was all Auburn.  Newton throws for 12/18, 183 yards, TD and rushes for 101 yards and a touchdown in a 34-3 romp of FIU. The Tiger defense kept FIU under 100 yards rushing and badgered Wesley Carroll all day, including 3 sacks and 2 interceptions.  All and all it was a easy AU win.

#8 Arkansas 22, #9 Michigan State 15

In what looked like a great matchup on paper, turned in to a sloppy game of “who really wanted to win?”  Arkansas jumped to an early 14-0 lead off of two Ryan Mallett touchdown passes.  But MSU’s LeVon Bell scored on a 21-yard scamper right before half to make it 14-7.  The Spartans used that momentum to pick off Mallett twice in the 3rd quarter which led to a Cousins to Keith Nichols 16-yard touchdown.  MSU fumbled the snap of the extra point, but was able to find reserve Larry Caper in the endzone to make it 15-14.  Arkansas got things turned around and Wingo rushed for a touchdown with 6:40 on the clock, and with the 2-point conversion, took the lead 22-15.  Michigan State gets the ball back, but fumbled on the 3rd down play.  All Arkansas had to do was get one first down and the clock would run out, but they fumbled on the 3rd play as well.  Michigan State then had 3 cracks at the endzone from 20 yards out but couldn’t convert, and Arkansas wins 22-15.

#5 Wisconsin 49, #12 Virginia Tech 35

The Hokies put up 534 yards on the day, including 3 Tyrod Taylor touchdowns (2 in the air, one on the ground) and 2 from Darren Evans, but it was their defense who didn’t make the trip to the cheese state.  The Badgers had their way with the Virginia Tech defense and put up and alarming 767 yards on the day.  Tolzien had 3 passing touchdowns, and while Clay (22 attempts, 155 yards) was shut out of the endzone, James White and Montee Ball scored 3 touchdowns combined off of 213 yards rushing.  The key to the game was the two turnovers by Tech, one of a David Wilson fumble and the last one by Taylor, which led to 14 Badger points, and the difference in the game.

#4 Stanford 30, #13 UCF 11

Andrew Luck had a very pedestrian day, by his standards, but still managed 260 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT.  He got some help by his ground game, which combined for 189 yards and 2 touchdowns.  UCF moved the ball well, but was only able to convert one for a touchdown, a 13-yard run by quarterback Jeff Godfrey.  Even more bizarre was this game was a special teams nightmare, as both long snappers botched punt attempts by sailing the ball through the endzone for safeties and UCF blocked an extra point for a two point conversion.  In the end, Stanford was just two much for the Golden Knights.

Hamilton Riley

About Hamilton Riley

Mild mannered contractor by day, sports blogger by insomnia.

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