Well, here it is. My college football simulation and the results. Please look to yesterday's post
to get all the details. now, let's take a look at some interesting trends I noticed, then we'll go conference by conference and look at the results. One thing I should note is that the title game (our made up version) is actually at the Superdome this year, not that it's particularly relevant. Anyways, some trends.
- Every conference had a 9-0 in-conference team, making conference tie breakers unnecessary. That was nice.
- The "Dixie" conference was the strongest this year, as they were last year.
- The Great Lakes and Mountain West were tied for the bottom spot.
- 5 BCS teams didn't even make the tournament, including Georgia Tech, who finished 9th in their conference. The ones who made it? Ohio State, Florida, Alabama, Texas, Boise State.
- Speaking of surprisingly poor teams, Florida State, Illinois, Maryland and Iowa State all finished last in their respective conferences.
- There were 5 undefeated teams overall, Penn State, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Alabama and Texas.
- There were 3 winless teams overall, Miami (OH), Florida State (!) and Washington State.
That said, let's take a look at the results!
New England: 2009 Champion - Penn State
2010 - Penn State. The Nittany Lions were the first to claim their conference this season as a group behind them struggled to 5-4 records in conference. Penn State became the #2 seed. Due to tiebreakers, a couple of surprises, Temple and Syracuse, ended up 2nd and 3rd.
Order of finish: Penn State, Temple, Syracuse, Boston College, Rutgers, Connecticut, Army, Buffalo, Navy, Maryland.
Appalachian: 2009 Champion - West Virginia
2010 - Virginia Tech. The Hokies won the conference for the 2nd time in 3 years in what was a very top heavy conference. They defeated both West Virginia and Cincinnati (who also lost to Pitt) to win. 2 out of conference losses to Rutgers and North Carolina State knocked Virginia Tech down a peg, and they were the 10 seed. Just like every year, Pitt finished 4th.
Order of finish: Virginia Tech, Cincinnati, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia, Louisville, Marshall, Miami (OH).
Great Lakes - 2009 Champion - Ohio State
2010 - Ohio State. The Buckeyes have yet to be challenged in this conference. For the first time, however, someone other than Western Michigan earned 2nd. That team was Michigan State. Perhaps someone other than Ohio State will win it sometime. Come on, Bowling Green! The Buckeyes were the 11th seed, owing to a 10-2 record and an abysmal conference.
Order of finish: Ohio State, Michigan State, Central Michigan, Kent State, Michigan, Bowling Green, Akron, Toledo, Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan.
Tobacco Road - 2009 Champion - Tennessee
2010 - North Carolina. This is usually the most confusing conference to sort out, but this year, thanks to the Tar Heels ability to win out in their conference, and the general parity in the rest of the conference, they were able to win by 2 games. A loss at Michigan State to open the season meant they were knocked down to the 6 seed.
Order of finish: North Carolina, Middle Tennessee State, Tennessee, East Carolina, North Carolina State, Memphis, Duke, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, Western Kentucky.
Midwest - 2009 Champion - Iowa
2010 - Wisconsin. Last year, Iowa won the conference, surprising many. This year in the real world, the Hawkeyes were incredible, even winning a BCS game. Could the same thing happen for the Badgers next year? They went undefeated for the season, but due to a shoddy conference had to play in the first round as the 5th seed. Notre Dame continues to hilariously struggle.
Order of finish: Wisconsin, Iowa, Northwestern, Northern Illinois, Notre Dame, Indiana, Purdue, Ball State, Illinois
Florida - 2009 Champion - Florida
2010 - Florida. The Gators have won their namesake conference every year that we have had the simulation, one of three teams to do this (Ohio State and a team still to come are the others). This year they had legitimate competition, however, as they beat Miami to give them their only loss on the year. Florida lost a non-conference game to Alabama and were knocked down to the 7 seed. Somehow,
Order of finish: Florida, Miami (FL), Central Florida, Southern Miss, South Florida, Tulane, Troy, Florida International, Florida Atlantic, Florida State.
Great Plains - 2009 Champion - Missouri
2010 - Oklahoma. The Sooners were the beneficiary of a key home game against what might have been the actual best team in conference, just like they were on the wrong end of that last year. They handled Nebraska easily at home, and despite not having Sam Bradford, were able to win the conference easily. Other than Nebraska, the other teams played surprisingly weak. The Sooners were the 3 seed in the tournament.
Order of finish - Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Arkansas State, Kansas State, Arkansas, Kansas, Tulsa, Iowa State
Dixie - 2009 Champion - Alabama
2010 - Alabama. The strongest conference last year was the strongest again this year. Alabama was never really challenged during the conference schedule, which just served to show how strong the Crimson Tide was. There was a lot of infighting, and Georgia ended up 2 games back, but 2 games ahead of the next team, Mississippi. They ended up the #1 seed.
Order of finish: Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Clemson, South Carolina, Auburn, Mississippi State, Louisiana -Monroe, Georgia Tech, UAB
Gulf Coast - 2009 Champion - TCU
2010 - Texas. Texas always seems to have a problem with a random team, usually Louisiana Tech for some reason. Not this season. They even won at TCU to make it clear they were the best team in conference. Well, as much as a 9-6 game can be clear. But those two teams were the class of the conference. Some day LSU will be competetive here.
Order of finish: Texas, TCU, LSU, Louisiana Tech, SMU, Houston, Louisiana - Lafayette, Texas A&M, North Texas, Rice
Mountain West - 2009 Champion - BYU
2010 - Texas Tech. The Red Raiders missed out last year when they probably had their best team in the schools history. Somehow, this year, they won on the road at BYU and ended up taking the conference. The Mountain West continues to be a weak conference and is yet to put anyone in the tournament who isn't the 12 seed, which Texas Tech was again.
Order of finish: Texas Tech, BYU, Air Force, Colorado, Baylor, Colorado State, Wyoming, New Mexico, UTEP, New Mexico State
Great Basin - 2009 Champion- Boise State
2010 - Boise State. The Broncos struggled out of the gate, with losses to TCU and BYU, but ended up besting a stable of good teams who ended up beating each other to the point that the closest team, Oregon State, was two games back. Interestingly, Oregon went 0-2 against teams from Idaho, which not many BCS teams could ever say. Boise State was the 8th seed.
Order of finish: Boise State, Oregon State, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Idaho, Utah State, Washington, UNLV, Washington State
California - 2009 Champion - USC
2010 - USC. USC has won this conference every year we have done the simulation. They went 8-4 this year in the real world, but had a generous schedule in the simulation and a rather weak conference allowed them to make their way back to the tournament. Last year's 1 seed ended up being the 9 seed this year, however, thanks to non conference losss to Boise State and TCU.
Order of finish: USC. Stanford, California, Fresno State, San Diego State, Arizona, UCLA, Arizona State, San Jose State, Hawaii
This has certinaly taken a lot longer to write than I expected. Just a little bit more! Hopefully you are still reading. Lets take a look at the games:
Peach Bowl - #8 Boise State beats #9 USC 32-30 on a last second field goal. Jeremy Avery ended up with 2 TDs and 122 yards writing.
Gator Bowl - #5 Wisconsin over #12 Texas Tech 24-17. Another close game but John Clay ran all over the Red Raiders for 183 yards.
Citrus Bowl - #11 Ohio State tops #6 North Carolina in what is technically an upset. Brandon Saine led the well in a stout ground attack.
Liberty Bowl - #7 Florida narrowly escaped #10 Virginia Tech 27-24. The Hokies missed a last second field goal to send it to overtime. Ryan Williams still rushed for more than 200 yards in a losing effort.
On to the quarterfinals....
Orange Bowl - #1 seed Alabama left no doubt, destroying Boise State 36-14. Mark Ingram had 201 yards and three TDs.
Cotton Bowl - Essentially a home game for the #4 Texas Longhorns, they played like it, nipping Wisconsin 27-10. Jordan Shipley caught 2 touchdowns.
Sun Bowl - Ohio State and their committee based ground game continued their run, topping #3 Oklahoma 28-14.
Fiesta Bowl - A rematch of last years semifinal, Florida avenged their loss, winning 19-10 over #2 Penn State.
The Final four!
Rose Bowl - Alabama and Mark Ingram made like the real National Championship, winning 31-13 over Texas to secure a trip to the National Championship.
Sugar Bowl - Ohio State and Florida is another rematch of a real life title game. It played out similarly, with the Gators winning easily, 27-7.
And in the national championship, it was a rematch of this years real life SEC Championship. It was the same score as the Sugar Bowl as well. Despite only 17 yards passing, Tim Tebow got his vindication, winning 27-7 for the Victoria Times National Championship.
Next year, we have the new pods, new conferences that everyone will play. Those pods: Dixie-Great Basin - Appalachian and Great Lakes in pod one, New England, Florida, Gulf Coast and Midwest in pod 2 and Tobacco Road, California Great Plains and Mountain West in pod 3. It was a lot of work, and would be a lot easier if this was just instituted already. So what did I learn?
- Schedules are very important to a teams' result. Not just who they play, but WHERE they play.
- There are so many teams in Division 1 that we will never be able to get all of the best teams in a tournament. On the other hand, every game can still be important.
- While I agree a tournament would be fun, I would hate to see anything that didn't follow this blueprint.
I hope you enjoyed this stunningly long post. If you want to know more about your team and what happened, or who they play next year, let me know and I'll fill you in!
Labels: Florida Gators, NCAA Football, Simulation