Unlike last year, when I didn't manage to post the the results of my college football blowup sim until late February
, this year I'm doing it a month earlier, on January 23, only 13 days after the end of the actual season. Ryan did a sim as well and posted it on the date of the BCS Championship
. I'll take the liberty of letting you follow the link to his post where he links to the origin of the college football reorganization that we came up with and how our sim is structured. Here are some fun facts from my sim this year, then I'll get into the conference breakdowns:
- 7 of my conference champs went 9-0 in conference, while 3 were 8-1 and 2 were 7-2. Tiebreakers were only needed in the 2 conferences where the conference champ was 7-2. 7 teams won their conference by 2 games.
- My strongest conference was the Dixie, who went 66-54 overall.
- The worst conference was a 3 way tie between New England, Tobacco Road, and Mountain West, who went 57-63.
- 3 of my 12 playoff teams from last year returned: Alabama, Boise State, and defending champs, TCU
- Only 2 of the real-life 10 BCS teams made my tournament: Wisconsin and TCU, but 4 of them finished 2nd in their conference. Virginia Tech was only 5-7 (and also had the hardest fall of any 2009 conference champ)
- 3 teams had a losing record last year and won the conference this year: Temple (5-7), Florida State (4-8), and Hawaii (2-10)
- A MAC or Sun Belt team finished in last in 8 of a possible 9 conferences that have a team from 1 of those 2 conferences.
- The Pac-10 was shut out of the tournament
- I had 5 12-0 teams overall, Pittsburgh, Michigan State, Florida State, Oklahoma State, Alabama
- I had 2 0-12 teams overall, Ball State and New Mexico
Here are the results, conference by conference by conference.New England - Champion: Temple
What a shock! Believe it or not, this was not my first MAC team to win a conference. Akron won the Great Lakes in 2008. Things didn't start well for Temple, losing to 4-8 Wyoming and 3-9 UCLA in non-conference, and then to Boston College, but they turned it around and finished the season with 8 straight wins, including a 48-44 2 OT win at Maryland in the final week after being down 24-0.
Order of finish: Temple, Penn State, Maryland, Syracuse, Boston College, UConn, Rutgers, Navy, Buffalo, ArmyAppalachian - Champion: Pittsburgh
The Panthers pulled off one of the 5 12-0 seasons, but did not receive a first round bye due to playing in a 59-61 conference and having a weaker non-conference schedule than Michigan State. Other than a scare at Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh gave everyone a pretty good beatdown while there was a lot of parity throughout the rest of the conference
Order of Finish: Pittsburgh, Kentucky, Cincinnati, West Virginia, Louisville, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Ohio, Marshall, Miami (OH)Great Lakes - Champion: Michigan State
The Spartans won their pivotal game over Ohio State in this not-so-competitive conference to finish 12-0 and get the #4 seed. The Buckeyes also suffered an embarrassing loss to Central Michigan. Michigan finished 3-9 and in 9th place in a conference that only has 3 real life Big Ten and 7 MAC teams.
Order of Finish: Michigan State, Ohio State, Central Michigan, Toledo, Kent State, Western Michigan, Bowling Green, Akron, Michigan, Eastern MichiganTobacco Road - Champion: North Carolina
Last year, Tennessee won this conference by only going 8-4 but held a tiebreaker over North Carolina, who they beat in Knoxville. This year, North Carolina had its revenge, beating Tennessee in Chapel Hill in the final week of the regular season to win the conference title, finish 10-2, and get the #10 seed in the tourney.
Order of Finish: North Carolina, Tennessee, Duke, Vanderbilt, East Carolina, Memphis, NC State, Middle Tennessee, Wake Forest, Western KentuckyMidwest - Champion: Wisconsin
The Badgers blew through this conference, going 9-0 and 11-1 overall, with their only loss at Oklahoma. The rest of the conference had a decent amount of parity, with some surprises, like Notre Dame finishing 9-3 (7-2) with that one non-conference loss at home to Florida International, or Indiana finishing 7-5 (5-4) somehow. Things didn't go so well for Purdue and Minnesota who finished (3-6) 4-8 and (2-7) 3-9 for 7th and 9th, respectively. What was Purdue's reward for that 7th place finish? A trip to Blacksburg to face Virginia Tech next year!
Order of Finish: Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Iowa, Indiana, Northern Illinois, Illinois, Purdue, Northwestern, Minnesota, Ball StateFlorida - Champion: Florida State
Whatifsports must not like Bobby Bowden, because after a 4-8 season last year and his retirement, they finish a perfect 12-0 this year. They did seem pretty beatable though, barely winning most games and went relatively unchallenged non-conference, beating 0-12 Ball State and 1-11 Arkansas State.
Order of Finish: Florida State, Florida, Southern Miss, Miami (FL), Central Florida, Tulane, South Florida, Florida International, Troy, Florida AtlanticGreat Plains - Champion: Oklahoma State
The Great Plains had 6 great teams and 4 terrible teams. Nebraska seemed to be in the driver's seat early in the year, starting 6-0 until they got blown out by Arkansas, Oklahoma State, and Kansas State 3 weeks in a row. This set up Oklahoma-Oklahoma State as the showdown of the season, which was won by the Cowboys at home, 48-45.
Order of Finish: Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas State, Tulsa, Iowa State, Kansas, Arkansas StateDixie - Champion: Alabama
The Crimson Tide, who disappointed a little in real life this year, dominated this conference, and went 12-0 and got the #1 seed in the tournament. They beat real life national champs Auburn 61-7 (who only finished 7-5) and got big wins over Boise State and Ohio State in non-conference play. This was the strongest conference this year by win-loss record.
Order of Finish: Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Auburn, Georgia Tech, Ole Miss, Clemson, UAB, Mississippi State, Louisiana-MonroeGulf Coast - Champion: TCU
TCU won this conference by 2 games, but it wasn't without its share of crazy upsets. TCU lost to Rice. LSU, who looked to be in good shape after that TCU loss, lost 3 absolute blowouts in a row to Texas A&M, TCU, and Texas. A&M couldn't capitalize on the TCU loss either, losing to TCU, Houston, and SMU. SMU is overcoming the "Death Penalty" in the sim, just like in real life, finishing 8-4 and in 3rd place this year.
Order of Finish: TCU, LSU, SMU, Texas A&M, Rice, Houston, Texas, Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Lafayette, North TexasMountain West - Champion: Air Force
This crazy, parity filled conference has no real national powerhouses, so it was only natural that someone like Air Force could pull it out. One of the 3 weakest conferences, only Baylor went 3-0 in the non-conference schedule, but only went 4-5 in conference play. Colorado, Texas Tech, and BYU all held the lead at some point, but in the end it was Air Force who barely squeaked by Colorado, Texas Tech, and BYU to clinch the conference title with a week to play. Had BYU beaten Air Force, Colorado would have won. Since Air Force did not need to win in the final week, they didn't, losing to UTEP to finish 8-4.
Order of Finish: Air Force, Colorado, BYU, UTEP, Texas Tech, Baylor, Colorado State, New Mexico State, Wyoming, New MexicoGreat Basin - Champion: Boise State
This conference came down to one game, Oregon at Boise State, which Boise won 38-27. Boise pretty much dominated conference play, capped by the biggest blowout of the year, a 94-3 win over Utah State. However, both Boise State and Oregon finished 10-2, with Boise losing to Alabama and Ohio State in non-conference play and Oregon losing to old QB Jeremiah Masoli and Ole Miss in week 1.
Order of Finish: Boise State, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Oregon State, Washington, Idaho, Washington State, Utah State, UNLVCalifornia - Champion: Hawaii
This may have been the biggest surprise of them all, considering that Stanford won the national title in Ryan's sim. This was the craziest conference for parity, with a 5-way tie for first place with 2 games to go between the top 6 finishers listed below, minus California. In the end it was Stanford and Hawaii who finished tied with a 10-2 (7-2) record, but it was Hawaii who got the critical 27-20 win at Stanford in Week 9 that put the Warriors in the tournament. Hawaii's conference losses were to Arizona and San Diego State, while Stanford blew their chance at winning it by also losing to Arizona State at home
Order of Finish: Hawaii, Stanford, California, San Diego State, Arizona, Arizona State, USC, UCLA, San Jose State, Fresno State
Well the tournament is set here are the results:First Round#8 Hawaii vs. #9 Boise State
- Hawaii wins 37-33 in 2 OT. Boise State took a low scoring 13-9 lead into the 4th quarter. In the 4th, Austin Pettis scored on a touchdown pass with 3:24 to go, only to have Hawaii answer with a touchdown by Kealoha Pilares with 44 seconds to go, sending thegame into OT at 23-23. Each team scored a TD in the 1st OT, and in the 2nd OT, Boise opened with a field goal, but Alex Green scored on a 25 yard run to send Hawaii to the 2nd round. The 2 teams combined for 853 passing yards and 6 TD passes.#5 Pittsburgh vs. #12 Air Force
- Pittsburgh wins 24-17. Pittsburgh opened up an early 17-0 from touchdowns by Ray Graham and Mike Shanahan (probably not the Redskins coach). Air Force fought back, tying the game at 17 in the 4th, but Pittsburgh sealed the win with a Devin Street TD with 5:36 to go.#6 TCU vs. #11 Temple
- TCU wins 53-10 - TCU dominated this game in every way imaginable, taking a 34-3 lead into the 4th. After a Temple TD at the very beginning of the 4th, things got ugly. TCU kicked a field goal, scored on a safety, scored another offensive TD, and to top it off, scored on a 71 yard interception return for a TD by Jurell Thompson. TCU didn't need to do much on offense, because Temple QB Mike Gerardi threw 5 interceptions, giving the Horned Frogs good field position.#7 Wisconsin vs. #10 North Carolina
- Wisconsin wins 41-34 - Both teams traded scoring throughout the entire game, with Wisconsin taking the biggest lead of the game, 11 points, into half time. North Carolina fought back and took a 27-24 lead early in the 4th. Wisconsin recaptured the lead, thanks to a field goal and a Montee Ball 62 yard TD run. North Carolina tied the game at 34 with 1:51 to go, seemingly sending it to Overtime. But on the first play of their next posession, John Clay scored on a 58 yard TD run to put Wisconsin in the lead for good. The Tar Heels had no answer for Ball and Clay, who ran for 299 yards and 3 TDsQuater Finals#1 Alabama vs. #8 Hawaii
- Alabama wins 45-30 - Alabama jumped to an early 24-7 lead, fueld by 3 Mark Ingram TDs, but Hawaii fought back, tying the game at 24 in the 3rd quarter. After that point, Alabama scored 3 more TDs while Hawaii could only muster up 2 more field goals. Greg McElroy was on target for the Crimson Tide, completing 21 of 28 passes for 367 yards and 2 TDs.#4 Michigan State vs. #5 Pittsburgh
- Pittsburgh wins 41-27 - Michigan State entered the 4th quater with a 20-17 lead, and even had a 27-24 lead with 8 minutes to go, but then everything fell apart. The Panthers retaliated with a TD to take a 31-27 lead. On the following drive, Kirk Cousins threw an INT which led to another Pittsburgh TD, and Edwin Baker fumbled the ball on the first play of Michigan State's final drive to seal the win for Pittsburgh. Dion Lewis ran for 218 yards and 2 TDs for Pittsburgh#3 Florida State vs. #6 TCU
- TCU wins 45-13 - The Horned Frogs had their way with the previously undefeated Seminoles. Florida State QB Christian Ponder only completed 20 of 42 passes as the TCU defense dominated again. Ed Wesley went crazy for TCU as well, running for 161 yards and 4 TDs#2 Oklahoma State vs. #7 Wisconsin
- Oklahoma State wins 31-23 - The Badgers dominated the first half and early into the 2nd half, but kicked more field goals than TDs to take a 23-10 lead. After that, it was all Oklahoma State. Kendall Hunter scored on a 53 yard TD run to cut the game to 23-17, and in the 4th quarter, Brandon Weeden connected with Justin Blackmon for 2 TD passes to give the Cowboys the win. Ball and Clay, who ran like crazy on North Carolina in the first round, were held to only 63 yards rushing (Clay did have both Wisconsin TDs though)Semi-Finals#1 Alabama vs. #5 Pittsburgh
- Alabama wins 30-6 - Pittsburgh's highlight reel ended in the 1st quarter, as they took a 3-0 lead into the 2nd. Alabama went crazy in the 2nd, Scoring 23 points on 3 TDs (with a missed PAT) and a field goal, two of those TDs scored by Mark Ingram. Both teams added their final points in the 3rd and went scoreless in the 4th. McElroy threw for 313 yards and 3 TDs for the Tide.#2 Oklahoma State vs. #6 TCU
- Oklahoma State wins 40-16 - OKLAHOMA STATE ARE MEN!! THEY SCORED 40!!
Much like the other semifinal, the Cowboys entered the 2nd quater with a 6-3 lead, then scored 24 points in the 2nd to take a 30-6 lead into half time. Andy Dalton's 3rd consecutive below average playoff game finally cost the Horned Frogs, and Oklahoma State's offensive stars exploded: 193 yards and 2 TDs for Kendall Hunter, 120 yards receiving for Justin Blackmon, and 321 yards and 2 TDs for QB Brandon Weeden.The Championship Game#1 Alabama vs. #2 Oklahoma State
- Oklahoma State wins 41-33 - The semi-finals set up an interesting #1 vs. #2 national championship between 2 14-0 teams. Kendall Hunter scored on a goaline rush to give the Cowboys an early 7-0 lead, which was answered by Mark Ingram to tie it at 7. Bo Bowling scored on a TD catch for Oklahoma State, which as also answered by Alabama, in the form of a Darius Hanks TD catch from McElroy, tying the game at 14 heading into the 2nd. Each team kicked a field goal in the 2nd, giving us a 17-17 tie at half time. In the 3rd, Trent Richardson ran in a TD for Alabama, which was answered by another Cowboy field goal, giving the Tide a 24-20 lead heading into the 4th. Oklahoma State wasted no time taking the lead back, as Weeden connected to Michael Harrison. Alabama retalliated, scoring on a 33 yard TD catch by Marquis Maze (missing the PAT) and kicking a field goal to go up 33-27 with 5:45 to go. Oklahoma State answered wtih a Weeden to Blackmon TD to give the Cowboys a 34-33 lead (thanks to that missed PAT). Alabama went 4 and out, setting up a final Kendall Hunter TD run to give the Cowboys and crazy Mike Gundy a National Championship!
So, just like last year, these sims are time consuming, but a lot of fun! I'm looking forward to doing this again next year.
Labels: BCS, NCAA Football, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Simulation