Here is my recap of my simulated quarter finals of the NCAA Playoffs which took place Christmas Weekend:
- TCU (3) 24 – Ohio State (6) – 7 (Miami, FL): TCU proved their legitimacy as a three seed by soundly defeating Ohio State 24-7. The TCU defense held Terelle Pryor and his mates to under 200 yards of total offense. TCU was lead on offense by 158 yards rushing by 5’ 9” sophomore running back Ed Wesley. TCU protected the ball and did not have any turnovers, where as Ohio State Junior QB Terelle Pryor, dealing with off field issues, threw 3 picks.
- Stanford (4) 33 – Va Tech (12) 21 (Tempe, AZ): Va Tech played hard and at half held a 21-14 lead. Stanford Junior Quarterback Andrew Luck took over the second half leading three long scoring drives and the Stanford defense completely shut down Va Tech and Sr. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor.
- Arkansas (8) 35 – Auburn (1) – 24 (Miami, FL): In the only upset of the day, Arkansas beat bang up Auburn 35-24. Auburn Junior Quarterback Cam Newton tried to play on a severely sprained ankle but had lost most of his running ability. Forced to throw the ball and become a pocket passer, Newton struggled completing less than 50% of his passes and throwing a couple of picks. Junior QB Ryan Mallett, who was knocked out of the previous loss to Auburn, played a very effective game completing 22-31 passes for 259 yards.
- Three of the top 4 seeds have made the semi finals, with Arkansas, at #8, being the surprise team remaining.
- The Big Ten conference has no teams in the final four. Stanford and Oregon represent the Pac-10, Arkansas the SEC, and TCU the Mountain West.
- TV Ratings were off the charts!!
Next Weekends Matchups to be played in Pasadena, CA (The Rose Bowl Location), times EST:
- Saturday 3pm (Pasadena, CA) – Arkansas (8) vs Stanford (4)
- Saturday 8pm (Pasadena, CA) – TCU (3) vs Oregon (2)
Here is my recap of my simulated first weekend of the NCAA Playoffs:
- Ohio State (6) 28 – LSU (11) 21: Ohio State used the home field advantage to pull out a very close 28-21 win over LSU. LSU, a seasoned team having played 6 games during the season against top 30 teams during the season gave Ohio State all they could handle, but at the end Terrelle Pryor broke of a 24 yard TD with 5 minutes to go and the OSU defense stood.
- Oregon (2) 48 – Miami-OH (15) 10: This game was 34-0 at halftime and Oregon used the second half to rest most of their starters. About as close to a bye as a team can have.
- Fla Int (16) 21 – Auburn (1) – 34: Florida International, who at one time during the 2010 campaign was 0-4, was actually winning this game 14-13 at halftime. A severe ankle sprain to Cam Newton in the first quarter seemed to take the wind out of Auburn. Cinderella’s slipper fell off in the second half as Barrett Trotter (Newton’s backup) kept possession of the ball for nearly 22 minutes in the second half completing 3 long TD drives.
- Boise St (10) 35 – Oklahoma (7) – 34: In a rematch of the infamous 2007 Fiesta Bowl that put Boise St on the map, The Broncos once again got the best of the Sooners. The Broncos went for it on 3 critical fourth downs during the game avoiding having to have snake bit Kyle Brotzman attempt a field goal (he was 5-5 on extra points). A touchdown pass from Kellen Moore to Austin Pettis with 37 seconds to go tied the game. Relief came over the Bronco fans when Brotzman made the extra point.
- Va Tech (12) 31 – Wisconsin (5) – 28: In the NCAA basketball tourney, it seems like every year at least one 5 seed is upset by a 12 seed. The NCAA football tourney proved the same. Va Tech, who started the season 0-2 with loses to Boise St and James Madison continued their hot steak with their 12th straight win 31-28 on the road at Wisconsin. A last second drive lead by Wisconsin QB Scott Tolzien finished short of the End Zone.
- Mich St (9) 17 - Arkansas (8) – 38: In a lopsided affair, MSU was never close. The Score was 21-0 at Halftime as Jason Mallett chewed up the MSU secondary in the first half.
- Connecticut (14) 10 – Texas Christian (45): TCU seemed hell bent on proving to everyone how good they are by pummeling the Big East Champion Connecticut Huskies 45-10. The Score was 35-10 at half time as the Horned Frogs rolled up nearly 350 first half total yards.
- Central Florida (13) 7 – Stanford (4) 41: The Cardinal rolled all over the UCF 41-7. Andrew Luck put the Stanford up 28-0 at halftime and then did not play beyond the first drive of the second half. UCF was never in the game.
- Seeds 1-4 (Auburn, Oregon, TCU, and Stanford) all won, three of them by blowouts. Auburn had the closest game and may have lost Cam Newton for the rest of the tournament.
- There were 2 upsets as Boise St (10th) and Va Tech (12th) each won on the road against higher seeds.
- MSU and Wisconsin loses leave the Big 10 with only Ohio State left. Both Pac-10 teams (Oregon and Stanford) advanced easily. The SEC has two remaining teams (Auburn and Arkansas) having split their two games against Big 10 teams.
Next Weekends Matchups (notice 2 games played in the previous Fiesta and Orange Bowl Locations):
- Friday 7pm (Tempe, AZ) - Boise St (10) vs Oregon (2)
- Saturday 1pm (Miami, FL) – Ohio State (6) vs TCU (3)
- Saturday 5pm (Tempe, AZ) - Va Tech (12) vs Stanford (4)
- Saturday 8pm (Miami, FL) – Arkansas (8) vs Auburn (1)
Michigan High School has a football playoff involving 256 teams in eight 32-team divisions split up by school size. Massachusetts has a similar style playoff (far fewer teams). Texas High School playoff games typically draw tens of thousands of people.
In the NCAA, there are 3 different playoffs for the lower ranking divisions which pit the top 16 teams in a 4-round playoff. The 2009 Champions were Villanova in Div FCS (1-AA), Northwest Missouri State in Div II, and Wisconsin Whitewater in Div III.
So why is it that in the very highest level of amateur football we have, we let the championship be decided by sports writers? Texas Christian University (TCU) won every game they played this year but will not be allowed to play for the Championship because they do not play in one of the six “Power” Conferences. How good are the power conferences? Va Tech, the “Power” Conference ACC Champion is ranked 13th in the BCS Standings, and Connecticut, the “Power” Conference Big East Champion is not even in the top 25!
I have heard the arguments against the college playoff:
- There is more money in having 35 meaningless bowl games:
- Are you kidding me? take March Madness and multiply it by 3 and you get the excitement (and revenue) of a College Football Playoff. Besides, much like the NIT in Basketball, we can ask the Not Invited Teams to play in meaningless bowl games like the Beef’O’Brady’s Bowl in St. Petersburg
- Fans and Alumni will not travel for more than one game:
- First off, a team will probably not make it every year (like they do now) and even with the multiple games you will find plenty of Alumni to travel. Selling tickets to the games will not be a problem
- It is too much to ask the student athletes to do with their college studies:
- Under a playoff system, only 8 teams will still be practicing after this weekend (as it is now, 62 teams are still practicing). Many more student athletes will have more time to study under a playoff system.
- It would take too long:
- Starting a 16 team playoff this weekend would put the Championship game on Saturday January 8th, two days before Oregon plays Alabama for the mythical championship we have now.
All that I want a simple 16 team playoff similar to the other NCAA divisions. Here’s how I would do it:
- There are 11 conferences in the FBS NCAA division, the 11 conference winners qualify automatically.
- You would then have 5 wild card teams. For my purposes I will use the 5 highest non conference winning teams as determined by the BCS rankings.
- I will get grief for having 3 SEC team and 3 Big-10 teams in the playoff, while only having Oklahoma from the Big 12 (Missouri is very good). Maybe it would be better to limit it to two teams per conference, but in any case it is much better to argue over the 15th and 16th teams into a playoff than telling TCU they are not good enough to win a National Championship even though they have pounded everyone.
- The teams will be seeded 1-16, for the opening weekend the higher seeded team will be playing at home. This way their alumni would only have to travel 3 times if the team makes the Championship Game.
In this Blog, I am going to update a fantasy playoff as it would happen. I am going to use computer rankings, simulation, imagination, fingers, toes, and my 8-yr old to come up with the Individual Game Winners which will lead us to a mythical national champion (just like now)! I hope in my lifetime that I see this type of playoff.
Here is the Schedule for the opening weekend of the NCAA FBS Playoffs:
- 7pm EST kickoff: LSU (wild card – 11th seed) at Ohio State (wild card – 6th seed)
- 10pm EST Kickoff: Miami Ohio (MAC – 15th seed) at Oregon (Pac 10 – 2nd seed)
- 7pm EST kickoff: Fla Int (Sun Belt – 16th seed) at Auburn (SEC – 1st seed)
- 10pm EST Kickoff: Boise St (WAC – 10th seed) at Oklahoma (Big 12 – 7th seed)
- 1pm EST kickoff: Va Tech (ACC – 12th seed) at Wisconsin (Big 10 – 5th seed)
- 4pm EST Kickoff: Mich State (Wild Card – 9th seed) at Arkansas (wild card – 8th seed)
- 7pm EST kickoff: Connecticut (Big East – 14th seed) at TCU (Mntn West – 3rd seed)
- 10pm EST Kickoff: UC Fla (Conf USA– 13th seed) at Stanford (wild card – 4th seed)
Check back for updates on how the tournament progresses.