Last week, we took a look at what a 16-team playoff might have looked like for the 2007 season. (Click the link if you need to be reminded of the rules.)
Off we go!
First Round, Dec 8, 2007
(16) Central Michigan 12 @ (1) Ohio State 16, Columbus, OH (Box Score)
32 degrees, light breeze, fog, rain, snow
The Buckeyes take care of business against the Chippewas on a crummy night in central Ohio. The conditions allowed CMU to keep the game close, and as one might expect, the passing games both struggled, but CMU had no answer for Chris Wells, who rumbled for 131 yards on 26 carries.
Ohio State won 9 of the 10 simulated games.
(9) West Virginia 41 @ (8) Kansas 45 in OT, Lawrence, KS (Box Score)
30 degrees, light breeze, cloudy
In a back-and-forth game in which nobody led by more than a touchdown, Kansas held the Mountaineers to a field goal in the first possession of overtime before Brandon McAnderson catches his only pass of the day for a touchdown to take the game for the Jayhawks. WVU QB Steve Slaton rushed for 184 yards and 3 TDs, but the Mountaineers could not stop BMac, who picked up 231 yards on just 20 carries and punched in two TD’s.
Kansas won 9 of the 10 simulated games.
(12) Florida 39 @ (5) Georgia 41, Athens, GA (Box Score)
72 degrees, calm, clear skies
Georgia comes storming back from a 30-17 third quarter deficit to knock Florida out of the playoffs in a rematch of an SEC East battle that came down to the final play of the game. Knowshon Moreno ripped off 198 yards and four touchdowns to carry the Bulldogs, but it was Brandon Coutu’s 26-yard field goal as time expired that gave Georgia the win.
Georgia won 7 of the 10 simulated games.
(13) BYU @ (4) Oklahoma, Norman, OK
So, I checked multiple times, and WhatIfSports doesn’t have the 2007 BYU Cougars. So, Oklahoma will advance in our simulation by a 2-0 score, a forfeit!
(11) Arizona State 34 @ (6) Missouri 41 in OT, Columbia, MO (Box Score)
33 degrees, light breeze, light freezing rain
The second overtime game of our first round, Missouri held ASU out of the endzone on the second possession of the first overtime to advance. Chase Daniel went just 26-41 for 303 yards, but 3 TDs vs zero INTs. That was the difference as ASU’s Rudy Carpenter tossed 4 INTs and Missouri won the turnover battle, 6-1.
Missouri won 7 of the 10 simulated games.
(14) Central Florida 19 @ (3) Virginia Tech 37, Blacksburg, VA (Box Score)
54 degrees, calm, cloudy
Central Florida had to settle for too many field goals and couldn’t keep up with Virginia Tech as the Hokies advance relatively easily after jumping out to a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Virginia Tech won 8 of the 10 simulated games.
(10) Hawaii 37 @ (7) USC 47, Los Angeles, CA (Box Score)
59 degrees, calm, partly cloudy
USC fans got their money’s worth in the first half, but after Hawaii closed to 26-23 early in the third quarter, it was all Trojans. Two garbage time touchdowns kept the final score respectable with Colt Brennan going 34-45 for 394 yards but tossing 3 INTs to go alongside his 3 TDs. USC had two 100-yard rushers in this one.
USC won 7 of the 10 simulated games.
(15) Florida Atlantic 35 @ (2) LSU 13, Baton Rouge, LA (Box Score)
83 degrees, light breeze, partly cloudy
Yep, you read that right, who had Florida Atlantic with the stunner in the first round? The Owls built a 28-0 lead in the second quarter when Matt Flynn couldn’t throw it to the right team. FAU’s Rusty Smith went 28-38 for 327 yards, 3 TDs, and zero INTs. The Owls controlled the clock for just over 35 minutes and LSU was never able to get anything going offensively.
This was the craziest matchup. LSU won 6 of the 10 simulated games, but FAU won the first three and 4 of the first 7. Since FAU won Game 1, the Owls advance.
Second Round, Dec 15, 2007
(8) Kansas 13 @ (1) Ohio State 6, Columbus, OH (Box Score)
30 degrees, light breeze, freezing rain and snow
Down goes Frazier! Doing what they did all year on the road, Kansas wins a close game with its defense. The Buckeyes missed two short field goals of 31 and 27 yards and Todd Boeckman went just 14-38 for 221 yards, no TDs, and 3 INTs. Although OSU outgained Kansas 315-245 in total offense, both offenses stagnated in the wintry conditions as neither team could establish a running game. Chris Wells had 92 yards on 27 carries, while KU’s Brandon McAnderson had just 50 yards on 17 carries.
Ohio State won 7 of the 10 simulated games, but Kansas won Game 1, so KU advances.
(5) Georgia 55 @ (4) Oklahoma 50, Norman, OK (Box Score)
30 degrees, 20 mph wind, cloudy
The Sooners opened up a 30-10 lead early in the second quarter, but Georgia rallied behind 454 passing yards out of Matthew Stafford. The Bulldogs took their first lead of the game at 38-37 with 7:40 to play in the third quarter, and it was back-and-forth the rest of the way. Allen Patrick had a huge day for Oklahoma, chewing up 220 yards on just 17 carries (that’s 12.9 ypc), but in the end Oklahoma couldn’t keep up with Georgia.
Oklahoma won 6 of the 10 simulated games, but Georgia won Game 1, so UGA advances.
(6) Missouri 29 @ (3) Virginia Tech 26, Blacksburg, VA (Box Score)
30 degrees, light breeze, cloudy
With Ohio State going down earlier in the day and LSU falling in the first round, Virginia Tech was the highest remaining seed. Missouri burst out to an early 20-3 lead, and hung on late. Virginia Tech scored with 3:31 remaining to get within one score, but couldn’t get the ball back. Although the Tigers had a tough time slowing down Branden Ore (136 yards on 29 carries), the Hokies had a rough go with Tony Temple (87 yards on 13 carries). But the big hero of the game is MU’s Jeff Wolfert, who canned five field goals.
The two teams split the 10 simulated games, 5-5.
(15) Florida Atlantic 10 @ (7) USC 43, Los Angeles, CA (Box Score)
65 degrees, calm, clear skies
The clock struck midnight on Cinderella pretty early in this one. FAU took an early 7-3 lead but couldn’t get anything going offensively after that. John David Booty tossed 4 TD’s while going 21-29 for 211 yards. The Owls turned it over three times on fourth down.
USC won all 10 simulated games, with FAU getting within 10 points of USC just three times.
Final Four, Jan 5, 2008
(8) Kansas 39 vs (5) Georgia 33 (Box Score)
Trailing 33-21 with just over 12 minutes left to play in the game, the Jayhawks scored 18 unanswered points to knock off Georgia in the first game of the Final Four. Kansas held Knowshon Moreno in check with just 76 yards on 24 carries, while Marcus Henry caught four passes for 186 yards and a touchdown. Todd Reesing finished 18-25 for 370 yards and 3 TDs versus just 1 INT, but was sacked five times by Georgia.
The two teams split the 10 simulated games, 5-5.
(6) USC 29 vs (7) Missouri 32 (Box Score)
The nightcap was equally as thrilling as the first game of the Final Four. USC took a 23-7 lead into halftime, but Missouri stormed back, tying it up with 5:58 to play. A 47-yard Jeff Wolfert field goal with 1:27 remaining was enough for the Tigers, as they held on for the victory. In the end, the key was Missouri keeping USC out of the end zone, forcing the Trojans into five field goals.
Missouri won 6 of the 10 simulated games.
CHAMPIONSHIP, Jan 12, 2008
(8) Kansas 42 vs (6) Missouri 31 (Box Score)
Missouri fan were supremely confident coming into this game due to the results back in Arrowhead Stadium in November, but it seems as though Kansas merely used that as motivation. The Jayhawks picked up right where they left off in that fourth quarter, zipping out to a 28-10 halftime lead. KU finally took its foot off the gas pedal midway through the fourth quarter after the lead was 42-17, and while Missouri put up two garbage time touchdowns late in the game, it was one of the least interesting national championship games in recent memory.
Jake Sharp led KU with 144 yards and 2 TDs on just 14 carries, and Todd Reesing completed 20-23 passes for 294 yards and 2 TDs. Justin Thornton picked off Chase Daniel twice.
Missouri won 6 of the 10 simulated games, but KU won the first one, and that’s all that matters as they Jayhawks win the 2007 College Football Playoff!
(I seriously didn’t do this on purpose, it’s just how it played out this time. I’m sure if I do this 100 times KU wins it maybe, what, five times?)