With a little over a month before the season kicks off and the SCS.com season previews in full swing, it was a perfect time for the new NCAA Football video game to come out last week. As a break from real previews, I thought we should do something fun and see how the game system thinks the 2006 season will go in college football.
Who wins the BCS title this season? Who wins the conference titles and who goes bowling? Here is your chance to find out with short week-by-week recaps of the "fantasy" action.
1. Ohio State
Week 1 (9/2)
In the game of the week, #11 Florida State got an early lead against #12 Miami but could not hold it and fell 21-14. #18 Tennessee got all over #15 Cal in Neyland Stadium 45-17. #7 Auburn barely got by Washington State 24-23, and the big news of the week was Arkansas knocking off national title contender USC 38-35. USC drops out of the top ten, and everyone moves up, including Miami into the top ten.
Week 2 (9/9)
In the biggest game of the September schedule, #1 Ohio State came from 15 points behind in the 4th quarter to force overtime at #2 Texas, but the 'Horns would not allow vengeance as they won 40-34 in a single OT. #11 Penn State and #3 Notre Dame had a classic game in South Bend, with PSU giving up a 17-7 lead at halftime (28-17 ND at beginning of 4th quarter) and then getting it back with a last-second rally to win 31-28. The new top five in order is Texas, LSU, Florida, Auburn, and Oklahoma.
Week 3 (9/16)
This week featured five huge games with two ranked teams playing each other. The game of the week had #2 LSU running off 28 unanswered second half points to pummel #4 Auburn on the road 38-21. #3 Florida similarly ran off 13 unanswered in the 4th quarter to defeat #13 Tennessee on the road 24-21. #10 Miami kept the road wins coming with a 33-19 beating of #9 Louisville. The trend continued as #12 Michigan dropped #11 Notre Dame to 1-2 after the Wolverines win 45-29. Finally, #14 USC defended the home turf against #18 Nebraska 42-23. LSU took the top spot away from Texas in the polls, with Florida, Ohio State, and West Virginia rounding out the new top five.
Week 4 (9/23)
In the game of the week, #4 Ohio State destroyed #7 Penn State 38-7. #25 Arkansas stayed undefeated and got off to a good SEC start with a 45-24 win over #19 Alabama. #23 Arizona State ran away with a game at #21 Cal 39-21. Maybe the polls saw something coming as the story of the week was unranked Iowa State upsetting #2 Texas 35-28. This leaves the top five like this: LSU (4-0), Florida (4-0), Ohio State (3-1), West Virginia (4-0), and Miami (3-0).
Week 5 (9/30)
In their third game of the week of the month, #3 Ohio State continued to put up impressive numbers by handing #10 Iowa their first loss 35-3. Steve Spurrier showed plenty of coaching prowess keeping #20 South Carolina undefeated after holding off #7 Auburn 38-34. #2 Florida kept on top of the world by beating visiting #25 Alabama 35-17. #18 Oregon's undefeated season went up in smoke at #19 Arizona State 42-7. The top 5 stays the same going into October.
Week 6 (10/7)
For the second time this season, a top two team battle occurred, and #2 Florida blew a 28-0 lead against #1 LSU to eventually lost in overtime to the Tigers 37-31. #7 Oklahoma took home the Red River Rivalry against #9 Texas, handing the Longhorns their second loss in a row 35-30. #12 Tennessee dropped #23 Georgia to 3-3 after a 33-14 beating. #15 Auburn also held off #20 Arkansas 34-21, removing them from national title talk. The new top five is LSU, Ohio State, West Virginia, Miami, and Michigan. Let the debate begin, as three undefeated teams are behind the Buckeyes.
Week 7 (10/14)
#10 Penn State made a statement in the Big Ten by knocking off previously undefeated #5 Michigan 35-10. #14 Auburn killed #7 Florida's national title chances with a 24-17 win. #9 USC outscored #18 Arizona State 21-0 in the final quarter to win by 10. In a battle of undefeated Big XII teams, #20 Colorado beat #13 Texas Tech 31-28 in a nail-biter. The new top five is LSU, OSU, WVU, Miami, and one-loss Oklahoma. Other undefeated teams not getting respect are #9 Virginia Tech, #14 South Carolina, #16 Colorado, and unranked Boise State.
Week 8 (10/21)
The game of the week saw one more undefeated fall, as #16 Colorado got spanked at #5 Oklahoma 49-10. #20 Nebraska shocked #15 Texas 45-38 and gave the defending national champs their third loss after a promising start. #12 Michigan won an important Big Ten battle with #17 Iowa 31-22. #10 Tennessee will stay in the top 10 after holding off #25 Alabama 38-23. All other undefeated teams won, keeping the rankings similar to last week.
Week 9 (10/28)
The first BCS poll came out, and the polls were vindicated as the same top 5 held suit (LSU, OSU, WVU, Miami, Oklahoma). On the field, #9 Virginia Tech stayed undefeated against Clemson, but it took two overtimes to win 20-17. Just when you thought #23 Texas was sliding away, they knock off #15 Teas Tech 35-14. #14 Florida held off a furious rally between the hedges at #25 Georgia 38-36. In the game of the week, #10 Tennessee gave #13 South Carolina their first loss 32-18. The top five changed slightly as Miami took #3 away from West Virginia, who dropped to #4.
Week 10 (11/4)
Undefeated teams got a run for their money this week. #3 Miami won the ACC battle with undefeated #9 Virginia Tech 34-21. #10 Tennessee knocked off #1 LSU 24-13 by running off two unanswered fourth quarter touchdowns. #4 West Virginia dropped out of national title contention with a loss at #9 Louisville 27-20. #23 Boise State held onto their undefeated record in a 17-13 tight battle with Fresno State. #15 South Carolina won an important SEC game against #16 Arkansas 48-21. #6 Penn State won a battle of one-loss Big Ten teams by beating #24 Wisconsin 38-10. After all this carnage, the top five looks as follows: Miami (9-0), Ohio State (9-1), Oklahoma (8-1), Penn State (9-1), Louisville (7-1). The only other undefeated team, #22 Boise State, cannot catch a break in the polls.
Week 11 (11/11, what a coincidence)
A quiet week compared to last week, the best game featured #7 LSU stopping their slide by defeating #25 Alabama 34-24. #13 Florida got more revenge on Steve Spurrier and #15 South Carolina 49-10. #3 Oklahoma escaped 24-23 against #20 Texas Tech. #21 Arkansas kept the SEC interesting by knocking off #8 Tennessee 17-14. The top five stays the same, and Boise State moved up to #20.
Week 12 (11/18)
In a battle for the Big Ten title as in many years before, #2 Ohio State dominated #10 Michigan 27-14. This almost guarantees OSU a BCS championship appearance. #20 Boise State is doing all they can, running their record to 11-0 after beating Utah State 48-7. The top five stayed the same, and the title game is Miami's to lose at this point.
Week 13 (11/25)
Despite Boston College giving their best effort, #1 Miami stays undefeated with a 17-13 win. In a battle for the Big XII North title, #11 Nebraska brutalized #14 Colorado 31-10. #17 Arkansas won a critical SEC West battle with #7 LSU 27-20. #20 Boise State had a shaky start against Nevada, but won 53-20. The game of the week gave #15 Florida State bragging rights against #10 Florida 38-31. #6 USC dismissed #23 Notre Dame, which moved them into the top five after Louisville's loss to Pittsburgh.
Week 14 (12/2)
Championship week features no big games outside of the major conference championships. Miami (Ohio) won the MAC title game against Northern Illinois 31-26. The C-USA title went to UTEP, who knocked off #22 Memphis 30-24. The crazy SEC ended up with #15 Florida as its champion after they defeated surprising #12 Arkansas 29-23. #3 Oklahoma came back from a 18 point fourth quarter deficit in the Big XII title game to beat #7 Nebraska 26-24. #1 Miami did not allow #9 Florida State to get revenge or knock them out of the championship game on their way to a 38-31 ACC title game victory. Your final BCS Standings are as follows.
1. Miami (13-0, .981)
So Boise State fans are throwing a fit, but #2 Ohio State has a Fiesta Bowl and championship game rematch from the classic four years ago against #1 Miami. Here's how the regular season ended.
ACC Champions: #1 Miami (13-0, 8-0)
Heisman Trophy Ceremony
West Virginia QB Pat White won the closest Heisman race ever over Oklahoma RB Adrian Peterson. White had 1905 passing yards and 1154 rushing yards with 43 total touchdowns.
There was much conversation about whether Boise State or Oklahoma deserved to play Miami more than Ohio State did, but it would all come out over the next month on the field. Let's take a look at bowl season results.
Poinsetta: #24 Utah 45, Western Michigan 14
Rose: #5 USC 42, #6 West Virginia 28
BCS National Championship at Fiesta
Ohio State started with a 21-0 lead and looked to run Miami out of the building, but the second quarter belonged to the 'Canes and the teams went to halftime 24-21 OSU. The second half was again all Miami, as their momentum carried them to four straight touchdowns and their first national title since 2001. Final score: #1 Miami 49, #2 Ohio State 24.
Final Season Poll
1. Miami (14-0)
There you go. Miami wins the national title in a game not nearly as close as the 2002 national championship game. We shall see how accurate the game system is as the season wears on, but this opinion is as good as many experts' (and probably better than my own).