Tuesday was the day that many overgrown children like myself spend months waiting for: the release date of the newest verson of EA Sports' NCAA Football. Much like I did last season, one of the first things I did was simulate the entire season to see what the game predicted would happen.
Of course, in order to make things as realistic as possible, I did make roster changes where they were needed. Players like Isaiah Crowell and Storm Klein, who had been dismissed from their respective teams before the game had a chance to remove them, were removed from rosters by me.
It took a bit of time, but I did it for you, the degenerate gambler who plans on placing thousands of dollars worth of best based solely on this one video game simulation.
So now that you have your bookie on the line, let's get to the simulation.
To start, let's take a look at which schools will be conference champions in 2012 (records do not include bowl games, just regular season).
ACC - Virginia Tech 12-1 (8-1) defeated N.C. State 31-14 in the conference championship.
Big 12 - Kansas State 12-0 (9-0) in somewhat of a shocker.
Big East - Cincinnati 9-3 (5-2) though the Bearcats finished with the same conference record as three other Big East teams.
C-USA - Central Florida 11-2 (8-1) defeated SMU 31-13 in the conference championship.
Mountain West - Fresno State 8-4 (7-1) shows up to its new conference and takes home the title in its first year as a member.
Pac-12 - USC 11-2 (9-1) defeated Washington 38-16 to win the conference championship.
SEC - Arkansas 13-0 (9-0) defeated Georgia 47-28 to win the conference championship.
Sun Belt - FIU 11-1 (7-0) wins the Sun Belt rather easily as it gets ready to leave for Conference USA.
WAC - Lousiana Tech 9-3 (6-0) takes advantage of a much weaker WAC conference.
Now that we know who won the conferences, let's take a look at how the BCS bowls shook out.
Rose Bowl - USC 30 Iowa 27
Sugar Bowl - Wisconsin 21 North Carolina 14
Orange Bowl - Virginia Tech 36 Cincinnati 26
BCS National Championship - Arkansas 32 Kansas State 20
That's right, the SEC picks up its seventh straight national championship, as the Arkansas Razorbacks claim the national title. Whether or not John L. Smith gets a contract extension, the game didn't tell me.
Of course, before you get too excited, Arkansas fans, last year's simulation had South Carolina winning it all. Things didn't work out nearly as well for the Gamecocks, though the SEC did still claim another title.
As for the Heisman Trophy, that goes to Oregon running back De'Anthony Thomas, who rushed for 1,662 yards and 21 touchdowns with another 477 yards and 4 touchdowns receiving. He finished just ahead of Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein in the voting.
Now let's take a look at the conference breakdowns.
-- Clemson takes a step back in 2012 as the Tigers finish the year 7-6 with a 4-4 mark in the ACC.
-- Florida State finishes the season ranked #12 but doesn't play in the ACC title game thanks to a 5-3 record in conference.
-- Five ACC teams finish ranked in the top 25: Virginia Tech (4), North Carolina (13), Georgia Tech (21), N.C. State (24) and Florida State (12).
-- TCU enjoys its first season in the Big 12, finishing the season 10-3 and in second place in the conference behind a Kansas State team that didn't lose until the BCS title game.
-- West Virginia does not enjoy the Big 12 nearly as much, failing to qualify for a bowl game after finishing the season 5-7 and 3-6 in conference play.
-- Five Big 12 teams finish ranked in the top 25: Kansas State (3), TCU (11), Texas (9), Oklahoma (5) and Oklahoma State (16).
-- Temple goes bowling in its first season back in the Big East, finishing 7-6 with a conference record of 3-4.
-- True to form, the Big East finishes the year with only one team ranked in the top 25: Cincinnati at, yep, #25.
-- Fire Urban Meyer! Yes, in Urban's first year in Columbus there's quite an adjustment period as the Buckeyes finish the season 5-7 (3-5) and do not go to a bowl game. The only Big Ten schools Ohio State finishes ahead of are Minnesota and Indiana.
-- The first year for Bill O'Brien sees Penn State going to a bowl game but finishing the season with a 6-7 record.
-- Brady Hoke's second season at Michigan doesn't end with a BCS bowl, though the Wolverines do finish the season with a 10-3 record.
-- Five Big Ten teams finish the season ranked in the top 25: Iowa (7), Wisconsin (6), Nebraska (14), Michigan (10) and Michigan State (8). That's four top ten teams.
-- Stanford finds life to be a bit more difficult without Andrew Luck, as the Cardinal finish the season 8-5 though they do go 7-2 in the conference.
-- DeAnthony Thomas may win the Heisman, but that's the lone highlight of the season for Oregon as the Ducks finish the year 7-6 with a losing record of 4-5 in conference play.
-- UCLA is the surprise team of the Pac-12 season, going 9-4. Though the Bruins don't qualify to play in the conference title game despite picking up two more wins during the regular season than they did in 2011.
-- Three Pac-12 teams finish the season ranked in the top 25: USC (2), Washington (18) and Utah (19).
-- The SEC West is still brutal. While Arkansas comes out unscathed to win the title, Alabama, LSU, Auburn and Texas A&M all finish with at least 4 losses.
-- The surprise team of the SEC season would have to be Tennessee, who finishes the year 10-3 and earns a trip to the Fiesta Bowl as an at large.
-- Missouri earns a bowl trip during its first SEC season, but finishes 6-7 while Florida continues to dwell in mediocrity, finishing 7-6. Though that's better than Vanderbilt who crashes back to earth to finish the season 2-10.
-- Four SEC teams finish ranked in the top 25: Arkansas (1), Georgia (22), Tennessee (15) and Alabama (20).
-- The non-BCS darling of 2012 is FIU, which wins the Sun Belt and finishes the season as the top-ranked non-BCS team at #17. The only other non-BCS team to finish ranked is UCF at #23.
-- Notre Dame finishes the year 8-5, and considering the schedule it plays in 2012, Irish fans should probably be happy with that. A win over Clemson in the Belk Bowl probably keeps Irish fans from clamoring for Brian Kelly's head too.
-- Of the four schools to join the FBS level in 2012, UTSA enjoys the best season. The Roadrunners finish the year with an 8-4 record. Texas State goes 2-10, Massachusetts finishes 3-9 and