Posted on: January 4, 2011 3:24 pm
Edited on: January 4, 2011 3:29 pm

D-1A Football Playoffs -- Quarterfinals

The beauty of this system is that anything could happen, much like the basketball tournament. The fact is that any team can lose on any day. Does that mean that a team is better than another team? Not necessarily. But, even if a one team can beat another 99 times out of 100, that still leaves the other team a shot. With that, I bring you the quarterfinals. These are not my opinions or desires (as you will later see); these are based on computer simulations. They represent one possible outcome that can happen, and on this day, did happen.

Thanks again to whatifsports.com for their simulation machine.

8) Michigan St. at 1) Auburn (Played at the Sugar Bowl)


Auburn starts with the ball but is quickly forced to punt. After two plays, Cousins throws a touchdown pass to Dell to put the Spartans up early. After another Auburn punt, Cousins throws an interception that is returned to the MSU 18. The next play, Fannin finds the end zone to tie the game. On the next drive, Cousins is picked off again. This time, though, Auburn can only get a field goal, this from 46 yards out. Three plays into the next drive, Cousins completes a pass to Dell, but Dell fumbles and Auburn recovers. On the first play of the 2nd, Byrum kicks another field goal for Auburn, from 44 yards. The Spartans get the ball and manage to not turn it over as they drive down the field and get three points from a 23 yard field goal by Conroy. Defenses then ramp up and both teams are forced to punt several times. MSU takes the last drive of the half 86 yards down the field and kicks the tying field goal as time expires. HALFTIME SCORE 13-13.


MSU takes the opening drive of the half and marches down the field in 10 plays capped by a 5 yard pass from Cousins to Dell for a touchdown. Auburn is forced into a three and out on their opening possession. MSU gets the ball back and ends up kicking a 34-yard field goal. After both teams punt, Auburn takes the ball 71 yards in only four plays. Dyer scores the touchdown from 48 yards out. But, the extra point attempt is blocked. The 4th opens with a punt from MSU. The Tigers have another short drive (just over 3 minutes) and Fannin finds the end zone from the 1 to take a 3 point lead. On MSU’s next drive, after converting a 4th and 4, Cousins completes a 21-yard pass to Linthicum to retake the lead. After an Auburn three and out, MSU is able to get another field goal, this one from 47 yards out to increase the lead to 7. Two plays later, Auburn ties the game on a rush by Hooper. MSU, though, is not done. Bell finds the end zone from 25 yards out with 1:06 on the clock to put the Spartans up by 7. It only takes 49 seconds for Auburn to tie it up. McCalebb scores from 10 yards out and we are going to overtime. AFTER REGULATION 40-40.


MSU starts with the ball and scores on its second play, a 24-yard pass from Cousins to Bell. Auburn starts from the 25. After a few short plays, it comes down to 4th and 7. Newton’s pass is just out of McCalebb reach in the end zone and Sparty pulls off a monumental upset. MSU WINS 47-40 IN OT.



5) Stanford at 4) Wisconsin (Played at the Orange Bowl)


Stanford starts with the ball and puts together a good drive…until Luck is intercepted at the Badger 27. It only takes Wisconsin five plays to go 73 yards and score the first touchdown. After both teams punt, Stanford drives down the field again, this time scoring a field goal from 37 yards out. After both teams punt again, Wisconsin gets the ball in the beginning of the 2nd and Ball breaks one for 73 yards and a touchdown. Stanford starts another decent drive, but it stalls. Whitaker is able to get them three points off a 49-yard field goal. Both defenses step up and force punts for the rest of the half. HALFTIME SCORE 14-6 WISCONSIN.


Wisconsin opens the game with a three and out. Stanford, starting from their own 5, puts together a good drive, but they fail to convert on a 4th and 1. Wisconsin starts to roll the other way until Tolzien is picked off. Stanford drives down again, but they are once again held to a field goal, this form 37 yards out. After getting backed up deep in their own territory, White gets the ball on Wisconsin’s third play and takes it 92 yards to the house. Both teams trade punts to open the 4th. Then, Luck starts to get on a roll. He leads the Cardinal down the field, ending the drive with a 10-yard pass to Owusu for a touchdown. But, Wisconsin answers right back as Clay pounds one in from four yards out. On Stanford’s next possession, Luck finds Owusu again in the end zone from seven yards out to cut the deficit to five points. After forcing a punt, Stanford gets the ball back with 1:21 on the clock. With 15 seconds left and the ball at the Badgers 37, Luck is intercepted by Antonio Fenelus. WISCONSIN WINS 28-23.



11) Virginia Tech at 3) Texas Christian (Played at the Fiesta Bowl)


On the first play from scrimmage, Evans takes the ball 69 yards for a VT touchdown. After a good kickoff return, the Horned Frogs are able to get a few yards, but the drive stalls and they settle for a 47-yard Evans field goal. From there, VT is forced to punt and both kickers miss long field goals to end the 1st. To open the 2nd, Dalton throws a 35-yard touchdown pass to Brock, but the extra point is missed. Defenses control the next several drives: VT punts three times, TCU punts once and throws a pick. The last VT punt is returned all the way to Tech’s 26. Four plays later, Dalton throws another TD pass to Brock from five yards out. HALFTIME SCORE 16-7 TCU.


TCU goes three and out on the opening drive of the half. The Hokies take over and drive down the field, but can only manage a field goal from 35 yards. TCU answers right back with a 28-yard field goal of their own five minutes later. The two teams trade punts to end the 3rd. VT punts again to open the 4th and the Horned Frogs get another great return to set up a short field. Four plays later, Dalton throw another touchdown, this one to Young from 18 yards out. After a VT three and out, Dalton leads TCU down the field again and throws his fourth TD. He finds Kerley from four yards out. VT manages to score on their next drive, a pass from Taylor to Coale, and a 2-pointer by Wilson. But, it is too little, too late. TCU WINS 33-18.



10) Boise St. at 2) Oregon (Played at the Rose Bowl)


The Broncos start out quick. Three plays into the opening drive, Moore throws a pass to Martin and he runs 49 yards for a TD. Not to be outdone, Oregon takes their opening drive 79 yards, capping it off with a Thomas touchdown pass to Huff from 31 yards out. Boise drives down the field again, but they stall at the 4 and settle for a Brotzman field goal. The two teams trade punts to end the 1st. Oregon punts again to open the 2nd. After seven plays, Martin scores again, this time on the ground from 4 yards out. Oregon begins to drive down the field , but Thomas is picked off at the BSU 21. The Broncos are forced to go three and out, which will eventually lead to a 46-yard field goal for Beard of Oregon. Brotzman answers with a field goal of his own after the Broncos next drive. The Ducks are then forced into a three and out. On the ensuing play, Martin breaks off a 59 yard run for another touchdown. Oregon goes three and out again and Boise receives the punt with 28 seconds and all three timeouts. They are able to work into field goal range and Brotzman nails a 46-yarder as time expires. HALFTIME SCORE 30-10 BSU


The second half begins with both offenses going three and out. Oregon then takes over and James breaks off a 57 yard TD run. After another Boise three and out, James will score again, this one for only one yard to cut the lead to six. That is as close as they would get. Boise takes the next drive 80 yards in five plays ending with Martin scoring from two yards out. Oregon goes three and out and their punt is returned all the way to the 3. Moore throws a TD to Pettis on the first play of the drive. The Ducks punt again to close the 3rd. BSU makes short work of another drive with Moore finding Shoemaker in the end zone for the score. Oregon’s next drive ends with Thomas throwing an interception at the Bronco 15. This Boise drive goes 85 yards and ends with Martin scoring his 6th touchdown from a yard out. On this day, the Broncos were too much to handle. BSU WINS 65-24.
Posted on: December 29, 2010 4:45 pm
Edited on: December 29, 2010 4:48 pm

Updated Bracket -- Quaterfinals

Here's how it looks so far.

1) Auburn
8) Michigan St.
Played at the Sugar Bowl

4) Wisconsin
5) Stanford
Played at the Orange Bowl

3) TCU
11) Virginia Tech
Played at the Fiesta Bowl

2) Oregon
10) Boise St.
Played at the Rose Bowl
Posted on: December 29, 2010 4:37 pm
Edited on: December 29, 2010 4:38 pm

D-1A Playoffs First Round -- Top Half

Thanks to whatifsports.com for their simulation machine.

16) Florida International at 1) Auburn


The game starts as both teams trade punts. Midway through the first, Auburn returns a punt all the way to FIU’s 32. Two plays later, Dyer runs for 30 yards and scores the game’s first touchdown. After another FIU punt, McCalebb breaks off a 34 yard run for another touchdown. FIU finally gets on the board in the 2<sup>nd</sup> as Carroll hits Mallary on a screen and he scores. Later in the quarter, on the first play after an Auburn punt, Mallary makes another catch, but loses the ball and it is recovered by Auburn. Three plays later Newton finds Blake in the end zone for another touchdown. After another punt, Auburn starts another drive, capped by McCalebb running for 25 yards and a score. HALFTIME SCORE 28-7 AUBURN.


The second half opens to see Auburn’s opening drive ending with a missed field goal. After receiving a punt, Dyer takes the third play and runs 44 yards for a touchdown. The very next play after the kickoff, Carroll throws a screen to Younger who gets good blocking and runs 81 yards for a score. The 3<sup>rd</sup> ends and the 4<sup>th</sup> begins with both teams again trading punts. Auburn then gets a short field to work with and the drive ends with Newton running for 13 yards and a score. Later, FIU begins another long drive capped by another touchdown pass from Carroll to Mallary. But it’s too little, too late. AUBURN WINS 42-21.



9) Oklahoma at 8) Michigan St.


The Spartans take the opening drive 69 yards and score the first points on a field goal. Oklahoma puts together a lengthy drive of its own; but they score a touchdown as Jones finds Murray for six. Both teams punt on their next possessions. Then, Edwin Baker and the Spartans take over. His first score is from 15 yard out at the beginning of the 2<sup>nd</sup>. Jones  hits Kenney in the end zone on their next drive to score. After a good kick return, Cousins leads Mich. St. down the field and Baker puts it in for another touchdown. The Sooners go three and out and then Cousins and Baker complete another drive. Baker puts this one in from 10 yards out. HALFTIME SCORE 24-14 MICHIGAN STATE.


Oklahoma takes the opening drive 78 yards and Murray scores the touchdown on a 33 yard run. Both teams then go three and out, but Oklahoma’s punt is blocked. The Spartans make good use of the short field as Cousins finds Nichol for a touchdown. After a lengthy Sooner drive, Jones gets the ball to Franks who loses it, recovered by MSU at the 8. They would then take the ball 92 yards over ten plays with Baker running it in from 5 yards out. All that Oklahoma can muster after that is a field goal. MICHIGAN STATE WINS 38-24.



13) Connecticut at 4) Wisconsin


This game was a lot closer than it should have been. UConn opens the game with a 30 yard field goal to take an early lead. Both teams punt on their next possessions but Wisconsin returns theirs to the UConn 35. They take advantage of the short field and Ball scored from a yard out. Again, both teams punt to end the 1<sup>st</sup>. Now, both teams trade field goals. Teggart hits a 28-yarder for UConn, then Welch gets one at the same length for Wisconsin. After a Wisconsin interception, Welch hits another one from 27 yards. With six seconds on the clock, Teggart nails a 32-yarder to end the half. HALFTIME SCORE 13-9 WISCONSIN.


Wisconsin takes the opening drive of the 2<sup>nd</sup> half 77 yards, capped off by a Tolzien pass caught in the end zone by Abbrederis. On UConn’s next drive, Teggart gets his 4<sup>th</sup> field goal, this one from 30 yards. On the first play of Wisconsin’s drive, Clay is stripped of the ball and UConn picks it up and takes it to the 4. Frazer finds Todman in the end zone two plays later for the score. Both teams punt on their next possessions. Wisconsin then unloads an 8 play, 86 yard drive that ends with Tolzien finding Toon for the touchdown. UConn can do nothing else with the ball. WISCONSIN WINS 27-19.



12) Nevada at 5) Stanford


This is the most intriguing first round matchup. Nevada takes the opening kickoff down to the 3 where they connect with a 20-yard field goal. Stanford makes quick work on their next drive, finished with a two yard run by Wilkerson. Nevada answers quickly. On their next play, Kaepernick scrambles for 62 yards and a score. The 1<sup>st</sup> ends with both teams punting and both QBs being picked off. In the 2<sup>nd</sup>, it was all Cardinal. Stanford opens the scoring with a 35-yard field goal. Next, Martinez gives Nevada three more with a 36-yarder. Luck takes over and leads Stanford down the field ending the drive with a touchdown pass to Whalen. Punts are traded until Stanford gets the ball with 19 seconds on the clock. As time expires, Luck hits Owusu for a 54-yard touchdown. HALFTIME SCORE 24-13 STANFORD.


Defenses show up for the 3<sup>rd</sup> quarter. Martinez missed a 37-yarder for Nevada and Whitaker connected on a 50-yarder for Stanford. Other than that, offenses were forced to punt. Opening the 4<sup>th</sup>, Martinez misses another field goal, this one from 47 yards. Two plays later, Wilkerson puts the ball on the ground and Nevada recovers. But, they cannot capitalize as Martinez misses a third field goal from 50 yards out. Luck leads Stanford down the field with Taylor finishing the drive on a 9 yard rush for a touchdown. Kaepernick revives the Wolf Pack and leads them to a score with a 16-yard pass to Session. After Stanford fails on a 4<sup>th</sup> down with 2:21 remaining, Kaepernick puts together another touchdown drive, throwing this one to Green with 22 seconds remaining. But, Stanford recovers the ensuing onside kick and runs out the clock. STANFORD WINS 34-27.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com