For the eighth consecutive season, WhatIfsports.com is proud to present the ultimate college football playoff in a tournament we refer to as December Madness 2011.
Over the next three weeks, the Top 16 college football teams (11 conference champions and five at-large programs based on BCS rating) will compete for the December Madness title.
Utilizing our award-winning college football simulation engine, we "play" each matchup 1,001 times.
View the December Madness playoff bracket and complete box score here: http://www.whatifsports.com/decmadness/
This December Madness semifinal reminds us of the old adage that just because two teams look even on paper doesn't mean the stats will necessarily translate to play on the field.
The Boise State Broncos finished seventh in the nation in scoring, at 43.3 points per game, and the Tigers finished 12th, at 38.5 ppg. LSU finished second in the nation in scoring defense, at 10.5 points per game, and the Broncos settled at 18.3, or 10th nationally.
Not all that glitters is gold, and the stats accumulated by Boise State in the Mountain West Conference pale to those garnered by LSU in the SEC.
Facts are facts.
With that said, Boise State scored 14 straight points to begin the second half and took a 21-13 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Doug Martin (138 rushing yards on 23 carries) scored the two second-half touchdowns to continue an incredible December Madness run as tailback of the Broncos.
In order to keep their No. 1 status and advance to the December Madness title game, the Tigers needed to work their late-game magic once more.
It started with a little more than five minutes to go in the game, Jordan Jefferson and company began to move the chains. In 3-1/2 minutes, the ball was resting inside the Broncos' 10-yard line. Jefferson then found Rueben Randle in the end zone for six and then Kadron Boone for the two-point conversion to tie the game 21-21.
The Broncos had 60 seconds to try to win the game in regulation, and they looked as though they might get kicker Dan Goodale into range. But just as they reached LSU's side of the field, D.J. Harper fumbled the ball and the Tigers jumped on it on their own 48-yard line with 26 seconds left.
Jefferson used his legs and arm to pick up 35 yards on two plays. With five ticks remaining, Drew Alleman kicked and connected on his third field goal (eighth in two games) for the game winner.
The Tigers completed the fourth-quarter comeback and advanced to the December Madness title game with a 24-21 thriller.
Player of the game: Doug Martin (138 rush yds, 2 TDs)
Winning Percentage of 1,001 Simulations: LSU 65.5% vs. Boise State 34.5%