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.
Despite not winning their own conference, the Cardinal find themselves in the December Madness Championship Game.
After knocking off pigskin powerhouses Oklahoma State and Arkansas, Stanford faces their most formidable foe yet: the undefeated Tigers of LSU. Les Miles' squad reached this juncture by upending Alabama and Boise State, proving their unblemished regular-season mark was no fluke.
LSU asserted this dominance early, with Rueben Randle hauling in a 25-yard floater from Jordan Jefferson to give the Bayou Bengals an early lead.
Stanford kicker Jordan Williamson, he of the eight field-goal fame against Oklahoma State in the second round, put one through the uprights to end the first quarter.
A mostly quiet second quarter followed, although Tyler Gaffney ended that silence with a 17-yard run to end the half, giving the Cardinal a 10-7 lead.
The third quarter resembled the second period's discreetness, with LSU converting two field goals and Stanford's Williamson adding another, bringing the score to 13-13 going into the final frame.
The fourth quarter, however, was filled with fireworks, started by Spencer Ware's 16-yard reception from Jefferson to give the Tigers some breathing room. It wouldn't last long, as Andrew Luck struck back with an 11-yard missile to Levine Toilolo.
After a defensive stop, Luck dinked-and-dunked down the field, capped off by a 15-yard bull rush from Stepfan Taylor, swinging the score to 27-20, Stanford.
With their season on the line, Jefferson guided the Tigers on a series of short passes and runs, with Alfred Blue hitting paydirt from 17 yards out, tying the game at 27 all and sending this bad boy into overtime.
In the extra period, the Tigers struck first, as a 13-yard reception by Randle set up a short strike from Jefferson to Odell Beckham.
Beckham's grab proved to be more than enough, as the Cardinal were stopped on four straight downs, giving the victory, and more importantly, the December Madness trophy, to the Tigers.
Jefferson led the Tigers with three touchdown passes, and Ware added 133 yards on the ground to pace LSU. In defeat, Luck threw for 350 yards, with Taylor rushing for 97 yards.
Player of the game: Jordan Jefferson (229 passing yards, 3 TDs)
Winning Percentage of 1,001 Simulations: LSU 64.7 percent—Stanford 35.3 percent