Forget about the talking heads standing in line to make their Week 1 picks. We’ve got a prediction formula that will never, ever fail. Well, probably. On second thought, perhaps you shouldn't place your hard-earned dollars on them just yet.
It’s game week, which means it’s time to ponder upsets and matchups. And while we all have an opinion on these games, why not let someone (or something) do the work for us?
Enter NCAA 13, a magnificently entertaining game and prediction device.
When the game launched in the middle of summer, we used NCAA 13 to predict how the entire 2012 season would shape up. Now, we’ll be using this glorious game to give us the outcomes for some of the best meetings of this week and beyond.
We hit the “simulate” button once (and only once) and allowed the disk to decide the outcomes. Some of the results may shock you; some seem to feel about right. The top five games of the week have each been broken down a bit more closely, while notable scores and performances have been added as well.
Nerdy? Strange? Bizarre? Accurate? Probably a combination of them all, and let's see if the last part holds.
5. South Carolina 24, Vanderbilt 10
Marcus Lattimore’s first game back from his ACL injury is a good one, as he racks up 117 yards on only 16 carries. He also catches two balls for 33 yards and finishes with two total scores. On the other side, Jadeveon Clowney gets two sacks and also a forced fumble as his mission to destroy any and everything gets under way.
Vanderbilt only tallies 265 total yards in this one and only 103 total passing yards. Starting quarterback Jordan Rodgers completes just six of 24 passes (woof), although the running game does find some success. Not enough, though.
Steve Spurrier tosses his visor only three times in his simulation, although it’s not because he’s mad. He just needs to ensure his tossing motion is in shape for when it counts.
4. N.C. State 27, Tennessee 6
N.C. State jumps out to a 17-0 lead and never looks back. Quarterback Mike Glennon throws for only 173 yards but finishes with three touchdowns, two of which go to Tobias Palmer’s direction, who also eclipses the 100-yard mark.
On the other side, Tyler Bray throws for 227 yards and the lone Vol touchdown (they missed the extra point, which is awesome). Wide receiver Justin Hunter was on the other side of that score and added 119 yards in the air.
Tennessee fans react with a very level-headed response to the loss and give their head coach a few more ga—OH NO, SOMEONE PUT THAT FIRE OUT. HIS CHAIR IS ON FIRE. CALL HELP.
3. Michigan State 31, Boise State 3
Michigan State QB Andrew Maxwell is very solid in his starting debut, throwing for 188 yards and two touchdowns. Tight end Dion Sims is on the other end of a good chunk of those, hauling in seven balls for 107 yards and a touchdown.
Although Boise State scores first, the scoreboard stays dormant after that. Joe Southwick is the man tasked with following up Kellen Moore, and he struggles against a good defense in his debut. He completes only 15 passes on 33 throws while also adding an interception.
Following the game, Craig James drops Boise State to 1,765 in any poll he is allowed to vote in, and even the ones he's not.
2. Clemson 14, Auburn 10
Strange box score with interesting results. Despite being outgained by 203 yards, Clemson gets the edge here. Tajh Boyd completes only 12 of 25 passes, but he does connect on a score. Running back Andre Ellington finishes with only 38 yards on the ground, but he does score a touchdown.
Multiple quarterbacks see time for Auburn, although the results aren’t fabulous. The QBs combine to complete only 12 of 29 passes for 167 yards and an interception. Ball-carrier Onterio McCalebb is a monster, however, running for 183 yards on 30 carries. Despite his effort, Auburn finds the end zone only once.
Gene Chizik immediately burns his leather jacket following the game, although thankfully it’s just one of 999 that he owns.
1. Alabama 24, Michigan 21 (OT)
A back-and-forth game that Michigan ties up with two minutes left in the fourth quarter ends with an Alabama field goal in overtime. You may insert your field-goal jokes here.
A.J. McCarron struggles, throwing for 222 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, but the running game saves the day. Eddie Lacy’s first game as the Alabama starter goes well, as he runs for 153 yards on 24 carries. The young Alabama defense responds by sacking Denard Robinson six times.
Although Robinson completes only 14 of 34 passes, he does throw for 224 yards and three scores while adding 66 yards on the ground. Michigan wide receiver Roy Roundtree catches four balls for 103 yards and a long touchdown. The Michigan defense forces the only two turnovers of the game, but they come up just short.
Brady Hoke takes the loss well, pinning Nick Saban to the ground at midfield and forcing him to say “uncle.” Saban does not, and the two remain there for approximately three days.
BYU 27, Washington State 0—Mike Leach shutout in his game back? BLASPHEMY I TELL YOU.
Iowa 31, Northern Illinois 28
Louisiana Tech 34, Texas A&M 30—I could certainly see this, and don’t be surprised if the sim is dead on here.
Northwestern 28, Syracuse 25
Iowa State 31, Tulsa 10
LSU 41, North Texas 3—Well, yeah.
Notre Dame 29, Navy 22
Marshall 31, West Virginia 28—Well, no one’s perfect. If this happens, Morgantown may burn. NOTE: It might burn if it doesn’t.
USC 45, Hawaii 17
Georgia Tech 38, Virginia Tech 24
Miami 24, Boston College 7—It’s all about The U! (Seriously, this would be a nice win for them.)
Baylor 34, SMU 21
Nebraska 31, Southern Miss 17
Penn State 27, Ohio 16
Toledo 17, Arizona 10—Oh no, no, no.
Louisville 38, Kentucky 28
Oklahoma 44, UTEP 34
Ohio State 31, Miami (OH) 26—Welp, that was a close one…
Oregon 45, Arkansas State 17