Virtual Simulation Stimulation: Championship Week Edition
We promised to bounce back, and we delivered. Well, NCAA 13 certainly did, and the dream season continues.
The world’s greatest simulation device went 7-1 picking games last week, missing out only on the Florida-Florida State game. No forecast machine in the world could have predicted some of those E.J. Manuel throws, many of which defied the laws of quarterbacking physics.
Moving on to Week 14: This is it. Conference championship games, season finales, a playoff game of sorts and the last football (outside of Army-Navy the following week) we will see before we get to the bowl season.
For those new to this scene, here’s the deal: Using NCAA 13, we simulate the week’s biggest matchups in college football and report the findings. They are not doctored with, and they usually play out as predicted.
Oh yes, we will have bowl game simulations—in case you were wondering, and certainly you were—but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
To Week 14 we go...
Season Spotlight Prediction Record Heading into Week 14: 47-21
MAC Championship Game: Northern Illinois 27, Kent State 21 (OT)
The MACtion finale delivers an exciting game on Friday night, as if you expected anything else.
A touchdown in the first overtime seals it for the Huskies, and Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch is fabulous as usual. He finishes with 293 yards passing, 85 yards rushing and accounts for all four Northern touchdowns.
For Kent State, running back Dri Archer does have some success. He runs for 113 yards on only 15 carries and scores twice. A turnover in overtimes does this team in, however, and crushes their hopes of crashing a BCS bowl.
Our dreams of seeing a BCS bowl game between Kent State and Georgia Tech are officially shattered, and I can feel the air from the BCS officials’ fist pumps from my living room.
ACC Championship Game: Florida State 28, Georgia Tech 26
Both teams eclipse the 450-yard mark in this one, but Florida State secures a win with an E.J. Manuel touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter.
The Florida State QB bounces back in a big way, throwing for 359 yards and three touchdowns. Running back James Wilder Jr. adds 65 yards on the ground on only eight carries and also scores.
Georgia Tech uses a handful of running backs and QBs in this one—shocking, I know—and they are fabulous. The Yellow Jackets runners rack up 315 rushing yards and three scores overall, and the defense does come away with a safety. Still, they come up just short.
With the loss, Paul Johnson’s team has to apply for a bowl waiver in order to qualify for a “postseason” game. That’s not a joke, but I suppose it sort of works as one, so I’ll just leave it at that.
Pac-12 Championship Game: Stanford 21, UCLA 17
For the second time in less than a week, Stanford takes out UCLA, although this one is closer than last week’s affair. In fact, Stanford’s go-ahead touchdown with less than two minutes left is what gives the Cardinal their first lead and the victory.
Stanford running back Stepfan Taylor runs for 105 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries to lead the team, and he also catches three passes for 39 yards.
UCLA is limited to just 277 total yards, although the Bruins do have the lead through much of the game. Running back Johnathan Franklin scores a touchdown here, but he’s also limited to just 67 yards rushing on 25 carries.
Just for kicks, Stanford and UCLA decide they will play every single week for the rest of the year. They call it the “No Lane Kiffins Allowed” Series and, surprisingly, no Lane Kiffins are allowed.
Big Ten Championship Game: Nebraska 30, Wisconsin 20
The Cornhuskers go hunting for roses thanks to 437 yards of total offense against the Badgers.
Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez throws for 273 yards, but it’s Rex Burkhead that does most of the damage. The team’s bulldozin' back goes for 87 yards and finds the end zone three times to lead the team in this one.
On the other side, Montee Ball is held in check, running for 77 yards and 34 carries. His backup, James White, adds 45 yards rushing on nine carries, while the Wisconsin quarterbacks—and multiple QBs play—are limited to less than 100 yards passing.
I have to admit, I’m rooting for Nebraska in the Rose Bowl, only so I can see Bo Pelini smile. I’m still not quite sure he’s programmed to complete such human actions.
SEC Championship Game: Alabama 29, Georgia 22
Although Georgia is in the game throughout, Alabama’s 465 yards of total offense are too much to overcome for the Bulldogs.
Quarterback A.J. McCarron has a monster 60 minutes, throwing for 348 yards and three touchdowns. Eddie Lacy racks up 110 yards on the ground, and his fourth-quarter touchdown run puts this game out of reach.
For Georgia, quarterback Aaron Murray isn’t nearly as sharp. Murray finishes with 195 yards passing, a touchdown and two interceptions. The solid stable of Georgia running backs finishes with 134 yards rushing on 35 carries.
So that settles that. It’ll be Notre Dame versus Alabama in the BCS National Championship, and the game won't be played for 735 days.
Sadly, we are running out of games, but there are a few more. CHERISH THEM. ALL OF THEM.
Rutgers 23, Louisville 14
USF 27, Pitt 21
Kansas 42, West Virginia 35 - 10-YEAR CONTRACT EXTENSION
Cincinnati 35, UConn 30
TCU 34, Oklahoma 31
Boise State 35, Nevada 20
Texas 33, Kansas State 31 - 10-YEAR CONTRACT EXTENSION