With college basketball’s annual bracket banquet in the rearview, our hypothetical college football bracket has also reached its epic conclusion.
Shortly before March Madness began, we created our own 64-team football version of what a playoff of this magnitude would look like. We seeded these teams using results from final polls from the 2012-2013 season, bowl outcomes and even sprinkled in a bit of the ol' eyesight test.
Is a 64-team playoff in college football a realistic possibility? Absolutely not. It’ll likely take us a solid decade and a few billion dollars to get to eight teams, and even then they'll be an army of angry football fans dragging their feet the entire way.
Yes, a playoff of this magnitude would be excessive, but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be magnificently entertaining. In the meantime, we'll have to wonder what if.
Our selection committee spent countless hours (more like four or five beers worth) putting together this hypothetical entertainment, and the result was this: a clean bracket, ready for fresh ink (and seriously, some of you filled it out and sent it to me. Thank you for your weirdness).
We didn’t stop here. As the basketball tournament progressed, so did out bracket. Using the seeding results directly from the actual bracket, we filled our bracket along the way.
I repeat: your bracket—which was undoubtedly a red-pen mess by the end—was EXACTLY how he operated our hypothetical football exercise. There was some confusion with this process—many of you choosing to douse the comment section in gasoline shortly before lighting a match—but we tried to be quite clear regarding the outcomes.
The upsets in our football version were the same upsets (seeding wise) you watched unfold on the hardwood. We did not pick Virginia Tech to upset Georgia, but instead moved them forward two rounds because that is where Florida Gulf Coast was situated on the bracket.
We updated the Sweet 16, posted our thoughts on the Final Four and now we’ve made it to the very end. With Louisville winning college basketball’s title, the team situated in its place on our bracket was ruled the winner of the hypothetical football playoff.
And, needless to say, our winner will absolutely shock you. It will shock you only because out of 64 teams, it’s the least shocking team of them all.
Your complete bracket below. Click here to enlarge.
Of course Alabama won our bracket, because of course.
This particular championship was more or less by chance, and even then Alabama was victorious. If you’re keeping score at home: Alabama has now won the national championship, the recruiting national championship and the hypothetical bracket national championship, all in the same year.
I assume a spring football championship attendance championship is next, followed by some sort of other national championship to be determined in the summer—they’ll come up with one, they’re awfully good at that—and then the cycle will start over. Resistance is futile.
Perhaps even more amazing than the Alabama title was the championship game.
That’s right; Alabama-LSU, the Game of the Century of the Millennium of the Week was indeed given another installment in the unreal world. If it's meant to be, it's meant to be.
Alabama versus LSU seems more than fitting given what we’ve seen in recent years. And just imagine yet another rematch—in the championship game of all places—and how those outside of SEC land would respond.
I, for one, welcome the game and all the Twitter jokes that would come with it.
If you’ve been waiting for the proper moment to start your S-E-C chant—and some of you have undoubtedly been doing this for a few minutes now—this would be the appropriate time to get those fired up.
Ah, the offseason.
What did we learn from our four-part series? For one, the outcome (while random) was more or less indicative of the results that have played out on the football field. I also learned that some of you really care about your team, even when that team is disrespected in the hypothetical football world.
College football’s bracket will go from hypothetical to real in 2014. This will be a drop in the bucket compared to what we're used to, but a still a playoff by definition. Four teams, all decided by one committee still to be determined.
With a group this small, and human influence looming, there’s no possible way these decisions will be greeted with any controversy. Nope, none at all.
Congratulations go out to Alabama and their fans, and I assume at some point they'll get tired of hearing that.