The first step is acceptance. One must first accept that a video game picked college football games more efficiently—much, much more efficiently—than he or she picked college scores a season ago.
That video game was EA Sports’ NCAA Football 13, and last season, it was 55-21 picking the week’s top matchups. It backed the right favorites, called massive upsets at an alarming clip and predicted the future better than anyone could have imagined.
With a new college football season on the horizon, the simulations have returned. NCAA Football 14 has replaced NCAA Football 13, although the scenario stays the same. The rosters have been tweaked only slightly, and now it's up to the game to decide.
The simulation button is hit once (and only once, because we have high video-game standards). Once it works its magic, the findings are then recorded, and the week’s top games are given a more detailed breakdown.
Crack open the piggy bank and be sure to wager those hard-earned hidden dollars on what a video game predicts.
What could possibly go wrong?
Boise State helps Washington open up its new stadium and celebrates the occasion by destroying the new scoreboard.
Ah, just like that terrible guest who comes over and engulfs the dip in the first 25 minutes.
The Broncos rack up 499 total yards, much of which comes courtesy of wide receiver Matt Miller, who catches eight passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns, as Washington cannot find an answer.
The Huskies do get ample offense, which isn’t the problem. Quarterback Keith Price throws for 213 yards and two touchdowns. He adds another 60 yards on the ground and a rushing touchdown. Washington backs also run for 87 yards on 11 carries, but again, that’s not the issue.
Even in a video game, we are reminded that Chris Petersen is the most underpaid coach alive. Thanks, video game.
This is a game that Vanderbilt would like to hit the ol’ reset button on and just forget.
The Commodores rack up just 212 total yards (56 yards in the air) and complete just six passes. The highlight for the Vandy box score comes in the running game, as Vanderbilt rushes for 86 yards on 20 carries. That’s it, really.
Ole Miss, however, finds success both on the ground and through the air. The Rebels finish with 435 total yards of offense. Bo Wallace throws for 235 yards and two scores, while the running backs combine for 147 yards on just 17 carries.
And with that, you just committed to Ole Miss. I’m kidding, of course. (You were already committed).
This one proves to be much closer than the 19-point pregame spread would indicate. Alabama seals this one by forcing a turnover in double overtime and kicking a field goal.
Virginia Tech outgains the nation’s No. 1 team in total yardage, 425 to 388, but still comes up just short. Hokies quarterback Logan Thomas completes 13 of 17 passes for only 166 yards, but he does throw three touchdowns.
Alabama’s marquee players play big. Quarterback AJ McCarron throws for 267 yards and three touchdowns. Wideout Amari Cooper catches only four balls, two for scores, but he still totals 148 yards receiving. T.J. Yeldon only carries the ball 11 times, but totals 88 yards.
Following the game, a reporter asks Nick Saban if his team was “overlooking” the Hokies in preparation for Texas A&M. Saban’s response is simply a glare that causes more than 40 people in the room to faint.
Seriously, someone is absolutely going to ask this question.
TCU strikes first, jumping out to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter. LSU battles back behind a monstrous second half, however, and the Tigers nip the Horned Frogs in overtime.
Casey Pachall makes his return to TCU and does a bit of everything. He throws for 249 yards, two touchdowns and adds two interceptions. TCU backs add 178 yards and two TDs on the ground.
For LSU, Zach Mettenberger is superb, throwing for 359 yards and three touchdowns. Two of his touchdowns are thrown to Odell Beckham Jr., who catches 10 balls for 110 yards. The Tigers' talented stable of backs adds 210 yards on the ground.
Les Miles celebrates the win the only way he knows how: By riding a pet tiger around the locker room while singing his favorite cartoon theme song. (Spoiler alert: It's Doug).
Week 1’s biggest matchup is over by the intermission, as Georgia outscores Clemson, 27-7, in the first quarter to end the drama early.
Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd throws for 264 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, and wide receiver Sammy Watkins hauls in one of those TDs in the loss.
On the other side, the Georgia offense totals 571 yards, led by quarterback Aaron Murray, who finishes with 357 yards and five (yes, five) scores. Three of these scores go to wideout Malcolm Mitchell. Running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall combine for 198 yards on the ground.
Finally, after a long string of losses, insufficient media coverage and empty trophy cases, the SEC catches a break with a victory.
Northern Illinois 35, Iowa 28 - #MACtion
South Carolina 35, North Carolina 21
Virginia 35, BYU 28 (OT)
USC 48, Hawai’i 28
Ohio State 38, Buffalo 22
Auburn 23, Washington State 19
Syracuse 14, Penn State 3 (I'll be honest, this probably would have been a "let's tailgate in the parking lot instead" game by halftime for me.)
Oklahoma State 33, Mississippi State 21
Florida 35, Toledo 13
Kentucky 35, Western Kentucky 7
Florida State 45, Pitt 10
Colorado 23, Colorado State 13
Michigan 48, Central Michigan 14
Texas A&M 59, Rice 3 (Hey, look, actual football is still played at Texas A&M!)
UCLA 38, Nevada 20
SMU 41, Texas Tech 34
Fresno State 27, Rutgers 23
Northwestern 35, Cal 10
Oklahoma 56, UL Monroe 20
Texas 31, New Mexico State 21 (That sound you hear is 1,672,981 "FIRE MACK BROWN" message board posts being crafted, even in a win.)
Notre Dame 29, Temple 13
Cincinnati 35, Purdue 10
Louisville 45, Ohio 14