This is where NCAA Football 14 gets hot.
After a lackluster 1-4 Week 3, the video game is poised to turn it around with a magnificent comeback. Have no fear, faithful fans. It will provide magic in a week that needs it. It always does.
Even in a losing week, the world’s greatest simulation device nearly pegged the Iowa-Iowa State game. NCAA Football 14 predicted Iowa would win 27-20, and the Hawkeyes won 27-21. It also accurately predicted a ridiculous shootout in the Alabama-Texas A&M game.
Only it had the wrong side.
Forget about the past, anyway. We’re concerned with the future, and the future is bright.
For those of you who have just stumbled on this exercise and are wondering what exactly is going on, (a) I can’t blame you and (b) here’s the deal:
Using NCAA Football 14 on the Playstation 3—not Grand Theft Auto 5, we put that down momentarily—all games from the college football weekend have been simulated. The results have not been altered whatsoever; otherwise the overall record would be much improved.
Don’t doubt it, though. This game has powers and is poised to prove it. Starting now.
Tennessee finishes with 125 more yards than Florida, but the Gators get the victory in overtime thanks to fantastic play from their quarterback.
Jeff Driskel throws for 257 yards and two scores, and he also adds 78 yards and two more touchdowns on the ground. The Florida running backs add 110 yards of total offense, but you don't care. You're still pondering those Driskel numbers in bewilderment.
Tennessee running back Rajion Neal also has a monster showing, running for 181 yards and two scores on 22 carries. Multiple Vols QBs see the field, and this group doesn't play bad against a good defense. Tennessee throws for 261 yards and a score in the game.
You're still thinking about those Driskel stats, aren't you? Maybe you should sit down before you fall over.
Ah, too late. I'll get ice.
This one is much closer than the experts (well, Vegas) thinks. Auburn actually finishes with 60 more total yards than LSU, but the Tigers (of the LSU variety) stage a massive comeback in the fourth quarter to win this one.
Zach Mettenberger is again super, throwing for 202 yards, four touchdowns and an interception. Wideout Odell Beckham is (again) fantastic, catching four balls, three of which go for touchdowns. LSU running backs combine to rush for 168 yards on 33 carries.
Auburn QB Nick Marshall builds off the momentum he picked up against Mississippi State, throwing for 247 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Tre Mason eclipses the 100-yard mark and also adds two scores of his own. Still, it is not enough.
Les Miles celebrates an exciting win the only way he knows how: by eating an entire bag of taffy while singing the soundtrack to Back to the Future II, and sneaking a bicep workout in between. That's talent.
Playing as a rare underdog, Boise State scores the first two touchdowns and sets the tone. The result is a win over Fresno State, derailing 2013's likely BCS buster.
Boise State QB Joe Southwick is fantastic for the second consecutive week, throwing for 253 yards and three touchdowns. Wide receiver Matt Miller is on the other end of two of those scores, catching nine balls for 147 yards.
Derek Carr does not play nearly as well for Fresno State, throwing for 181 yards and two interceptions. The Bulldogs' backs combine to play well, running for 165 yards, although it takes them 48 (!!!) carries to do so.
"I'm just thinking about the next game," Chris Petersen says in his postgame interview when asked about the potential openings at Texas and USC. He then laughs when thinking about the Scrooge McDuck vault he will have installed by this point next year.
The Michigan State offense struggles, which is more or less the opposite of breaking news. Notre Dame's offense does not, and the Irish cruise in this one.
Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees throws for 192 yards and three touchdowns, two of which go to tight end Troy Niklas. The running game also gets going for the Irish, and George Atkinson III runs for 89 yards on just 11 carries.
Multiple quarterbacks play for Michigan State, and this group is collectively woeful. The QBs finish with 101 yards passing and two interceptions. Multiple backs see the field as well, and while the results are slightly better, it isn't optimal. Sparty runs for 115 yards on 30 carries in the loss.
The Michigan State defense scores the only touchdown for Sparty in this one on a fumble return, thus confirming this is the most realistic video game ever created.
Stanford scores the final 21 points, totals just less than 500 yards and forces three turnovers. The game score more or less matches this.
Cardinal quarterback Kevin Hogan is fantastic, throwing for 256 yards and four scores. While the running backs aren't necessarily this good, they do average more than five yards per carry and finish with more than 200 yards rushing.
Taylor Kelly plays a solid game for ASU at quarterback, throwing for 261 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Running back Marion Grice runs for 68 yards on 11 carries and catches five passes for 55 yards in a loss.
Following the game, Sun Devils coach Todd Graham asks for a 31-point "bonus" from the officials. And although the officials meet to consider this totally reasonable idea, they eventually decide against it.
After watching last weekend's game, I can't blame Graham for trying.
Clemson 35, N.C. State 17
Pitt 21, Duke 14
Baylor 31, UL Monroe 17—This Baylor point total feels about 35 or so points too light.
BYU 38, Utah 31
Rutgers 27, Arkansas 20
Wisconsin 34, Purdue 17
Alabama 42, Colorado State 0
Louisville 28, FIU 23—If Louisville only wins by five, I will eat my gaming system with a fork and knife and do so on camera.
Mississippi State 19, Troy 7
Missouri 28, Indiana 16
Iowa 41, Western Michigan 31
Maryland 45, West Virginia 28
Texas 34, Kansas State 10—WHAT HOT SEAT? YOUR MOVE, MEDIA.
Oregon State 21, San Diego State 16
Georgia Tech 24, North Carolina 21
Michigan 37, UConn 10
Texas A&M 41, SMU 20