This is a difficult time of year for the college football fan. Sure, there’s spring practice to gush over—and gush we will—but it pales in comparison to college basketball's bracket insanity that will soon suck up your attention span like the world’s largest industrial sponge.
In an effort to ease such pain—and to kill a few offseason hours—college football is getting a 64-team bracket of its own.
“But college football is getting a playoff,” said the man in the back row completely unaware of his surroundings. Yes, it is. But it’s not getting this kind of bracket, nor should it.
A 64-team bracket is completely unreasonable and unnecessary for the sport you love, but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be a joyous few weeks of unnecessary chaos. And the impossible nature of such tournament won’t stop us from diving head first into the yearly hypothetical and checking for water midair.
Using regular-season records, strength of schedule, final BCS rankings, head-to-head results, polls and placing a hefty emphasis on late-season results—while also incorporating a sprinkle of the eyesight test—the hypothetical college football bracket has been constructed.
Please note: The players from the past season are staying around just a little longer, although please don’t tell their agents. They wouldn’t like that.
Have an issue with teams or seeding? Please email the selection committee at PeopleAreGoingToGetMadAtAHypotheticalBracket@AndThatsOkay.com.
Your opinion matters.
Florida State checks in as the No. 1 seed in the East and the No. 1 seed overall. If this surprises you, then you’re going to have serious issues with the committee going forward.
The Seminoles’ reward for such excellence is Michigan. The Wolverines just barely cracked the bracket, giving us one of the sexiest 24.5-point spreads in recent history.
In terms of intrigue, Marshall vs. Georgia in the 7-10-game is a vastly underrated game that should feature plenty of destruction from Bulldogs running back Todd Gurley and Thundering Herd quarterback Rakeem Cato.
And while there will be plenty of offense here, Duke and Bowling Green might set their scoreboard on fire. People often say this as a joke, but we’re not laughing. In fact, a fire truck as been called on site just in case.
The Buckeyes will get the winner of Duke-Bowling Green if they can get by Western Kentucky. After that, it could be a lovely little matchup with Missouri. Does Syracuse have what it takes to knock the Tigers out in the first round?
No, no it doesn’t.
Let’s move along.
Your No. 1 seed in the Midwest is none other than Michigan State, a no-brainer selection given how Sparty closed out the season. The Spartans will take on an underrated Colorado State team that had no issue scoring points in 2013. That…will likely change here.
Alabama—yes, that Alabama—checks in as the No. 2 seed and will take on Boston College in the opening round. It feels strange penciling in the Crimson Tide at anything but a No. 1, but it’s also appropriate given the way the last two games unfolded.
Remember, a team’s finish was weighed more than anything when it came to seeding. I’m sure Alabama fans will agree. Now, please excuse me while I throw on some comment section riot gear for no reason at all.
Elsewhere in the bracket, Oklahoma State and North Carolina are poised to run 200 or so plays in their Round 1 meeting. Notre Dame will hop aboard the Tommy Rees Express for the 1,989th time, and the ride will begin with Ball State.
In terms of historically significant matchups, Miami-Nebraska will be the game your dad can’t wait to watch. (Don’t tell him about their seeding. It’s better this way.)
With three of the No. 1 seeds locks coming in as a lock, there was one vacancy up for debate. While the committee struggled with this one quite a bit, South Carolina will enjoy top honors over Missouri (and a few others).
Steve Spurrier—excited about the prospects—quickly sent out a press release the moment that bracket was released. It simply said, “Clemson has never been a top seed in a hypothetical college football bracket,” and that was it.
It was one sentence. And then he signed it.
If rematches are your thing, Oregon and Boise State will provide a solid clash that will attempt to live up to their 2008 rendition. Meanwhile, in a game that won’t get nearly the coverage that it should, Utah State and Arizona will duke it out in a fantastic 8-9-matchup.
Looking ahead to the second round, we have the potential for some enormous fireworks. If UCLA gets past Houston—likely—and Texas A&M gets past Virginia Tech—likely—then it will be Brett Hundley vs. Johnny Manziel in a game you should already be tailgating for.
Oklahoma checks in as a No. 2 seed following its Sugar Bowl demolition, and the possibility of a Red River Shootout: Playoff Edition is very much alive. Suit up, Mack Brown. Let's enjoy this one last ride.
Welcome to Bret Bielema’s least favorite portion of the bracket. If tempo is your thing—and it’s certainly not his—you’ll enjoy the festivities of the South.
You don’t have to look far to find it, not with Auburn checking in as the No. 1 seed. The Tigers will draw Middle Tennessee State in the opening round and then get the winner of Kansas State-Iowa.
If that wasn’t enough for Mr. Bielema, Baylor, Texas Tech and Arizona State are also in this region. The Bears open against Oregon State, a game accompanied with an over/under right around 83.5—and there’s no reason you should even consider the under.
Texas Tech will look to upset Vanderbilt as a 10th seed, which is a distinct possibility if the Red Raiders can recreate bowl magic. And the fifth-seeded Sun Devils will look to take care of business against Rice, which isn’t exactly a given following their bowl woes. You can ask Texas Tech about that.
Still, tempo looks promising overall here.
Central Florida—maybe the most underappreciated No. 3 seed in the tournament—will open with North Texas. From there, UCF could draw USC in one of the more exciting three-letter hypothetical playoff matchups ever created.
If you think the committee did a good job, we accept complimentary donations of barbecue. Please feel free to send it over at your earliest convenience.