Updating College Football's Dream 64-Team Bracket to the Sweet 16
Your bracket was pronounced dead sometime Sunday afternoon. Or perhaps this moment of abbreviated silence came earlier. Given the madness, upsets and incredible watchability, it was likely much earlier.
At this very moment this crumpled up slab of paper smothered in red pen is nestled at the bottom of your kitchen garbage can, anxiously awaiting this week’s pickup.
Is this you? (It is.)
Because of this, it’s time to turn our attention back to our hypothetical 64-team college football bracket. Yep, we made one in honor of the basketball mania, using the 2013-14 results as a baseline for seeding. And now we’re taking the hypothetical scenario to another level yet again.
Forget about simply seeding the teams—been there, done that. With college basketball’s Sweet 16 set, college football has a Sweet 16 of its own.
Using the winning teams and seeds in each individual region from college basketball’s postseason, our bracket—the one that will never actually happen—has been advanced.
I repeat: All seeds that won in the NCAA tournament have been noted here and the chaos is, well, everywhere. Again, these are not my picks. There’s been some confusion when it comes to this over the years, so let’s try and eliminate that before we begin.
Feel free to blame me for hating your team anyway. Tradition is a wonderful thing.
Let’s not waste time getting to the Sweet 16’s prime-time, scoreboard-shattering, soon-to-be-nine-and-a-half-hour destruction showdown. Auburn will meet up with Baylor, and we’ll set the over/under on this matchup at a cool 4,987.5.
Free gambling advice: "Borrow" your son or daughter's piggy bank and take the over.
While this meeting shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, the bottom bracket is a much different story. Your No. 2 and No. 3 seeds are no more.
Louisiana-Lafayette (played by Dayton in the basketball tournament) bested USC and then pulled a much bigger upset against Central Florida. Now Texas Tech is up on the docket.
Yes, Kliff Kingsbury’s life remains remarkably awesome. The Red Raiders got by Vanderbilt and then bested Clemson, and a visit to the Elite Eight could be on the horizon.
As we said before the games were played, this is without question Bret Bielema’s least favorite bracket because of all the tempo-driven teams sprinkled throughout. I would suggest he avoid it until further notice.
Wichita State’s exit in the second round of March Madness is good news for Ole Miss football, the No. 8 seed in the Midwest—playing the role of Kentucky basketball—and a Sweet 16 participant.
The Rebels will take on Louisville in the next round. This wasn’t planned, obviously, but Louisville football and Louisville basketball are actually the same seed in the same region. That’s a hypothetical bracket first. It also makes this particular team easy to keep track of.
Ball State’s run continues as well—courtesy of Tennessee basketball. The Cardinals beat Notre Dame along with Penn State. Their reward for such solid play is Alabama, which is not exactly the world’s friendliest path.
Nick Saban’s group got back on track after back-to-back losses, beating Boston College and Nebraska.
Outside of enjoying Baylor-Auburn for sheer visual carnage, UCLA-South Carolina is the game I’d like to see live most in the Sweet 16.
There’s just so much football goodness packed into one game: the Ol’ Ball Coach, Brett Hundley, Jadeveon Clowney, Anthony Barr, Myles Jack, Mike Davis and likely the Ol’ Ball Coach (again) throwing something at some point.
The winner of this game will still have work to do if it hopes to make the Final Four, although it will no longer have to go through Oregon. Those plans have changed.
The Ducks fell to fellow conference foe Washington, unable to provide a successful encore for the 45-24 beating they handed the Huskies earlier this season. Sixth-seeded Washington—navigated by Baylor basketball—will now draw Oklahoma in the next game.
Will we have an all-Pac-12 game in the Elite Eight? The suspense, I’m sure, is killing you.
From a name standpoint, good luck topping what the East has to offer in the Sweet 16. We’ll get to that, but first let’s start with Marshall.
Yes, the Thundering Herd—played by Connecticut basketball in the tourney—could be a tricky one going forward. No. 3 seed Ohio State hopes that's not the case, although this has the potential to be much closer than many believe. (Think Dayton, and I’m sure such comments will make me overwhelming popular in the Columbus area.)
Ohio State is one of the sport’s most recognized brands, although the Buckeyes are not alone. Florida State and LSU are the two other teams in the East Region, which give us a loaded grouping of teams.
No. 4 seed LSU will take on the top overall seed, Florida State, in a game that will likely pull in monster ratings.
The Seminoles will indeed get Jameis Winston back for any remaining hypothetical games. We’ve sent his baseball coach a handwritten note—kind of like how your mom used to do to get you out of gym class—and he was not happy about the development.
For the time being, however, he’s all ours. We have the note to prove it.