Each Monday morning, Whatifsports.com's NCAA college football simulation engine will provide you with game predictions for every D-1 FBS game that upcoming week. The college football simulation engine generates detailed information for each game including the home team's chances of winning (Home Win percentage) and the average points scored for both teams. Make sure to share the college football information you gained here with your friends by either checking out our NCAA football widgets on the WhatIf To Go page or clicking on the social networking share bar at the top and bottom of this article.
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The statistical inputs to the thousands of college football simulations are based on rigorous analysis of each team's roster, depth charts, and statistically based player rankings. Roster modifications are made in cases of injury or suspension, and those players are removed from their team's game simulation for that week.
Game of the Week: Miami (FL) vs Ohio State
The 2003 Fiesta Bowl is still considered one of the greatest college football games of all time.
Miami, on a 34-game winning streak, was surely the favorite in what was also the 2002 Bowl Championship Series national championship game. The Hurricanes matched up with Ohio State, a team that matched the Hurricanes' undefeated season and were looking to put Jim Tressel on the map.
The game featured two overtimes, a controversial call, and one upset as the Buckeyes topped the Canes 31-24 to win the championship.
This week, they'll square off again for the first time since that memorable outing. And while it may not have the streaks, the hype, or the championship on the line, it's certainly an intriguing game featuring two quarterbacks with Heisman Trophy potential early on in the college football season.
Both teams opened their seasons last Thursday with unsurprising routs featuring nearly identical scores. For No. 2 Ohio State, it was a 45-7 drubbing of Marshall, while Miami throttled Florida A&M 45-0.
Miami didn't need to leave Jacory Harris in very long for him to put the Hurricanes in cruise control or for him to remind national pundits why he's a candidate for college football's most prestigious award. Harris completed 12 of 15 passes for 210 yards and three quick touchdowns before giving way to his reserves.
Miami racked up more than 400 yards of offense and averaged nearly 10 yards per pass attempt, but less than five yards per carry, somewhat troubling considering the opponent.
Meanwhile, Ohio State signal-caller Terrelle Pryor was busy matching Harris. Pryor needed a few more attempts to get there, but threw for 247 yards and three touchdowns of his own.
The Buckeyes amassed more than 500 yards of total offense and looked much better running the ball, going for more than six yards per carry.
It's that running game that helps Ohio State prevail once again in the 2002 title game rematch.
In this week's simulations, the Buckeyes don't quite get to five yards per carry, but they stifle the Hurricanes to just over 100 yards on the ground and an average of just 3.8 yards per touch.
As for the Heisman hopefuls, they just about put up matching numbers, but chalk one up for Pryor for being on the winning side.
His Buckeyes win the matchup more than 70 percent of the time by an average of eight points.
Game of the Week: Penn State vs Alabama
The nation's top-ranked team didn't need its Heisman Trophy-winning running back in the season opener.
Whether the Alabama Crimson Tide will have Mark Ingram this time around hasn't yet been announced. But even if he is cleared to play, should Alabama use him against Penn State? Or can they beat the Nittany Lions without him?
If there is one thing that Week 1 proved, and it surely wasn't a shock, it's that Trent Richardson doesn't present a significant dropoff from Ingram at running back.
Richardson ran the ball 10 times for 66 yards and two touchdowns as Alabama cruised to a 48-3 victory over San Jose State in the opener.
That said, it's certainly hard to gauge the prolific numbers that Bama put up. The Tide amassed nearly 600 total yards, ran for 6.3 yards per carry, and averaged more than 11 yards per pass attempt. Similarly, they held San Jose State to just 175 yards of offense, less than five yards per pass attempt, and just 3.1 yards per carry.
Clearly, the competition level wasn't there in what was basically a tune-up. A date with Penn State will be anything but—though the Nittany Lions' numbers from the first week hardly painted a clearer picture.
The Nittany Lions rolled to a 44-14 victory over Youngstown State, in which the Penguins tacked on a late touchdown and Penn State seemingly needed a first-half wake-up call.
It got it from true freshman quarterback Rob Bolden as he threw for 239 yards and a pair of touchdowns. It was the first time Joe Paterno had ever started a true freshman quarterback, and Bolden answered the call, though the numbers were far from as outlandish as those put up by Alabama.
Now, the rookie will likely make his second career start against the nation's top team. Can he spring the upset?
And Alabama could probably considering resting Ingram instead of risking bringing him back too soon.
The rushing numbers for the two teams—Bama without Ingram since they haven't confirmed he will play—are nearly identical.
And in all actuality, the Crimson Tide's passing game appears to give them the advantage. Alabama throws for an average of nearly 50 more yards per game, but more importantly needs fewer passing attempts to do it.
In this week's simulations, the nation's top-ranked team stays atop its perch easily. The Crimson Tide win more than 82 percent of the time by an average margin of more than two touchdowns.
|College Football Week 2|
|Matchup||Win % ||Avg Score|
|James Madison Dukes||5.0||6|
|@ Virginia Tech Hokies||95.0||66|
|Presbyterian Blue Hose||5.0||5|
|@ Clemson Tigers||95.0||61|
|Morgan State Bears||5.0||8|
|@ Maryland Terrapins||95.0||44|
|Kent State Golden Flashes||14.0||11|
|@ Boston College Eagles||86.0||28|
|Duke Blue Devils||57.9||26|
|@ Wake Forest Demon Deacons||42.1||25|
|New Hampshire Wildcats||5.0||6|
|@ Pittsburgh Panthers||95.0||64|
|Indiana State Sycamores||5.0||7|
|@ Cincinnati Bearcats||95.0||63|
|Texas Southern Tigers||5.0||7|
|@ Connecticut Huskies||95.0||58|
|Eastern Kentucky Colonels||5.0||8|
|@ Louisville Cardinals||95.0||47|
|Iowa State Cyclones||5.0||10|
|@ Iowa Hawkeyes||95.0||38|
|Southern Illinois Salukis||5.0||9|
|@ Illinois Fighting Illini||95.0||47|
|South Dakota Coyotes||5.0||6|
|@ Minnesota Golden Gophers||95.0||41|
|Illinois State Redbirds||5.0||8|
|@ Northwestern Wildcats||95.0||52|
|Western Illinois Leathernecks||5.0||8|
|@ Purdue Boilermakers||95.0||49|
|San Jose State Spartans||5.0||12|
|@ Wisconsin Badgers||95.0||48|
|Florida Atlantic Owls||12.3||31|
|@ Michigan State Spartans||87.7||46|
|Miami (FL) Hurricanes||29.8||26|
|@ Ohio State Buckeyes||70.2||34|
|North Dakota Fighting Sioux||5.0||9|
|@ Northern Illinois Huskies||95.0||46|
|Nicholls State Colonels||5.0||10|
|@ Western Michigan Broncos||95.0||32|
|Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs||5.0||8|
|@ Akron Zips||95.0||34|
|@ Ball State Cardinals||91.2||31|
|Central Michigan Chippewas||12.3||15|
|@ Temple Owls||87.7||34|
|@ Ohio Bobcats||80.7||34|
|Eastern Michigan Eagles||45.6||17|
|@ Miami (OH) RedHawks||54.4||20|
|Northern Arizona Lumberjacks||5.0||7|
|@ Arizona State Sun Devils||95.0||44|
|@ Arizona Wildcats||95.0||65|
|Montana State Bobcats||5.0||10|
|@ Washington State Cougars||95.0||35|
|@ California Golden Bears||91.2||38|
|@ USC Trojans||80.7||35|
|@ UCLA Bruins||43.9||33|
|@ Washington Huskies||14.0||24|
|Western Kentucky Hilltoppers||5.0||8|
|@ Kentucky Wildcats||95.0||38|
|@ Arkansas Razorbacks||93.0||45|
|South Florida Bulls||7.0||21|
|@ Florida Gators||93.0||39|
|Penn State Nittany Lions||17.5||14|
|@ Alabama Crimson Tide||82.5||30|
|@ South Carolina Gamecocks||36.8||28|
|@ Tennessee Volunteers||14.0||19|
|@ Mississippi State Bulldogs||8.8||19|
|@ Vanderbilt Commodores||5.0||9|
|Idaho State Bengals||5.0||6|
|@ Utah State Aggies||95.0||47|
|Colorado State Rams||5.3||18|
|@ Nevada Wolf Pack||94.7||46|
|San Diego State Aztecs||93.0||31|
|@ New Mexico State Aggies||7.0||13|
|Georgia Southern Eagles||5.0||7|
|@ Navy Midshipmen||95.0||48|
|@ Notre Dame Fighting Irish||66.7||36|
|@ Army Black Knights||24.6||23|
|McNeese State Cowboys||5.0||9|
|@ Missouri Tigers||95.0||51|
|@ Texas Longhorns||95.0||37|
|Missouri State Bears||5.0||8|
|@ Kansas State Wildcats||95.0||50|
|Louisiana Tech Bulldogs||19.3||22|
|@ Texas A&M Aggies||80.7||37|
|@ Baylor Bears||75.4||32|
|@ Nebraska Cornhuskers||68.4||36|
|@ Oklahoma State Cowboys||63.2||30|
|Florida State Seminoles||61.4||39|
|@ Oklahoma Sooners||38.6||38|
|Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets||95.0||48|
|@ Kansas Jayhawks||5.0||21|
|@ Houston Cougars||95.0||51|
|Prairie View A&M Panthers||5.0||8|
|@ Southern Miss Golden Eagles||95.0||53|
|@ East Carolina Pirates||82.5||36|
|@ Southern Methodist Mustangs||73.7||40|
|Bowling Green Falcons||40.4||25|
|@ Tulsa Golden Hurricane||59.6||28|
|North Carolina State Wolfpack||49.1||30|
|@ UCF Knights||50.9||34|
|West Virginia Mountaineers||86.0||33|
|@ Marshall Thundering Herd||14.0||22|
|@ Tulane Green Wave||12.3||21|
|@ Utah Utes||95.0||41|
|Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles||5.0||5|
|@ TCU Horned Frogs||95.0||69|
|Brigham Young Cougars||40.4||22|
|@ Air Force Falcons||59.6||26|
|Texas Tech Red Raiders||95.0||39|
|@ New Mexico Lobos||5.0||11|
|Austin Peay Governors||5.0||9|
|@ Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders||95.0||46|
|@ North Texas Mean Green||57.9||30|
|Arkansas State Red Wolves||64.9||23|
|@ Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns||35.1||20|
|Rutgers Scarlet Knights||95.0||36|
|@ Florida International Golden Panthers||5.0||9|