For the eighth consecutive season, WhatIfsports.com is proud to present the ultimate college football playoff in a tournament we refer to as December Madness 2011.
Over the next three weeks, the Top 16 college football teams (11 conference champions and five at-large programs based on BCS rating) will compete for the December Madness title.
Utilizing our award-winning college football simulation engine, we "play" each matchup 1,001 times.
View the December Madness playoff bracket and complete box score here: http://www.whatifsports.com/decmadness/
You know how, at times, art imitates life? Consider this simulated game recap Whatifsports.com's Sistine Chapel.
The Tigers and Tide combined for seven field goals in 60 minutes. The game's final five minutes were an edge-of-your-seat anxiety attack waiting to happen.
Trailing by nine, Alabama's Jeremy Shelley booted a 30-yard field goal with five and change remaining to cut LSU's lead to six, 19-13.
The Tide's ironclad defense forced a three-and-out on the ensuing possession. Three offensive plays swung the momentum back to 'Bama: Trent Richardson's 48 yards on a draw, Eddie Lacy's one-yard carry and Lacy's 20 yards on a pitch right for six (extra point good).
Trailing 20-19, Jordan Jefferson had 2 minutes, 46 seconds to move the ball into field-goal range for Drew Alleman.
The Tigers faced a fourth-and-11 from their own 21 when coach Les Miles called a timeout. He drew up a beauty. Jefferson hit Odell Beckham on a 21-yard pass play to move the chains and keep the Tigers' chances alive.
The quarterback completed his next three passes for 31 yards to move LSU into 'Bama territory and settle in at the Alabama 27-yard line.
With 19 seconds remaining, the snap came back, the ball was put down and Alleman booted his fifth and final field goal through the uprights for the game-winner.
The Tigers won 22-20 and advanced in dramatic fashion.
Player of the game: Drew Alleman (game-winning field goal)
Winning Percentage of 1,001 Simulations: LSU 59.9% - Alabama 40.1%