Home The 128 Team Playoff, Day 71: Notre Dame vs. Marshall

The 128 Team Playoff, Day 71: Notre Dame vs. Marshall

by CJ Olson

Photo courtesy of Notre Dame athletics


We’ve created a 130-team bracket using ESPN’s FPI as our ranking system.

“But, anyone can create a bracket, how will the games be simulated?” Great question; NCAA Game Sim was used.

For each game on the bracket, the matchup was simulated once and every day a write-up will be done.

For the matchup, player statistics will be simulated and included in the write-ups.

Finally, thanks to the NCAA Game Sim premium membership, we’ll show the results of doing 100 simulations all at once. This is to see if a given result was more towards the expected side or if a given result was more towards the upset or luckier side.

All of the results have been simulated and tabulated, so at the time of writing the introduction, the results are already in.

This is designed to be fun, so please enjoy.

From Georgia to Massachusetts, here’s the 130-team bracket:

Match 72

(1) Notre Dame vs. (9) Marshall

How Notre Dame Got Here: 26-17 win over (16) Bowling Green

How Marshall Got Here: 23-14 win over (8) Nevada

Once again, Marshall came out flying, running a ton of plays. This also forced Notre Dame to run a lot of plays — a strategy where the Fighting Irish do not excel.

Marshall quarterback Grant Wells was 26-for-37 with 231 yards and two touchdowns.

Running back Rasheen Ali was Marshall’s leading rusher and leading receiver. He ran for 115 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries. In the passing game, Ali had six receptions for 53 yards.

Notre Dame was able to keep up with the Thundering Herd, though.

Quarterback Jack Coan was 34-for-46 with 357 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception.

Running back Kyren Williams had 138 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries.

In a back-and-forth, high-octane game, Notre Dame was able to pull this one out. Narrowly, Notre Dame wins, 38-31.

In 100 simulations, Notre Dame actually did not win a majority. Marshall won 51 of them by an average margin of 27.2-26.3.

It’s hard to say if this is due to the tempo or ncaagamesim.com differing from ESPN’s Football Power Index on Notre Dame and/or Marshall.

With Marshall’s loss, Conference USA is down to just Western Kentucky remaining.

Winner’s Next Matchup: Winner of (5) Boise State vs. (13) Hawaii

Tomorrow’s Matchup: (1) Oklahoma State vs. (8) USC

Updated Bracket

Teams Lost, In Order:


Massachusetts, Connecticut


Akron, New Mexico State, Florida International, Temple, New Mexico, Bowling Green, Rice, Vanderbilt, Louisiana-Monroe, Texas State, Arkansas State, Charlotte, Southern Mississippi, Ohio, Kansas, Duke, UNLV, Georgia Southern, UTEP, South Alabama, San Jose State, South Florida, Arizona, Old Dominion, Louisiana Tech, Ball State, Minnesota, Navy, Nebraska, Buffalo, Troy, Colorado State, North Texas, Eastern Michigan, Northwestern, Northern Illinois, Florida Atlantic, Stanford, Tulane, Colorado, Wyoming, Middle Tennessee, Rutgers, Miami University, Indiana, Louisville, Georgia Tech, East Carolina, West Virginia, Central Michigan, Missouri, Syracuse, Tulsa, Western Michigan, Utah State, Liberty, UTSA, Boston College, Nevada, South Carolina, Army, Washington, Air Force, Virginia Tech


Toledo, Alabama, Illinois, TCU, UAB, Marshall


American: 5/11 (highest remaining: 2. Cincinnati)

ACC: 8/14 (highest remaining: 1. Clemson)

Big 12: 7/10 (highest remaining: 1. Oklahoma, 1. Oklahoma State)

Big Ten: 8/14 (highest remaining: 1. Ohio State, 1. Michigan)

Conference USA: 1/14 (highest remaining: 6. Western Kentucky)

Independents: 2/7 (highest remaining: 1. Notre Dame)

MAC: 1/12 (highest remaining: 13. Kent State)

Mountain West: 3/12 (highest remaining: 5. Boise State)

Pac-12: 8/12 (highest remaining: 2. Utah)

SEC: 10/14 (highest remaining: 1. Georgia)

Sun Belt: 5/10 (highest remaining: 5. Appalachian State)