Photo courtesy of Utah 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:
(2) Utah vs. (4) Oregon
How Utah Got Here: 59-17 win over (15) Arkansas State, 70-31 win over (7) Washington State, 30-29 win over (6) North Carolina, 31-24 win over (1) Notre Dame
How Oregon Got Here: 44-6 win over (13) Buffalo, 31-21 win over (5) Kansas State, 45-41 win over (1) Ohio State, 24-17 win over (2) Texas A&M
In their two contests last year, Utah beat Oregon by a combined score of 76-17. Typically an intense rivalry, the question now is would history repeat itself? Or, would the third time be the charm for the Ducks?
Looking back on this one, this game was dominated by the defense. Now a New York Giant, Kayvon Thibodeaux harassed Utah quarterback Cam Rising all night, sacking him three times and knocking him down six times.
Neither quarterback was particularly sharp. Rising was 16-for-24 with 175 yards and a couple of touchdowns. Oregon quarterback Anthony Brown was 15-for-28 with 153 yards.
The only player who had any relative, consistent success was Oregon running back Travis Dye. Dye finished as the game-leader in rushing yards, yards per carry, receptions, and receiving yards. He finished with 99 rushing yards on 15 carries, good for 6.6 yards per carry, as well as 62 receiving yards on six receptions.
Utah running back Tavion Thomas didn’t have a terrible game either, finishing with 86 yards on 18 carries.
On statistics alone, this game should have been within one score or so. But it was the Utes red zone defense that gave Utah an edge.
In the red zone, Brown was 4-for-12, with 13 yards. Dye had 14 yards on five carries and one catch for three yards. Oregon kicker Camden Lewis was 3-for-4 on field goals, giving the Ducks the only nine points they going to get.
Utah’s defense was plenty bendy, but it never broke when it counted. Utah wins in a slugfest, 23-9.
In 100 simulations, Oregon won 53 by a tied margin of 26.8-26.8.
Naturally, the Pac-12 was going to be down to one team regardless of the outcome of this matchup. This leaves the SEC as the only conference with multiple teams remaining.
Winner’s Next Matchup: (1) Georgia
Tomorrow’s Matchup: (1) Michigan vs. (1) Oklahoma
Teams Lost, In Order:
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, USC, San Diego State, California, UCF, Washington State, Pittsburgh, Oregon State, Florida State, Baylor, NC State, Louisiana, Ole Miss, Michigan State, Auburn, SMU, Wake Forest, Miami, Western Kentucky, Purdue, Arizona State, Hawaii, Kentucky, Kent State, Kansas State, UCLA, Appalachian State
Iowa, Florida, Ohio State, Mississippi State, Houston, Boise State, Oklahoma State, BYU, Iowa State, LSU, North Carolina, Fresno State, Wisconsin, Georgia State, Virginia, Memphis
Penn State, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Coastal Carolina, Arkansas, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Clemson
Texas, Maryland, Oregon
REMAINING TEAMS BY CONFERENCE:
American: 0/11 (last remaining was No. 2 Cincinnati, eliminated Day 120)
ACC: 0/14 (last remaining was No. 1 Clemson, eliminated Day 121)
Big 12: 1/10 (highest remaining: 1. Oklahoma)
Big Ten: 1/14 (highest remaining: 1. Michigan)
Conference USA: 0/14 (last remaining was No. 6 Western Kentucky, eliminated Day 89)
Independents: 0/7 (last remaining was No. 1 Notre Dame, eliminated Day 119)
MAC: 0/12 (last remaining was No. 13 Kent State, eliminated Day 94)
Mountain West: 0/12 (last remaining was No. 7 Fresno State, eliminated Day 109)
Pac-12: 1/12 (highest remaining: 2. Utah)
SEC: 2/14 (highest remaining: 1. Georgia)
Sun Belt: 0/10 (last remaining was No. 6 Coastal Carolina, eliminated Day 117)