The 128 Team Playoff, Day 103: Notre Dame vs. Boise State

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 104

(1) Notre Dame vs. (5) Boise State

How Notre Dame Got Here: 26-17 win over (16) Bowling Green, 38-31 win over (9) Marshall

How Boise State Got Here: 30-14 win over (12) Stanford, 27-14 win over (13) Hawaii

Notre Dame has flown by the seat of its pants in this tournament. Even though it has a one-seed designation, this Fighting Irish team is anything but.

Remember, in the second round, Notre Dame won 49 of the 100 simulations against No. 9 Marshall.

So, how did Notre Dame do?

Running back Kyren Williams only ran for 51 yards on 16 carries.

Thankfully for the Irish, quarterback Jack Coan had a good enough game. Coan was 21-for-35 with 283 yards, a touchdown, and an interception.

Perhaps most important for the Irish was the defense.

Boise State quarterback Hank Bachmeier was 25-for-32 with 256 yards. But where the Broncos struggled was converting in the red zone, where they ran for less than two yards per carry.

Overall, the game’s leading rusher was George Holani, who ran for 52 yards on 12 carries.

Despite the 78.1% completion percentage, Boise State only had the consistency to find the end zone once. It had to settle for four field goals.

Notre Dame’s defense bent, but certainly did not break. The Irish squeak out another one — this one by a score of 26-19.

In 100 simulations, Boise State won 50 of them, but had edged out Notre Dame on average points by a margin of 24.1-23.4.

Winner’s Next Matchup: Winner of (2) Utah vs. (6) North Carolina

Tomorrow’s Matchup: (1) Oklahoma State vs. (4) Tennessee

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, USC, San Diego State, California, UCF, Washington State, Pittsburgh, Oregon State, Florida State, BaylorNC State, Louisiana, Ole MissMichigan State, Auburn, SMU, Wake Forest, Miami, Western Kentucky, Purdue, Arizona State, Hawaii, Kentucky, Kent State, Kansas State, UCLA, Appalachian State


Iowa, FloridaOhio State, Mississippi State, Houston, Boise State


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

ACC: 3/14 (highest remaining: 1. Clemson)

Big 12: 5/10 (highest remaining: 1. Oklahoma, 1. Oklahoma State)

Big Ten: 4/14 (highest remaining: 1. Michigan)

Conference USA: 0/14 (last remaining was No. 6 Western Kentucky, eliminated Day 89)

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

MAC: 0/12 (last remaining was No. 13 Kent State, eliminated Day 94)

Mountain West: 1/12 (highest remaining: 7. Fresno State)

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

SEC: 5/14 (highest remaining: 1. Georgia)

Sun Belt: 2/10 (highest remaining: 6. Coastal Carolina)