The 128 Team Playoff, Day 120: Cincinnati vs. Tennessee

Photo courtesy of Cincinnati 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 121

(2) Cincinnati vs. (4) Tennessee

How Cincinnati Got Here: 51-28 win over (15) Texas State, 31-16 win over (7) UCF, 24-20 win over (6) LSU

How Tennessee Got Here: 31-10 win over (13) Ball State, 23-21 win over (5) Arizona State, 54-17 win over (1) Oklahoma State

Tennessee has had to run a gauntlet of stout defenses between Oklahoma State and Cincinnati. And throughout this entire tournament, Volunteers quarterback Hendon Hooker has undoubtedly been a top notch competitor. This game would prove no different.

Hooker finished 23-for-32 with 389 passing yards, three passing touchdowns, and a rushing touchdown to boot.

Volunteers receiver Velus Jones Jr. passed the century mark, with 102 receiving yards on three receptions.

Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder had an OK game, but with how well Hooker played, the Bearcats needed Ridder to be perfect. Ridder finished 19-for-33 with 212 yards and a touchdown.

Both team’s leading rushers finished with a similar amount of yards — 63 and 65. The difference was efficiency. Tennessee back Jabari Small managed his 65 yards on just eight carries. Cincinnati back Jerome Ford, on the other hand, needed 19 carries to muster up 63 yards.

Once again, Tennessee opens a can of something on its opponent. Cincinnati sees its season end at the hand of another SEC opponent, 43-13.

In 100 simulations, Tennessee won 65 of them by an average margin of 28.4-21.3.

This knocks out the American Athletic Conference. With nine teams left, all that remains is the Power 5.

Winner’s Next Matchup: (8) Maryland

Tomorrow’s Matchup: (1) Clemson vs. (3) Texas

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, Oklahoma State, BYU, Iowa State, LSU, North Carolina, Fresno State, Wisconsin, Georgia State, Virginia, Memphis


Penn State, Texas TechTexas A&M, Coastal Carolina, Arkansas, Notre Dame, Cincinnati


American: 0/11 (last remaining was No. 2 Cincinnati, eliminated Day 120)

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

Big 12: 2/10 (highest remaining: 1. Oklahoma)

Big Ten: 2/14 (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: 2/12 (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)