The 128 Team Playoff, Day 89: Texas vs. Western Kentucky

Photo courtesy of Texas 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 90

(3) Texas vs. (6) Western Kentucky

How Texas Got Here: 44-13 win over (14) Old Dominion

How Western Kentucky Got Here: 42-35 win over (11) Wyoming

The Bailey Zappe to Jerreth Sterns connection was strong in this one, once again for Western Kentucky.

Zappe finished 38-for-53 with 454 yards and three touchdowns. Sterns finished with six receptions and 82 yards.

Running back Noah Whittington also put up 75 rushing yards and a touchdown on just four attempts.

Unfortunately for the Hilltoppers, Texas also had a strong quarterback-to-wide receiver connection.

Quarterback Casey Thompson was 25-for-39 with 415 yards and three touchdowns of his own.

His No. 1 receiver in this one was Xavier Worthy, who caught 10 passes for 199 yards and two touchdowns.

Running back Bijan Robinson contributed 73 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries.

The deciding score came with just over four minutes to go. It was not quite as epic as the Vince Young “he’s going for the corner — he’s got it!” moment from the Rose Bowl at the end of the 2005 season. Thompson took the 4th-and-2 snap on Western Kentucky’s 6-yard line, scrambled to his left and dove for the pylon.

Texas wins a back-and-forth game that saw no two-possession leads. The Longhorns win a thriller, 38-31.

In 100 simulations, Texas won 65 by an average margin of 38.5-30.3.

Conference USA has now lost every single one of its 14 teams. It is the first conference to do so.

Winner’s Next Matchup: (2) Iowa State

Tomorrow’s Matchup: (4) Purdue vs. (5) BYU

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


American: 3/11 (highest remaining: 2. Cincinnati)

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

Big 12: 6/10 (highest remaining: 1. Oklahoma, 1. Oklahoma State)

Big Ten: 7/14 (highest remaining: 1. Ohio State, 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: 1/12 (highest remaining: 13. Kent State)

Mountain West: 2/12 (highest remaining: 5. Boise State)

Pac-12: 4/12 (highest remaining: 2. Utah)

SEC: 8/14 (highest remaining: 1. Georgia)

Sun Belt: 4/10 (highest remaining: 5. Appalachian State)