Monday, December 22, 2008

Pretend NCAA Division I Playoffs: #5 USC vs. #4 Alabama

We’ve reached the end of the first round of our pretend playoffs with this final match up. The USC Trojans are the champions of the Pac 10 Conference. They score an average of 37.5 points per game which ranks them second in the conference. The Trojans are balanced on offense with 2,965 passing yards and 2,472 rushing yards both of those are second in the conference as well. Their offensive touchdowns are comparable as well with 32 coming through the air and 26 on the ground. On defense the Trojans are statically the best in the nation. They only allow an average of 7.8 points per game and are holding opponents to just 206 yards per game.

On the other side of the field the Alabama Crimson Tide ended the season as the runner up in the SEC. The Tide score an average of 31.2 points per game which ranks them behind Florida and Georgia. Unlike USC they run better than they throw the ball but like the Trojans the stats are close. Bama has 2,554 rushing yards with 32 touchdowns on the ground opposed to 2,219 passing yards but with only 10 touchdowns coming through the air. Defensively Alabama is physical and tough in the same mold as USC. They are only allowing 13 points per game and play in a conference that is much stronger than they Pac 10.

The game plan for the Trojans is simple. Focus on stopping Glen Coffee and force John Parker Wilson to beat them. It would pay immediate dividends in the first quarter as a Wilson interception at the Bama 34 would set the Trojans up for their first touchdown which would be a 20 yard pass from Mark Sanchez to Patrick Turner. USC would carry that 7-0 lead into the locker room at the half and the teams would swap field goals in the 3rd making the score 10-3 USC going into the final period.

The 4th quarter got off to a good start for the Crimson Tide as Mark Ingram capped the best drive of the day with a two yard touchdown on a draw play to tie the score at 10-10. However, Alabama’s jubilation would be short lived because the Trojans would run the kickoff back 90 yards for a score to take a 17-10 lead and then never look back. USC would then add two more field goals in the final period before Stafon Johnson put the final nail in the coffin on an 11 yard draw play.

USC: 30
Alabama: 10

Alabama Stats
John Parker Wilson 9/21 – 74 yards, 0 touchdowns, 1 interception
Glen Coffee 21 carries/132 yards
Roy Upchurch 8 carries/69 yards
Mark Ingram 14 carries/33 yards, 1 touchdown
Nick Walker 3 receptions/67 yards

USC Stats
Mark Sanchez 14/25 – 130 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception
C.J. Gable 12 carries/48 yards
Joe McKnight 12 carries/45 yards
Stafon Johnson 17 carries/44 yards, 1 touchdown
Patrick Turner 4 receptions/50 yards, 1 touchdown

Game simulated by What if

That’s how I see it going down. How about you?

#8 Penn State 21, #1 OU 34
#7 Texas Tech 28, #2 Florida 42
#6 Utah 24, #3 Texas 35

Second Round Games
#5 USC vs. #1 OU – At the Orange Bowl
#3 Texas vs. #2 Florida – At the Rose Bowl

Consolation BCS Bowls
Sugar Bowl - #4 Alabama vs. #8 Penn State
Fiesta Bowl - #6 Utah vs. #7 Texas Tech