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1
16
Oklahoma
Troy
49
13
8
9
Penn State
Boise State
20
17
4
13
Alabama
Virginia Tech
20
14
5
12
USC
Cincinnati
27
17
3
14
Texas
East Carolina
34
10
6
11
Utah
TCU
16
18
7
10
Texas Tech
Ohio State
31
21
2
15
Florida
Buffalo
43
16
1
8
Oklahoma
Penn State
33
21
4
5
Alabama
USC
14
21
3
11
Texas
TCU
23
17
7
2
Texas Tech
Florida
32
45
1
5
Oklahoma
USC
24
30
3
2
Texas
Florida
37
34
5
3
USC
Texas
21
26

Over the next four weeks, the top 16 teams (11 conference champions and five at-large) in the nation will compete for the ultimate title in the December Madness playoff.

The results of each round will be revealed here (Fieldof16.com) on Tuesdays December 16th, 23rd, 30th and January 6th when a true national champion is crowned.

An updated bracket with scores, recaps and example boxscores with play-by-play are below. To determine who wins and advances, WhatIfSports uses its award-winning simulation software to "play" each game 1,001 times.... More >

5
3
USC
Texas
21
26
Hooked’em – just barely. The mistakes finally catch up to the December Madness defending champion USC Trojans as Texas narrowly wins the true title with a 26-21 win. The game may be even closer than that "on paper" (i.e. in computer). In 1,001 simulations of this game, the Longhorns win 505 times (50.4%).

All the credit goes to Texas for winning it all and taking out the Trojans when no other team in this tournament could, but USC ultimately defeats itself. In this game, the Trojans lose three critical fumbles and allow Brian Orakpo and company to sack Mark Sanchez an astounding five times.

Meanwhile, Texas plays an almost perfect game with no turnovers, no sacks allowed, four made field goals, three plays of more than 50 yards and just TWO incompletions. Though he is not chosen as player of the game – that goes to Chris Ogbannaya and his 95 yards on seven touches – this performance is enough to solidify Texas quarterback Colt McCoy as the December Madness Most Valuable Player.

In four games facing stellar defenses from East Carolina, TCU, Florida and USC, McCoy completes 73.6% of his passes for 824 yards and seven touchdowns. He also rushes for 54 more yards and two scores on the ground, while only turning the ball over once. He was given a tough challenge in replacing Vince Young as a true freshman, but McCoy is unquestionably one of the best all-around players and leaders in college football. The fact that he’ll be back next season (even after winning December Madness and its MVP) should scare everyone on the Longhorns' schedule.

The performance of the Trojans, especially up to this point, cannot be overlooked. USC's defense shutdown Cincinnati's spread attack, Alabama’s powerful running game and Oklahoma's record-setting, balanced assault. It even holds Texas in check for the most part as three lost fumbles by the offense put the defense in a tough spot.

Seven defensive starters, including all three linebackers, are seniors and at least one junior, safety Taylor Mays, is expected to leave after this season. In most places, it would be tough to replace eight starters, but there are high school All-Americans at every position waiting for a chance to shine. Plus, the other leading December Madness MVP candidate, Joe McKnight, is just a sophomore and the quarterback, Mark Sanchez is a junior, so the offense will likely be better next year.

McKnight finishes with 371 yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns in the four games. But none of the speculation to next year changes the outcome of this game. The 2008 Texas Longhorns are the best team in college football – true national champions.

Player of the game: Chris Ogbonnaya (95 total yards, 1 TD)

Winning Percentage of 1,001 Simulations: Texas 50.4% - USC 49.6%

December Madness MVP: Colt McCoy (53/72 for 824 passing yards, 7 TDs, 1 INT, 54 rushing yards, 2 TDs)

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