December Madness 2009

1
16
Alabama
Troy
54
7
8
9
Ohio State
Georgia Tech
31
10
4
13
TCU
West Virginia
33
10
5
12
Florida
Brigham Young
27
10
3
14
Cincinnati
Central Mich.
38
20
6
11
Boise State
Virginia Tech
28
24
7
10
Oregon
Iowa
21
17
2
15
Texas
East Carolina
33
9
1
8
Alabama
Ohio State
28
7
4
5
TCU
Florida
17
14
3
6
Cincinnati
Boise State
27
34
7
2
Oregon
Texas
13
24
1
4
Alabama
TCU
6
2
Boise State
Texas

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

To view the results of a completed round, click the Round Indicator above the bracket. Results below the bracket include scores, recaps, boxscores with play-by-play and more.

To determine who wins and advances, WhatIfSports uses its award-winning simulation software, SimMatchup College Football, to "play" each game 1,001 times.

Learn More about the simulation. >>

Play Gridiron Dynasty -- the best college football game on the web.
1
8
Alabama
Ohio State
28
7
Two legendary football programs from two of perhaps the most historic college football conferences. It sounds like the making of a second-round slugfest to open up the quarterfinals of 2009 December Madness. Instead, Alabama makes quick work of Ohio State, adding to the Buckeyesí postseason struggles of late with a 28-7 victory.

Alabama and Ohio State entered the game with two of the nationís top five defenses, giving up just 4.06 and 4.07 yards per play, respectively, and didnít disappoint, as the Crimson Tide and the Buckeyes combined for just 555 yards of total offense. But Alabama was able to force more turnovers and that proved to be the difference.

The Tide got on the board first, mounting the most impressive offensive drive of the day on their first possession. Alabama drove 56 yards in 10 plays and was bailed out on third-and-eight by an Ohio State pass interference penalty before capping off the drive with a two-yard pass from Greg McElroy to Colin Peek for what would be the first of four unanswered touchdowns, all of them in the first half.

Later in the first quarter, Alabama picked off a Terrelle Pryor pass and returned it for a touchdown to double its lead and Pryorís second pick of the first quarter might as well have gone for six as well as Bama needed to go just 17 yards to make it 21-0 on a Mark Ingram touchdown run.

The Buckeyes held the Heisman Trophy winner in check for the most part, giving up less than 100 yards on 26 carries, though Ingram added 46 more yards receiving as the Tide added another touchdown in the second quarter and gave up Ohio Stateís lone score in the third.

Ohio State was just 3-for-17 on third downs and moved the chains just nine times as Alabamaís stingy defense now moves on to the semifinals, where the Tide will either face a rematch of the Southeastern Conference title game against Tim Tebow and Florida or square off with fellow unbeaten TCU.

Player of the game: Mark Ingram (26 carries, 85 yards, 1 TD; 4 receptions, 46 yards)

Winning Percentage of 1,001 Simulations: Alabama 96.1% - Ohio State 3.9%
4
5
TCU
Florida
17
14
This is the matchup much of America, and especially those fans of the Mountain West Conference, desperately wanted to see in the postseason and it comes to them in the Elite Eight round of December Madness. Florida and TCU surely donít disappoint, grinding out a second consecutive defensive struggle in the quarterfinals that is only decided by the foot of Ross Evans, whose field goal sends the Horned Frogs through to the Final Four with a 17-14 victory.

TCUís defense was one of just two teams in the nation giving up less than four yards per play, while Floridaís was tied at the top in terms of touchdowns allowed, giving up just 15 in 12 games during the regular season. This defensive slugfest even went a step further than the 555-yard Bama-Ohio State affair as the Horned Frogs and Gators combined for just 528. Once again, turnovers made the difference as Florida coughed the ball up twice while TCU fumbled four times, but the Gators were only able to recover one of them.

Evans opened the game with a field goal, but Jeffery Demps gave Florida the halftime lead with an explosive run. His 41-yard scamper capped off what was just a two-play drive and that was the longest play from scrimmage by either team on the day.

The Gators took a commanding lead with just over six minutes left in the third quarter as they found the end zone again on the most impressive drive of the game. A series of big plays led Florida down the field after starting on its own 14-yard line and Heisman finalist Tim Tebow hit Deonte Thompson with a 19-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-3. It was the only touchdown sling for either starting quarterback as they combined to go 21-for-43 for just over 200 yards.

But the Horned Frogs began digging themselves out of that hole a little at a time. They got back within one score on the very next drive, answering the Gatorsí second touchdown with Evansí second field goal. But the real game-changing play came with just over six minutes left in the fourth quarter with the teams trading punts. Astounding on special teams all season, TCUís Jeremy Kerley made a man miss at midfield and returned a punt 46 yards for a touchdown. And Andy Daltonís pass to Andy Brock on the two-point conversion suddenly tied the game, setting up Evansí heroics. His 38-yard try was true with just over one minute remaining, and while that gave the Gators time to set up a field goal of their own, a try from 56 yards away proved to be too much.

TCU advances to the Final Four, where it will face fellow unbeaten and conference champion Alabama in what should be another defensive slugfest.

Player of the game: TCUís special teams (Ross Evans 3/3 on field goals, including game-winner; Jeremy Kerley 46-yard punt return for touchdown)

Winning Percentage of 1,001 Simulations: TCU 64.4% - Florida 35.6%
3
6
Cincinnati
Boise State
27
34
The defensive battle subsides and so does the success for the highest seeds. The first battle between two unbeaten teams provided the first upset of the bracket as Boise State overcame more than 400 yards of passing by the Cincinnati Bearcats. Kellen Moore found Titus Young with a 15-yard pass on the first possession of overtime and Boise State kept Cincinnati out of the end zone, advancing to the semifinals with a 34-27 overtime victory.

After seeing two defensive affairs in the first two games in the Elite 8, there was no question that this one was going to provide the most offense yet. The Bearcats came in with one of the top aerial assaults in the country, averaging nine yards per pass attempt and their 7.28 yards per play made them one of few teams to top Boiseís balanced attack, which also led to nearly seven yards per play. And the two teams certainly put on a second-round show, with most of that offense coming in the first half.

The two teams combined for three touchdowns of 40 yards over more in the first quarter alone. Doug Martinís 47-yard scamper put the Broncos on the board, but Isaiah Pead answered with a 40-yard run of his own on Cincinnatiís first offensive possession. From there, it looked like Boise State might cruise to the Final Four as Moore found Kyle Efaw with a 40-yard touchdown pass, then Doug Martin caught one from five yards out and Kyle Brotzman tacked on a field goal, giving the Broncos a 24-7 lead.

But Cincinnati answered before halftime, scoring on another 40-yard play - this time a pass - before Peadís second touchdown of the day cut the deficit to just three points at halftime. And after exchanging field goals throughout the second half, this one had to be decided in overtime, where Young caught a touchdown pass on just the second play for Boise State, putting Cincinnati in a must-score situation. The Bearcats picked up a first down and moved inside the 10-yard line on their first play, but thatís all the further they would get as quarterback Tony Pike was taken down trying to scramble for a touchdown to end the game.

The Bearcats had 538 yards of offense, but itís Boise State moving on to take on either another unbeaten in Big 12 champion Texas or Pac-10 champion Oregon in a rematch of the Ducks and Broncosí game to open the 2009 season.

Player of the game: Kellen Moore (20-of-33, 257 yards, 3 TDs)

Winning Percentage of 1,001 Simulations: Boise State 67.9% - Cincinnati 32.1%
7
2
Oregon
Texas
13
24
Colt McCoy will never win a Heisman Trophy, but his shot at a December Madness national championship is still very much alive. Texasí senior quarterback threw two touchdowns as the Longhorns unloaded in the first half, holding off Oregon 24-13 to round out of a Final Four consisting entirely of unbeaten teams.

Oregon actually brought a better offense into this one in terms of yards per play, but Texas wasnít far behind and boasts the nationís top defense in terms of yards per play, giving up just 3.82 yards per snap. And that unit bent a little bit, giving up three scores to the Ducks, but broke just once, forcing two field goals and field goals wonít beat a Texas team that is balanced on both sides of the ball.

It took the Longhorns less than three minutes to put up their first touchdown as they went 65 yards in just six plays, capping off the game-opening drive with a five-yard touchdown run from Tre Newton. And while Oregon did have an answer, it came only in the form of one of those field goals and that wasnít enough to stop Texasí early momentum. The Longhorns tacked on another touchdown on their ensuing drive, this time going 59 yards and ending with a touchdown strike from McCoy to James Kirkendoll.

LaGarrette Blount tried to get the Ducks energized early the second quarter. The running back, now known mostly for his punch at Boise State on national television at the start of the regular season, averaged just two yards per carry, but found the end zone on an impressive 54-yard catch-and-run the cut the deficit to 14-10.

But the Longhorns had the answer again as McCoy found Jordan Shipley with a 27-yard touchdown before halftime to again make it an 11-point game. And all the teams did in the second half was trade a pair of field goals as the Longhorns marched on.

Theyíll face Boise State in the semifinals. Can the Broncos continue their string of postseason, big-stage stunners?

Player of the game: Jordan Shipley (9 catches, 99 yards, 1 TD)

Winning Percentage of 1,001 Simulations: Texas 84.1% - Oregon 15.9%
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