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
20
13
6
2
Boise State
Texas
20
23
1
2
Alabama
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
4
Alabama
TCU
20
13
Mark Ingram has his Heisman Trophy. Now Alabama’s first winner will get his shot at a December Madness national championship. The Crimson Tide running back continued carrying his team through the bracket, racking up 150 yards of total offense, including 130 on the ground, and finding the end zone twice to lift Alabama over TCU and into the championship game with a 20-13 victory.

After already posting some of the most impressive defensive numbers throughout the season and in the earlier rounds of December Madness, it was no shock that the defenses of TCU and Alabama took center stage. The teams ranked in the top two in the nation in total defense in terms of yards per game and weren’t far behind in terms of yards per play and it was the Crimson Tide which stole the show, giving up just over 250 yards of total offense to a Horned Frogs team looking to spring the upset.

They even had the lead and the early momentum. Running back Joseph Turner carried the ball 16 times for 93 yards and more than half of it came on the very first play of TCU’s second offensive possession. Turner broke through Alabama’s defense for a 48-yard touchdown as the Horned Frogs’ showed off their big-play prowess once again.

But it was the only time they’d find the end zone all day, and the Tide answered later in the quarter with a big play of their own. Ingram was able to break free from the Horned Frogs with time ticking down in the first quarter, scampering 36 yards to even the game at 7-7. Then he gave his team its first lead midway through the second quarter, finding the end zone again - this time from eight yards out - to make it 14-7. And Alabama tacked on a field goal before halftime to take a double-digit lead.

TCU kicker Ross Evans, the team’s hero from the semifinal round, tried to follow the same path in the semis, connecting for field goals twice in the second half, but the Horned Frogs needed a touchdown and Alabama’s defense wasn’t about to relent again as the Crimson Tide batted away a pair of passes on consecutive plays with just over a minute left to preserve the victory.

Alabama moves on to the national championship game, where it will face one of two other remaining unbeatens. The Tide will either get Texas in a battle of this year’s BCS Championship Game or upstart Boise State, trying to prove nay-sayers wrong in the playoff format.

Player of the game: Mark Ingram (24 carries, 130 yards, 2 TDs; 3 catches, 20 yards)

Winning Percentage of 1,001 Simulations: Alabama 66.5% - TCU 33.5%
6
2
Boise State
Texas
20
23
Hunter Lawrence’s leg preserved Texas’ unbeaten record in the Big 12 championship game. Now the Longhorns’ kicker has put his team in position to win a national title in the December Madness bracket. Lawrence kicked three field goals, including the game-winner from 48 yards out with 17 seconds left, sending the Longhorns through to the title tilt with a 23-20 come-from-behind victory over Boise State in the semifinals.

The game provided probably the most balanced matchup on both sides of the ball, statistically speaking. Each team came in with one of the top 20 offenses in the country, though the Broncos averaged about one more yard per play than the Longhorns on offense. On defense, nobody was better all year than Texas, but Boise State wasn’t far behind, giving up about a yard more per play. So it was no surprise that the game might come down to the final possession.

It looked like it might be all Texas at the start, however. Cody Johnson gave the Longhorns the first lead late in the first quarter with a three-yard touchdown run and Lawrence’s first boot made it 10-0 before Boise State’s offense started to click.

But the Broncos immediately answered back, finding the end zone less than a minute later when D.J. Harper broke loose for a 61-yard touchdown that cut the deficit to three points -- though Lawrence’s monster 55-yard field goal as time expired gave Texas a six-point lead at halftime.

Feeling good about hanging tough in the first half, Boise State came out and seized control after the break. The Broncos took their first lead of the game on their first possession of the second half when Doug Martin capped off a quick drive with a 13-yard touchdown. Back-to-back field goals from Kyle Brotzman gave Boise State a 20-13 lead early in the fourth quarter that lasted until the final two minutes.

But with their backs against the wall, the Longhorns found a way to score twice in the final 120 seconds. Texas quarterback Colt McCoy engineered a 13-play, 76-yard drive and tied the game when he found Jordan Shipley from five yards out with just under two minutes to play. All the Longhorns’ defense had to do was keep the Broncos off the scoreboard to force overtime. Instead, they forced a quick three-and-out, giving McCoy and the Longhorns the ball at midfield with over a minute left on the clock. And Texas made Boise State pay, moving the chains once and taking time off the clock before Lawrence booted the game-winning kick, avenging an earlier miss to send Texas through.

The Longhorns will face Alabama in a matchup of teams that were mainstays in the top three throughout the entire season.

Player of the game: Hunter Lawrence (3/4 field goals, including 48-yard game-winner with 17 seconds left)

Winning Percentage of 1,001 Simulations: Texas 66.2% - Boise State 33.8%
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