1
16
Auburn
Miami (OH)
47
10
8
9
Arkansas
Michigan State
40
35
4
13
Stanford
UCONN
35
21
5
12
Wisconsin
Virginia Tech
27
26
3
14
TCU
UCF
35
18
6
11
OSU
Boise State
37
34
7
10
Oklahoma
LSU
27
31
2
15
Oregon
Troy
48
13
1
8
Auburn
Arkansas
44
41
4
5
Stanford
Wisconsin
33
35
3
6
TCU
Ohio State
33
30
10
2
LSU
Oregon
21
31
1
5
Auburn
Wisconsin
28
30
3
2
TCU
Oregon
35
36
5
2
Wisconsin
Oregon

For the 7th consecutive season Whatifsports.com is proud to present the ultimate college football playoff in a tournament we refer to as December Madness 2010.

Over the next three weeks, the top 16 college football teams (11 conference champions and five at-large programs based on BCS rating) will compete for the December Madness title.

Utilizing our award-winning college football simulation engine, we "play" each match-up 1,001 times. During the 2010 regular season our college football predictions were accurate over 75-percent of the time straight up.

Play Gridiron Dynasty -- the best college football game on the web.
Team Logo
Team Logo
1
5
Auburn
Wisconsin
28
30
A beautiful aspect of sports is the ever-present chance of the unexpected. Just when we think we have everything figured out, the athletic world throws us a curve ball. Take our first semifinal game of December Madness. With six of Auburn's wins coming by seven points or less (as well as the ongoing Cam Newton allegations), pigskin pundits ardently attest that Gene Chizik must have made a deal with the devil to transform the Tigers into a team of destiny. And with the league's recent bombs in BCS games (2-6 since 2006), many consider the Big Ten incapable of capturing the "big one" Following this logic, one would surmise Auburn would come out victorious in a matchup with the Wisconsin Badgers.

So it's apropos this outcome would not come to fruition.

Of course, something seemed amiss after Auburn was halted on their first two drives, signaling Wisconsin would not go quietly into the night. However, the Tigers would strike first, benefiting from a field position battle that left Newton and company starting from the 50. Onterio McCalebb started the drive with a dash for 31 yards, followed by a 13-yard pass from Newton to Terrell Zachery. Mario Fannin capped it off with a bowling 1-yard plunge to put the Tigers up 7-0.

Wisconsin would answer with a 66-yard campaign of their own, highlighted by some lasers from senior Scott Tolzien and 13-yard runs from running backs John Clay and Montee Ball. The drive culminated with a 9-yard sprint from Ball up the middle to even the score at seven. Following a blocked punt, Wisconsin added a 27-yard FG from Philip Welch to take a 10-7 lead. But in case the Badgers forgot, Newton quickly reminded Bret Bielema's squad why he was honored with the Heisman. The Tiger QB marched Auburn into the end zone thanks to an 11-yard floater to wideout Emory Blake. But the celebration was short-lived as kicker Wes Byrum's point after attempt went awry. Wisconsin capitalized on the Tiger miscue and added a Ball touchdown to bring the score to 17-13 at half.

The third quarter was much ado about nothing, as both team's defenses kept the opponents at bay. Byrum and Welch traded field goals as Wisconsin maintained a 20-16 lead heading into the fourth.

The beginning of the final quarter mirrored the third's proceedings, as the Auburn offense stalled at the 20, bringing on a Byrum field goal to cut the deficit to 20-19. But Badger back Ball decided to end the kicking ennui by breaking out a 65-yard gallop, bringing Wisconsin inside the 10. A few plays later, Tolzien found Isaac Anderson off of a play-action for six, giving the Badgers a 27-19 advantage. Auburn decided to join in the offensive explosion, as less than a minute later, as Fannin took a carry 55 yards to the promised land. The 2-point conversion failed, leaving the score at 27-25.

With the Badgers and Tigers exchanging back-to-back-to-back punts, Auburn found itself with 4:33 left and a chance to take the lead. Starting at their own 28, the Tigers stuck on the ground to get into Badger territory. Unable to attain another first down, Byrum knocks down a clutch 46-yard boot to put Auburn on top 28-27 with 1:16 to play.

Alas, the unbeaten season for the Tigers was not to be, as Tolzien engineered a masterpiece of a drive, going 4-for-4 for 56 yards to bring Wisconsin down to the Tigers' 16-yard line. Welch slipped one in between the uprights as time expired to give the Badgers and much-maligned Big Ten the victory, 30-28

Player of the game: Montee Ball (129 rush yds, 2 TDs)

Winning Percentage of 1,001 Simulations: Wisconsin 50.9% - Auburn 49.1%
Team Logo
Team Logo
3
2
TCU
Oregon
35
36
Three years removed from an eight-win season that earned them a trip (bus ride) to the Texas Bowl and tired of playing Boise State the last two seasons in the Stuart Smalley Bowl (where the Frogs and Broncos were presented a mirror and constantly reminded they were good enough), TCU has advanced to the December Madness Final Four.

The Horned Frogs have reached the main stage along with their BCS big brother, Oregon. If not for Alabama's second-half meltdown against Auburn, this could have been your BCS National Championship and thanks to Whatifsports.com's college simulation engine, we can see what may have happened.

The match-up paired two teams ranked in the top five in points per game and two running games ranked in the top eight. However, TCU ranks third in the country in rush defense (89.2/gm), while the Ducks rank 16th (117.6/gm).

If Gary Patterson's mock turtleneck was constricting air flow during pre-game, TCU's head coach managed to exhale for a brief moment at halftime with his Frogs up 21-10. At the very least, critics of the non-BCS qualifier should applaud their ability to hang with the Quack Attack.

Following a four and out by TCU to start the third quarter, Oregon scored in the blink of an eye. The Ducks traveled 79 yards in three plays that only took one minute and 15 seconds off the clock. LaMichael James accounted for 62 yards and the touchdown that brought his team back within four.

As if slapped in the face by the quick Ducks' strike, TCU scored touchdowns on back-to-back possessions. Quarterback Andy Dalton's fourth and fifth TD passes of the game lifted the Horned Frogs to a 35-17 lead with a little over three minutes remaining in the third quarter.

Then the Oregon blitzkrieg came. The main stage was about to collapse.

The Ducks' used every last second of the third quarter to dent TCU's 18-point cushion. On the last play of the frame, Darron Thomas swung a pass out to James who proceeded to run 36-yards to the house.

35-24 TCU.

Two three and outs and a missed field goal by TCU is how the fourth quarter began. With a little under nine minutes to go in the game and trailing by eleven, the Ducks did something rarely seen in 2010. They mounted a time-sucking drive that took four minutes to complete, but did result in another touchdown (missed 2-pt conversion).

35-30 TCU.

Two more three and outs meant the ball was returned to the Horned Frogs with a five point lead, only two minutes to kill and the ball in Ducks' territory. All they needed to do was run the ball, kill the clock and a trip the December Madness title game was theirs.

Oh, they ran it and on the first play. The problem was Matthew Tucker forgot the football.

Oregon had the ball and a minute-55 to play with. A penalty and three incomplete passes forced the Ducks into a 4th and long situation, but Thomas found David Paulson for a 33-yard gain. Two plays later, the duo hooked up again, but this time Paulson found the end zone for the go-ahead and game-winning touchdown.

TCU reached the main stage, but forgot to honor the encore.

Oregon advances to the December Madness title game with the 36-35 win.

Player of the game: LaMichael James (28 carries, 156 rush yds, TD - 45 rec yds, TD)

Winning Percentage of 1,001 Simulations: Oregon 58.6% - TCU 41.4%
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