2011 College Football Playoff: December Madness

Results from the 2011 College Football Playoff Simulation

1
16
LSU
Louisiana Tech
39
16
8
9
West Virginia
Alabama
22
31
4
13
Wisconsin
Kansas State
34
26
5
12
Clemson
Boise State
28
33
3
14
Oregon
Arkansas State
39
19
6
11
TCU
Arkansas
30
33
7
10
So. Miss
Stanford
27
40
2
15
Oklahoma St.
N. Illinois
40
25
1
9
LSU
Alabama
26
22
4
12
Wisconsin
Boise State
33
34
3
11
Oregon
Arkansas
29
31
10
2
Stanford
Oklahoma St.
35
34
1
12
LSU
Boise State
33
28
11
10
Arkansas
Stanford
32
33
1
10
LSU
Stanford

For the 8th consecutive season WhatIfSports.com is proud to present the ultimate college football playoff in a tournament we refer to as December Madness 2011.

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.

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Team Logo
Team Logo
1
12
LSU
Boise State
33
28
This December Madness semifinal reminds us of the old adage that just because two teams look even on paper doesn't mean the stats will necessarily translate to play on the field.

The Broncos finished seventh in the nation in scoring, at 43.3 points per game, and the Tigers finished 12th, at 38.5 ppg. LSU finished second in the nation in scoring defense, at 10.5 points per game, and the Broncos settled at 18.3, or 10th nationally. Not all that glitters is gold, and the stats accumulated by Boise State in the Mountain West Conference pale to those garnered by LSU in the SEC.

Facts are facts.

With that said, Boise State scored 14 straight points to begin the second half and took a 21-13 lead early in the fourth quarter.

Doug Martin (138 rushing yards on 23 carries) scored the two second-half touchdowns to continue an incredible December Madness run as tailback of the Broncos.

In order to keep their No. 1 status and advance to the December Madness title game, the Tigers needed to work their late-game magic once more.

It started with a little more than five minutes to go in the game, Jordan Jefferson and company began to move the chains. In 3-1/2 minutes, the ball was resting inside the Broncos' 10-yard line. Jefferson then found Rueben Randle in the end zone for six and then Kadron Boone for the two-point conversion to tie the game 21-21.

The Broncos had 60 seconds to try to win the game in regulation, and they looked as though they might get kicker Dan Goodale into range. But just as they reached LSU's side of the field, D.J. Harper fumbled the ball and the Tigers jumped on it on their own 48-yard line with 26 seconds left.

Jefferson used his legs and arm to pick up 35 yards on two plays. With five ticks remaining Drew Alleman kicked and connected on his third field goal (eighth in two games) for the game winner.

The Tigers completed the fourth-quarter comeback and advanced to the December Madness title game with a 24-21 thriller.

Player of the game: Doug Martin (138 rush yds, 2 TDs)

Winning Percentage of 1,001 Simulations: LSU 65.5% - Boise State 34.5%
Team Logo
Team Logo
11
10
Arkansas
Stanford
32
33
With Stanford and Arkansas given at-large bids into December Madness, both needed solid showings to validate their worth in this tournament of champions. It's safe to say this endeavor was accomplished, as Stanford took down BCS Championship aspirant Oklahoma State, while Arkansas disposed of Pac-12 champion Oregon. Unfortunately, only one can survive.

The Cardinal marched out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter thanks to a 45-yard boot form Jordan Williamson and a 13-yard touchdown pass from Andrew Luck to Ty Montgomery. The second quarter, however, would be owned by Arkansas, as the Razorbacks posted 28 points in the period, the last three touchdowns coming from the arm of Tyler Wilson. Stanford was able to manage a Stephan Taylor touchdown in the quarter, but the Razorbacks held a 28-17 advantage going into halftime.

Alas, Arkansas would not be heard from again in the second half as the Cardinal impeded the Razorback assault. An Anthony Wilkerson touchdown run and three field goals from Williamson proved to be enough ammo to overtake Arkansas and give Stanford the 34-28 victory, clinching their spot in the December Madness title game.

For the third round in a row, Andrew Luck failed to wow, hitting just 16-of-31 targets. Luckily the ground game was able to bail out the projected No. 1 overall pick, as Stepfan Taylor totaled 110 yards rushing. Luck did pass for over 300 yards and had a touchdown to his credit, but one would expect more from a leader of his stature.

In the losing effort, Tyler Wilson closes out a solid tournament with 276 yards and three touchdowns. Ronnie Wingo also added 91 rushing yards and two scores for the Razorbacks.

Player of the game: Andrew Luck (301 passing yards, 1 TD)

Winning Percentage of 1,001 Simulations: Stanford 51.1% - Arkansas 48.9%
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