|COLD PIZZA SEGMENT|
Each year, college football provides fans with the most
exhilarating regular season in all of sports. Since college football fails to crown a clear national
champion, many fans continue to cry out for a playoff system to replace
the confusion and uselessness of the BCS.|
This season WhatIfSports.com and ESPN2’s Cold Pizza will determine college football’s true national champion. Over the next four weeks, the top 16 teams in the country will compete for the ultimate prize in the CPS (Cold Pizza Simulated) tournament. Seeds and matchups appear in the bracket below. The results of each round will be revealed every Monday on ESPN2’s Cold Pizza (8-10 AM Eastern, repeated 10-12 AM) and then updated here. Check back in each week to see the Madness.
|Round 1 Recaps Quarterfinal Recaps Semifinal Recaps|
|#2 Oklahoma vs. #8 Louisville||FINAL: Oklahoma 31-24 (BOX SCORE)|
Thanks to a nine yard touchdown run by Oklahoma Sooner freshman running back and CPS Tournament MVP Adrian Peterson with just 1:42 seconds remaining, the 2004 NCAA Division I college football season ended Saturday in Miami the way it should every year, with one, lone, undefeated, undisputed national champion. The second ranked Sooners knocked off a surging, eighth ranked Louisville Cardinal squad that had upset top-ranked USC in the Rose Bowl last week. After victories of 3 over #10 Boise State, 4 at #6 Utah and 7 against #1 USC, all coming on late fourth quarter drives captained by senior quarterback Stefan LeFors, the Cardinals luck ran out in the CPS National Championship game as Oklahoma prevailed in the clutch. After a late first quarter touchdown from LeFors to fellow senior Joshua Tinch put Louisville up 7-3, the Sooners battled back with two second quarter scores, a five yard run from Peterson and a six yard pass from former Heisman Trophy winner Jason White to junior wideout Travis Wilson, before Tinch caught another LeFors touchdown pass with 20 seconds remaining in the first half narrowing Oklahoma’s halftime lead to just three points at 17-14. LeFors, who finished the tournament with 1,029 yards, 13 touchdowns and two interceptions on 89-125 passing, a quarterback rating of 171.47, as well as 107 yards rushing and a rushing TD, then marched Louisville down the field on a 5:23, 81 yard drive, culminating in a 12 yard touchdown pass to senior JR Russell as the Cardinals took a 21-17 second half lead. White and company responded seemingly effortlessly with a 6:42, 72 yard drive of their own that ended in another TD reception by Wilson. A short kick and subsequent 27 yard return placed Louisville on its own 39 yard line with a short field and excellent opportunity to wrestle the lead back before the third quarter expired. Senior defensive end Jonathan Jackson ruined any hopes the Cardinals had of mounting the go-ahead drive when he batted down and intercepted LeFors pass at the line. Still, Louisville was able to stop the Sooners and work its way back into the red zone for a game-tying 33 yard field goal by freshman Arthur Carmody with 9:03 left in the game. Peterson, White and senior back-up running back Kejuan Jones proved too much for the beleaguered Cardinals defense though, leading Oklahoma on the game-winning 82 yard drive. White out-dueled his counterpart with 224 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions on 20-26 passing to LeFors 219 yards, three touchdowns and one interception on 23-34 passing. Travis Wilson emerged as the player of the game with 114 yards and two touchdowns on nine catches. Outside of the turnover and with penalties, Oklahoma had seven to Louisville’s one, the teams played an eerily close, hotly contested ballgame. While a Heisman Trophy may have eluded him, Adrian Peterson can now add national champion and CPS Tournament MVP to the list of accolades he has accumulated in his first season. Peterson finished the four-game tournament with 605 yards, seven touchdowns and no fumbles on 112 carries, while taking the pressure off of Sooner passing attack and helping Oklahoma control the tempo of each contest. The national championship is the Sooners’ second in the last five seasons.
Player of the Game: Travis Wilson (9 catches, 114 yards, 2 TDs)
CPS Tournament MVP: Adrian Peterson (112 carries, 605 yards, 7 TDs)