By Glenn Guzzo
Unhappy with the Bowl Championship Series – again?
Maybe you want a different pair in the final game. Maybe you want a four-team, eight-team or 16-team tournament instead. Maybe you’d like those January 1 bowl games to be meaningful again.
You can have your way with Strat-O-Matic’s computer college football game, which allows you to set up your own tournament in a few minutes, with only the teams you want. Then, you can play the games manually (head to head, or you vs. the computer) or let the computer auto-play them.
In a 16-team tournament of 2005 teams,
Seven of the tournament’s 15 games were decided by 10 points or less. Two of the Final Four teams were decided by a missed extra point and overtime. One player had 449 yards in a single game (it’s not who you think) and two teams combined for more than 1,000 yards in a different game. Two different players had three kick-return touchdowns in the tournament. Read all about it.
The Selection Process
Wherever you draw the line, somebody will gripe about being left out, but the beauty of a 16-team tournament is that no one with a claim to the championship is omitted. All 0-loss, 1-loss and 2-loss Division 1-A teams got to play. A 16-team tourney also puts games with a bearing on the national championship in 15 different bowls.
This tourney arbitrarily limited any conference to three teams. With
This tourney wasn’t committed to taking suspect conference champs (8-5
If anyone had a gripe under this system it might have been Miami (9-3 including a 40-3 shellacking by LSU in the Peach Bowl), because the Hurricanes would have given the ACC a second team instead of a third team from the Big Ten (10-3 Wisconsin) or the Pac-10 (10-2 UCLA).
The teams were seeded 1-16, and then re-seeded each round to match highest seed vs. lowest. All games were played on neutral fields.
Seedings reflected team strength at the end of the bowl season. First-round games also sought to avoid matching two teams from the same conference.
No. 7 LSU (10-3) vs. No. 10
No. 8 Notre Dame (9-3) vs. No. 9
First Round Results
Vince Young passed for two first-quarter TDs and Jamaal Charles ran for a pair of second-quarter scores as Texas built a 34-0 lead before half time. Key stat: Young hit 13 of 16 passes for a 200.1 passer rating.
Matt Leinart passed for three TDs and Reggie Bush scored twice as USC had its way all day, building a 39-7 lead before bringing in the subs in the third quarter. Key stats: Leinhart had 267 yards and 3 TDs passing. Bush had 231 all-purpose yards.
The shocker of the tournament occurred after the Buckeyes’ Josh Huston kicked his third field goal of the game to give Ohio State a 23-21 lead with 6:41 to play. TCU’s Cory Rodgers answered with an 85-yard kickoff-return touchdown, giving the Horned Frogs the lead for good, despite being out-gained, 418-216. Key stat: Buckeye QB Troy Smith passed for 244 yards, but threw three interceptions.
The Bulldogs forced five turnovers and kicker Brandon Coutu made all four of his field-goal attempts. Key stat: The Ducks had only 207 yards.
LSU 13, Virginia Tech 3
LSU’s JaMarcus Russell threw three interceptions, but his 12-yard pass to Dwayne Bowe early in the fourth quarter scored the game’s only touchdown. Key stat: Tech reached the red zone only once.
Notre Dame 19,
Down 14-13, Notre Dame QB Brady Quinn passed 8 yards to HB Darius Walker with to play for the winning score. The Irish scored first on Tom Zbikowski’s 90-yard punt-return TD early in the first quarter. But
Second Round Results
Visions of upsets were dancing in Cory Rodgers’ feet, but his kick-return theatrics lasted only one half. With TCU leading 7-0,
Notre Dame 45,
Tom Zbikowski, whose 90-yard punt-return TD was huge in Notre Dame’s 19-14 victory over Louisville in Round One, took back punts for 71-yard and 88-yard TDs this time. The longer one midway through the fourth quarter sealed Notre Dame’s victory that avenged its dramatic regular-season loss to the Trojans. Key stat: 814 yards of offense. Matt Leinart passed for 296 yards and 3 TDs and LenDale White rushed for 136 for USC. Brady Quinn threw for 205 yards and 2 TDs and Darius Walker ran for 135 yards (and TD runs of 25 and 58 yards) for the Irish.
LSU placekicker Chris Jackson, who had already missed two field goals, missed the tying extra point with to play, dousing LSU’s rousing comeback. Marcus Robinson’s passing (201 yards) and Tony Hunt’s running (125 yards) built a 23-9 lead before LSU scored on two JaMarcus Russell TD passes in the final four minutes, including a 62-yarder to Skyler Green with to play. Key stat: 798 yards against two highly touted defenses.
Vince Young passed for three touchdowns and ran for two more as
Struggling with his passing (111 yards) for the first time in the tourney, Vince Young ran for 112 yards and two touchdowns as
With a 241-yard running attack,
Ramonce Taylor ran 17 yards for a TD and a 24-17
Selvin Young, held to 26 yards on 12 other carries, redeemed himself for the fumble by running 46 yards for the winning score with remaining.
Tourney MVP Vince Young passed for six touchdowns and ran for five. He completed two-thirds of his passes and was the leading rusher on a Longhorns team that averaged 244 yards rushing per game for a 5.3 average per carry. Young amassed 948 yards in total offense. He was sacked only twice and did not fumble running or passing, while throwing only one interception in 87 pass attempts.