Simming the NCAA: Week 1-2012

By: legallymaize

We’re back this year to provide NCAA simulations on some of the marquee or otherwise interesting games each week. Although certainly not gospel, this gives an alternative, seemingly neutral insight into how each game might go, simulating the game play through the Super Sim feature. The following are the results of the simulations, along with some thoughts on the outcomes.

#24 Boise St. @ #13 Michigan State

Team   1st      2nd    3rd     4th     Final
BSU      7         0        10       10       27
MSU     3         14       0         7        24


BSU:    J. Southwick 17/34, 272 yds, 2 td, 1 int
D. Harper 26 car, 111 yds, 1 td
G. Boldewijn 5 rec, 99 yds, 1 td

MSU:    A. Maxwell 19/25, 262 yds, 3 td
L. Bell 21 car, 78 yds; 4 rec, 40 yds
T. Lippett 5 rec, 103 yds, 2 tds

Although Boise took the early lead, Michigan State came back. The Spartans were up by two scores at the half, and appeared to be cruising. The second half was all Broncos however. By the end of the third Boise had tied it up, and the teams traded scores in the fourth before Boise hit the game-winning FG as time expired. I’m a little surprised at Maxwell’s performance; I’m not sold on him, and think the passing game will be anything but efficient. But I’m not at all surprised about the Broncos’ ground defense, since they have a long history of bottling up power rushing attacks. Statistically this was a very close game, as I think the real game will be, and I do see Boise coming out on top.

Navy vs. Notre Dame (Dublin, Ireland)

Team    1st       2nd    3rd     4th     Final
NAVY    0          0        0         7          7
ND        7          3        7         7         24


NAVY:   T. Miller 12/22, 153 yds, 1 td, 1 int
N. Copeland 13 car, 43 yds
B. Turner 4 rec, 43 yds

ND:     E. Golson 21/30, 172 yds, 3 td, 1 int
T. Riddick 19 car, 84 yds; 3 rec, 25 yds
T. Eifert 7 rec, 41 yds, 1 tds

Navy and Notre Dame travel to Dublin, Ireland for a novelty game. Notre Dame is missing a ton of players to suspension or injury, and I see the potential for a Navy upset. The sim didn’t share this belief, although how it arrived there was a little interesting. NCAA actually had Navy outgaining the Domers. The Irish shut down the Midshipmen’s option attack and took advantage of turnovers to get short fields, but otherwise didn’t do much themselves offensively. If Notre Dame does win, I think it will come from their rushing defense. But I do see their offense struggling, and since there’s no way to effectively sim the effects of a game across the Atlantic, I still wouldn’t be surprised if Navy pulled it off.

Kentucky @ #25 Louisville

Team    1st     2nd    3rd     4th     Final
UK         7         0       7         7         21
LOU       3        14      0         0         17


UK:     M. Newton 11/24, 157 yds, 2 td, 1 int
R. Sanders 31 car, 120 yds, 1 td; 2 rec, 26 yds
L. King 4 rec, 62 yds

LOU:    T. Bridgewater 21/37, 313 yds, 0 td, 1 int
J. Wright 13 car, 63 yds, 2 td; 3 rec, 53 yds
M. Harris 7 rec, 68 yds

This in state rivalry is usually interesting, and this was no exception. Louisville took a two score lead into halftime, but Kentucky came back in the second half and took the lead for good with a late touchdown. Despite throwing for a lot of yards, Bridgewater couldn’t get it into the endzone, and that cost Louisville big time.

#14 Clemson @ Auburn

Team    1st      2nd     3rd      4th     Final
CLEM     7          0        14        0         21
AUB       0          10       7         0         17


CLEM:   T. Boyd 11/23, 154 yds; 12 car, 34 yds, 1 td
A. Ellington 15 car, 63 yds, 1 td
G. Hopper 3 rec, 50 yds

AUB:    K. Frazier 17/27, 179 yds, 1 td
O. McCalebb 22 car, 89 yds, 1 td
E. Blake 5 rec, 91 yds

Clemson goes on the road without star WR Sammy Watkins to Auburn, and nearly gets upset. Missing Watkins clearly hurts the Clemson passing attack, but they’re able to get enough out of the rushing game and special teams to pull out the win. Without Watkins, I definitely think this will be close, and it will be interesting to see how Clemson responds after getting destroyed in the Orange Bowl.

#8 Michigan vs. #2 Alabama (Dallas, Texas)

Team    1st       2nd    3rd     4th      Final
MICH     7          10       3        14        34
BAMA    0           3        6         7         16


MICH:   D. Robinson 23/32, 296 yds, 3 td, 1 int; 9 car, 33 yds, 1 td
T. Rawls 28 car, 115 yds
R. Roundtree 7 rec, 108 yds

BAMA:   A. McCarron 9/25, 126 yds, 1 td
E. Lacy 22 car, 109 yds, 1 td; 2 rec, 21 yds
D. Carter 3 rec, 54 yds

Undeniably the game of the week, and possibly the regular season as well, Michigan and Alabama travel to Dallas in a matchup of top 10 teams coming of BCS wins-Michigan in the Sugar Bowl, and Bama in the BCS National Championship Game. Still, not many are even giving Michigan a chance, and the line has hovered around two touchdowns for the favored Tide. NCAA thinks differently. Alabama coach Nick Saban has made it no secret that stopping Denard Robinson on the ground is their top priority. The Tide want Robinson to pass the ball, and he was happy to oblige. Robinson more than made up for a poor day on the ground with a great one through the air, taking advantage of turnover in the Tide secondary. While Roundtree broke the century mark, Gallon and backup quarterback Devin Garner each added over 60 yards receiving and a touchdown themselves. Complimenting the passing game was a great effort from Rawls, in for the suspended Fitzgerald Toussaint.  The Michigan defense tormented McCarron while holding Lacy in check, and cruised for an easy win. Now, I don’t think Michigan will win by 18, certainly not against Nick Saban. But I do think they can win, and the sim shows it. If Robinson can have a good day passing, and the Wolverine defense can keep Lacy in check, an upset is definitely possible.


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  1. Pingback: New Content Added: Week of August 26th « Before Visiting The Sportsbook

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