CFB Greatest Of All Time Championship: 2001 Miami vs. 2012 Alabama

At long last, after 8 rounds of double-elimination bracket play, we’ve arrived at our championship in the Greatest of All Time College Football Simulation, pitting 2001 Miami vs. 2012 Alabama in a best-of-three series.

How We Got Here
2001 Miami emerged victorious from Bracket B, and there’s little complaints in that area. They trailed just once en route to the bracket championship and then engineered a game-winning drive on the strength of their backup quarterback in the Bracket B final. They roll into the championship series with an unblemished 5-0 record.

There was anger, shock, accusations of rigging, and everything else with the results of Bracket A. 7th-seeded 2012 Alabama stunned the field with an undefeated run. They went 5-0 in impressive fashion, toppling the 2019 LSU Tigers and 2018 Clemson Tigers twice. The Crimson Tide’s fearsome backfield trio of Kenny Drake, Eddie Lacy, and T.J. Yeldon has terrorized opponents throughout the tournament, and they’ll hope they can challenge Miami’s stout defense in the championship. 

Game 1 

Alabama 28 Miami 9

Wow. A stunner. The Miami team that has barely trailed all tournament long never even sniffed the lead in this one. That Alabama backfield was up to its usual tricks, with Lacy compiling 109 yards on 21 carries with a touchdown, and Yeldon tearing apart the ‘01 Miami defense to the tune of 117 yards on 15 touches. He notched his lone touchdown on a third-quarter 61-yard scamper, which gave the Tide a commanding 21-6 lead with 3:20 to play in the period. The Hurricanes notched just three field goals, racking up just 57 rushing yards on the game. Absolutely dominant effort from the Tide here in Game 1. Can they secure a sweep in Game 2?

Talk about lethal backfield duos – Lacy and Yeldon were also complemented by Kenny Drake

Game 2

Alabama 23 Miami 17

A miracle Cinderella run finds its happy ending, as the clock never quite strikes midnight on this 2012 Crimson Tide squad, which finishes the tournament 7-0. This one was a much tighter affair than the previous game, as the Crimson Tide clung to a 16-10 lead entering the final frame. However, Miami took the lead for the first time in the series on the strength of an 89-yard punt return touchdown with 10:47 to go. However, with plenty of time on the clock, Alabama was able to stick to their ground game. Lacy (87 yards) and Yeldon (106 yards) chewed up yards, while A.J. McCarron hooked up with Amari Cooper for 23 yards on a clutch third-down conversion. Ultimately, Lacy ran it in from 6 yards out with 6:19 to play. 

Miami still had a chance to claim victory, down six with plenty of game to be played, and they crawled down the field, struggling for every yard. Brock Berlin, who saved the Hurricanes in the Bracket B championship, assisted in a trick play, tossing a 22-yard completion to Ken Dorsey, who also found Daryl Jones for 25 yards on the drive. Beyond those chunk plays, Clinton Portis did the grunt work, grinding out 24 yards on 7 carries. The clock trickled down under 2 minutes as Miami reached the Alabama 11. However, Portis ran for just two yards, and Dorsey completed a 4-yard pass. After Dorsey scrambled for a yard on third down, the Hurricanes faced 4th and 3 at the 4-yard line. Needing a touchdown to win, Dorsey dropped back and lofted a pass towards the back corner of the end zone. Vinnie Sunseri of Alabama out jumped Ethenic Sands, snaring the pick and clinching the championship for Alabama.

CFB Greatest OF All Time Bracket: 2019 LSU and 2018 Clemson Clash in Quarterfinals

It’s been one heck of a ride so far, but by the time our initial field of 32 college football teams boiled down to 6, we have ourselves some of the greatest squads to ever step onto the gridiron left. Starting it off is a modern-day classic featuring the last two national champions – 2019 LSU and 2018 Clemson – battling for the right to face 2012 Alabama in the Bracket A final. In Bracket B, 2013 Florida State has slogged their way through the loser’s bracket, winning two straight overtime clashes, to set up a battle with 2009 Alabama. The winner of that will face the daunting task of having to defeat 2001 Miami – who has only trailed for a total of 3 minutes and 22 seconds in four games so far. Twice. They have to defeat them twice. It’s a tough road ahead, but let’s see what happens in our final pre-championship round.

Bracket A Semifinals
1. 2019 LSU vs. 2. 2018 Clemson
Clemson 34 LSU 33
This one lived up to the hype. LSU took the early edge, 23-21 at halftime, but Clemson rallied in front by a 31-30 margin at the end of the third quarter. Joe Burrow hit Ja’Marr Chase for a 39-yard gain, and Clyde Edwards-Hillaire broke off a 15-yard run, as LSU snuck into the red zone near the halfway mark of the final quarter. However, Clemson’s defense stiffened, and Burrow’s 6-yard scramble on 3rd and 8 left the Tigers two yards short at the Clemson 8-yard line. Cade York drilled a 25-yard field goal, but with 4:49 to play, Clemson only trailed by two. 

Clemson’s drive looked destined to stall, but an 18-yard scramble from Lawrence extended the drive on 3rd down, and Etienne ripped off a 41-yard run to bring Clemson to the red zone with 1:53 to play. LSU had just one timeout, which was burned on an Etienne run, and Clemson worked the clock down under a minute before kicking a field goal to take the lead. Burrow was left with 47 seconds and no timeouts and couldn’t make any magic happen, getting to the Clemson 49 before heaving up a Hail Mary that fell to the ground. And with that Hail Mary ended the infallible 2019 season of LSU, who dropped two straight games after dancing dangerously through three one-score victories. 

Bracket A Championship

7. 2012 Alabama vs. 2. 2018 Clemson 
Alabama 23 Clemson 21 
Another great game, but 2012 Alabama stays undefeated. The 7th-seeded darkhorse Crimson Tide have rolled their way through bracket A and into the championship, behind the strength of their ferocious backfield, headlinged by Eddie Lacy, Kenny Drake, and T.J. Yeldon. Lacy did the damage in this one, leading the way with 92 rushing yards and a touchdown, while quarterback A.J. McCarron was his usually efficient himself, limiting mistakes and throwing for 174 yards and a score. Clemson got 105 rushing yards from Travis Etienne, but they rarely had the ball, holding possession for just 21 minutes and 35 seconds of game time. 

Bracket B Semifinals

3. 2009 Alabama vs. 4. 2013 Florida State
Alabama 37 Florida State 28
After crawling past two consecutive opponents in overtime, Florida State’s magic ran out. The Seminoles jumped out to a halftime lead, but they quite simply ran out of gas. In typical Nick Saban and Alabama fashion, the Crimson Tide controlled the contest with a ground-and-pound attack, racking up over 350 yards, led by 180 from Mark Ingram, who also found the end zone three times. Trent Richardson chipped in with 92 yards and a touchdown for the Tide, who trailed 28-27 entering the fourth quarter before completing their comeback. 

Bracket B Championship

1. 2001 Miami vs. 3. 2009 Alabama
Miami 24 Alabama 23 
This was an excruciating loss for the Crimson Tide. Not only because of their elimination, but because of how it went down. Miami trailed 23-17 with 2:17 to play, but Ken Dorsey connected with Ethenic Sands for 28 yards on the opening play of their drive, bringing them to the Alabama 47. However, Dorsey was hit hard on the play and was unable to return. The Hurricanes summoned backup quarterback Brock Berlin in, who proceeded to dice the Crimson Tide defense, going 5-5 for 31 yards. With 17 seconds to play and a timeout to burn, Berlin handed off to Clinton Portis from the 5-yard line, and the legendary Miami running back did the rest, breaking a tackle at the 2 and extending the ball over the line for a game-winning touchdown. The Hurricanes are 5-0 and into the championship round, where they will have to take down another Alabama team – the 2012 version – in a best-of-three series.

Greatest Of All Time CFB Tournament: Round 4

Three rounds in, and we have four undefeated teams left. Both 2012 and 2009 Alabama will test their unbeaten marks against 2019 LSU and 2001 Miami respectively, both of whom have held serve as their top seed. 2001 Miami is yet to trail in any game so far. On the loser’s bracket side, both entrants from Oregon, Clemson, and Florida State have survived thus far, and Miami and LSU’s second teams also remain. 2008 Oklahoma, 2008 Florida, 2017 UCF (!), and 2014 Ohio State round out the 12 teams currently fighting for survival. Let’s see what round 4 brought. 

Round 4 Schedule

Bracket A Winner’s Bracket

1. 2019 LSU vs. 7. 2012 Alabama
Alabama 37 LSU 31 
For the fourth straight game, LSU fell behind at halftime, trailing 20-17 after 30 minutes, but for the first time, the Tigers could not quite rally. Facing one of the most lethal backfields of all time, LSU surrendered 130 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns to Eddie Lacy, and Joe Burrow only found the end zone once. 2019 LSU has finally met their match and fall into the loser’s bracket – can they rally back?

Loser’s Bracket

 2. 2018 Clemson vs. 4. 1999 Florida State
Clemson 30 Florida State 27
Trailing 27-17 entering the fourth quarter, Clemson turned off their defensive efforts, and the offense rallied the Tigers to victory, as Lawrence threw for 274 yards and a game-tying touchdown with 2:48 remaining on the clock. They would get the ball back – tied 27-27 – with just 72 seconds to work with at their own 12-yard line, but Etienne (141 yards, 1 TD) took a short pass 49 yards to set B.T. Potter up for an eventual game-winning 41-yard field goal with 13 seconds left on the clock. Clemson survives once more.

8. 2008 Oklahoma vs. 11. 2010 Oregon
Oklahoma 34 Oregon 31
Oklahoma got off to a slow start, but their defense tightened up, giving their lethal offense some time to engineer a comeback. Sam Bradford tossed three touchdowns and no picks on a 23-30, 386 yard performance, as the Sooners took the lead at the end of the third quarter and never relinquished it. 

BYE: 13. 2000 Miami, 6. 2008 Florida

Bracket B Winner’s Bracket

1. 2001 Miami vs. 3. 2009 Alabama
Miami 24 Alabama 13
Miami was losing! And then they weren’t. After Mark Ingram ran in a touchdown at the end of the first half, the Hurricanes trailed 10-7, but that was as good as it got for Alabama. Miami seized control in the third quarter, as Clinton Portis ran for 143 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries, toppling the Crimson Tide 24-13 en route to securing a spot in the Bracket B championship, where they’ll have to be defeated twice by the same team. 

Loser’s Bracket

4. 2013 Florida State vs. 16. 2017 UCF
Florida State 35 UCF 23
Jameis Winston threw for 300 yards and a pair of scores, while Devontae Freeman grinded out 74 yards and a score on the grounds. After engineering a shocking upset of 2005 Texas, UCF could not sustain the momentum, as the Seminoles led wire-to-wire in a clean 35-23 victory.

9. 2014 Ohio State vs. 11. 2016 Clemson
Ohio State 29 Clemson 28
What a game! After falling behind 20-7 at halftime, Ohio State stuck to their guns and got 185 rushing yards from Ezekiel Elliot, and 103 more from J.T. Barrett. The Buckeyes took a 21-20 lead, but Clemson scored with 2:08 remaining and notched the two-point conversion to take a 28-21 lead. However, Elliot broke off a 58 yard run to set up the Buckeyes for a touchdown. Rather than go for overtime, Ohio State went for 2, and Barrett handed it off to Curtis Samuel on a reverse for the 29-28 win. What a finish, and 2016 Clemson bows out of the tournament. 

BYE: 12. 2014 Oregon, 7. 2003 LSU

Round 5 Schedule

Bracket A Loser’s Bracket
Bye: 2019 LSU
6. 2008 Florida vs. 2. 2018 Clemson
13. 2000 Miami vs. 9. 2008 Oklahoma

Bracket B Loser’s Bracket
Bye:
2009 Alabama
7. 2003 LSU vs. 4. Florida State
12. 2014 Oregon vs. 9. 2014 Ohio State

College Kids Talking College Sports Dream League Championship Series

It was nearly two weeks ago that our podcast team held a three-team ‘dream team’ draft, creating the best teams they could based on the 2019-2020 college basketball season.

Nathaniel’s team, dubbed “Nathaniel’s Mid-Majors” picked some of the top scorers in college basketball, largely foregoing defense in order to build a dynamic offense. 10 of his 12 players get regular playing time, and four of them come from mid-major schools, including NC A&T’s Kameron Langley, who led the league with 7.4 assists per game. Nathaniel selected “Do the John Wall” as his victory song, and he played his home games at Cameron Indoor Stadium of the Duke Blue Devils.

Andrew named his team “Andrew’s Anteaters’, and he went with the ‘best player available’ strategy. While Nathaniel hunted for the top scoring leaders to try and beat the simulation, Andrew simply took who he felt were the best players in college basketball. The strategy worked well, as Andrew accumulated a roster that included Kansas’s Devon Dotson and Udoka Azubuike, and Iowa’s Luka Garza – all Wooden Award Finalists – along with Bob Cousy award winner Payton Pritchard. Throwing in Yoeli Childs of BYU, Andrew’s team populated the statistical leaderboards, with Luka Garza leading the way at 20.8 points per game. His victory song is “Position to Win” by Migos, and he’s heard that one played a few times, while playing at UNC’s Dean Smith Center.

Cal took Tyler Hagedorn of South Dakota with his final pick of the draft, and he took some heat for taking a relatively unknown player, so he responded by naming his team “Cal’s South Dakota Sunrise”, with a victory song of “Here Comes the Sun”. Although he went 0-4 against Andrew, Cal salvaged his record by taking 3 of 4 from Nathaniel. He was led by his strong rebounders, with John Mooney of Notre Dame and Dayton’s Obi Toppin finishing 1-2 on the leaderboard. Mooney averaged 14.5 boards per game, while Toppin notched 10.8 rebounds per game. Cal attends Syracuse, and he thus played his home games in the Carrier Dome.

Andrew dominated the regular season with a 6-2 record, sweeping Cal in four contests, while winning all four games on his home court. He claimed the regular season title and a bye to the championship round.

Cal and Nathaniel both went 3-5, with Cal owning the head-to-head tiebreaker for the rights to host the best-of-three playoff series. However, Nathaniel’s offense flexed its muscles by putting up 146 points in Game 1 to claim an easy road victory. Hosting game 2, Nathaniel and Cal battled it out in an epic double-overtime duel, but the Mid-Majors survived, winning 160-150 after two extra periods of basketball. Nathaniel expressed a lot of confidence after the game with his team’s victory:

“We felt good about taking care of business and look forward to the challenge of taking on the Anteaters. We really saw the first round as more of a tune-up series, and that’s what it was. Taught our players how to play under pressure. It was great practice”, Nathaniel commented.

Asked about his team’s loss and to preview the championship series, Cal kept it brief: “I show that team little to no respect. Andrew in 3”.

The championship series enters Game 4 today, with Andrew leading 2 games to 1. Nathaniel engineered a huge comeback to avoid elimination on his home court yesterday, and he’ll hope to do the same in Game 4 to force things back to the Dean Smith Center for a winners-take-all game 5.

College Kids Talking College Sports Dream League Day 3: Results, Stats, and Leaderboard

In Day 3 of the College Kids Talking College Sports Dream League, Nathaniel’s Mid-Majors rebounded from a winless day 2 to win both contests in day 3, squeaking out a 116-113 win over Cal’s Sunrise on the road and holding off Andrew’s Anteaters in a 139-130 offensive showcase. Andrew took down Cal 116-100 in the other game, maintaining their grip on first place. Jordan Nwora and Markus Howard had big days to help out Nathaniel’s resurgence.

Andrew sits at 4-2, while Nathaniel leapfrogged Cal into second place at 3-3, and Cal is a game further behind at 2-4 heading into the final day of regular season action. Below is each team’s stats and the leaderboard for four major categories.

NDL

Player (Minutes Played)PointsReboundsAssists
Jordan Nwora (165)97 516
Vernon Carey (154)94 536
Markus Howard (137)120 2116
Anthony Lamb (134)108 4321
Kameron Langley (127)542043
Jermaine Marrow (114)64 917
Kira Lewis (89)52  1314
Jhivvan Jackson (108)74  2910
Killian Tillie (71)30175
Xavier Tillman (89)36  5110
Tre Jones (9)112
Zavier Simpson (2)011


Andrew

Player (Minutes Played)PointsReboundsAssists
Payton Pritchard (174)943335
Luka Garza (151)139 5415
Devon Dotson (168)117 1542
Devin Vassell (122)562914
Udoka Azubuike (126)84 574
Jalen Smith (89)38 346
Ayo Dosunmu (133)59 2028
Isaac Okoro (79)26 912
Jordan Ford (24)1212
Daniel Oturu (19)970
Yoeli Childs (101) 91 485
Saddiq Bey (14) 031

Cal

Player (Minutes Played)PointsReboundsAssists
Obi Toppin (204)118 7318
John Mooney (196)81 9612
Cole Anthony (150)93  2315
Myles Powell (152)90 2823
Cassius Winston (164)75 1127
Malachi Flynn (129)70 2831
Anthony Edwards (103)78 218
Jared Butler (22)10 42
Elijah Hughes (63)51 117
Michael Devoe (4)000
Cassius Stanley (4)001
Tyler Hagedorn (9)21

LEADERBOARD

Points

PlayerPoints
Luka Garza (Andrew’s Anteaters)139
Markus Howard (Nathaniel’s Mid-Majors)120
Obi Toppin (Cal’s Sunrise)118

Rebounds

PlayerRebounds
John Mooney (Cal’s Sunrise)96
Obi Toppin (Cal’s Sunrise)73
Udoka Azubuike (Andrew’s Anteaters)57

Assists

PlayerAssists
Kameron Langley  (Nathaniel’s Mid-Majors)43
Devon Dotson (Andrew’s Anteaters)42
Payton Pritchard (Andrew’s Anteaters)35

Efficiency Rating

PlayerEfficiency Rating
Yoeli Childs (Andrew’s Anteaters)1.43
Luka Garza (Andrew’s Anteaters)1.38
Anthony Lamb (Nathaniel’s Mid-Majors)1.28
Markus Howard (tied) (Nathaniel’s Mid-Majors)1.15
Udoka Azubuike (tied) (Andrew’s Anteaters)1.15