Great idea, Chris. I’ve always wanted a playoff in college football and this should be pretty fun to watch.
I’ve got the same top seeds, but switched South Carolina and Arkansas. Yes, the Gamecocks’ quarterback situation is a little scary, but I still think this is still the strongest team in the East with Marcus Lattimore in the backfield and a very talented defense.
Also, those are some pretty fun sites for the games. I don’t think you’ll have to worry about SEC fans traveling for these games.
No. 5 Florida vs. No. 12 Vanderbilt (at Memphis): The rule of the classic 12-5 upset doesn’t apply here. Beale Street will be covered in orange and blue after this rout.
No. 6 Mississippi State vs. No. 11 Kentucky (at Birmingham): The Bulldogs’ offense should be able to go up and down the field on the Wildcats. Plus, there’s no Randall Cobb to frustrate MSU’s defense.
No. 7 Georgia vs. No. 10 Ole Miss (at Jacksonville): Georgia has one of the conference’s most talented quarterbacks and the Rebels aren’t sure who their guy is. Bulldogs win behind Aaron Murray’s arm.
No. 8 Auburn vs. No. 9 Tennessee (at Orlando): Our first upset comes with quarterback Tyler Bray leading the Vols on a game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter.
No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 9 Tennessee (at Miami): A rivalry is restored, but Alabama’s duo of quarterback AJ McCarron and running back Trent Richardson proves to be too much. That improved Crimson Tide defense doesn’t do Bray any favors this round.
No. 2 LSU vs. No. 7 Georgia (at Dallas): Jerry’s World will seem almost like home to the Tigers after an early-season matchup with Oregon. Aaron Murray quickly realizes how much he misses A.J. Green as LSU’s defense bears down on him in the fourth, leading to short scoring drives for the Tigers.
No. 3 South Carolina vs. No. 6 Mississippi State (at Nashville): Lattimore starts well, leading the Gamecocks to a 10-point halftime lead. However, Stephen Garcia becomes unsettled in the second half, leading to his benching. The Bulldogs’ defense aids in the comeback, forcing backup Conner Shaw into too many costly mistakes.
No. 4 Arkansas vs. No. 5 Florida (at Charlotte): With John Brantley excelling in Charlie Weis’ offense, we have a Charlotte shootout. Though Janoris Jenkins keeps Greg Childs from being much of a factor, Tyler Wilson beats the Gators late by continuously finding Joe Adams and Jarius Wright in a high-flying fourth quarter.
No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Arkansas (at Atlanta): Defense is the difference in this one. Dont’a Hightower and that nasty front seven make Wilson’s day miserable and a late, game-sealing pick by Dre Kirkpatrick sets up Richardson’s 15-yard touchdown run to put the Tide up two scores.
No. 2 LSU vs. No. 6 Mississippi State (at Atlanta): Cinderella’s run ends in Atlanta, but earlier than she wants. Jordan Jefferson gets things started early with a screen pass to Rueben Randle that goes for a 50-yard score. Short passes and the occasional scramble is all Jefferson needs to make it to take the Tigers to the title game.
No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 2 LSU (at Atlanta): Talk about a meeting of the minds. On one side we have Nick Saban, who will have the Tide ready to compete for yet another national title this year and on the other there’s Les Miles, who seemed to have something new up his sleeve every week last year. With McCarron and Jefferson struggling against opposing defenses, the game comes down to the trenches. Richardson and LSU’s Spencer Ware combine for four touchdowns, but a fourth-quarter dump pass from Jefferson to Russell Shepard proves to be the difference as LSU’s defense forces a last-minute McCarron interception to seal LSU’s SEC title.