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Saturday, December 30th 2006

Rose Bowl Sim (Part Deux)

Last year, NCAA 06 was eerily accurate in predicting the national championship game.

It predicted a USC turnover (although not on downs) inside of just a few minutes to go when they were up by five. It predicted a brilliant Vince Young led go ahead drive, leaving mere seconds on the clock.

In anycase I thought I would let NCAA 07 have a shot at predicting this year’s Rose Bowl of USC v. Michigan. Here’s a summary of how EA Sport’s engine thinks this gridiron battle will go:

It is a semi-sloppy defensive slugfest perforated with big plays. Surprisingly, as many pundits predict. There are three turnovers in the first quarter alone. However, both Manningham and Steve Smith shine with 50+ yard touchdown grabs before half time.

The running room for Washington (Gable and Moody don’t make an appearance) is negligible. Hart has more success (better than 4 ypc).

The third quarter is disastrous for USC and John David Booty. He has two interceptions leading to 14 points for the Wolverines.

And so it is with Michigan inside the 20 yard line, at the start of the fourth quarter, trailing by 11 that the Trojan defense finds itself. Taylor Mays picks off a Henne pass in the end zone, and Booty tries to expunge his interceptions by driving down the field and leading Smith beautifully with a 37-yard touchdown pass.

After the two point conversion (to make it a 3 point game) both teams go three and out, and Booty gets the ball back with just under two minutes to go. He drives the Trojans down the field and Smith catches his third touchdown to take a four point lead with just under half a minute to go.

Michigan fails on fourth down the next drive and the game is sealed.

Both QBs have been harassed all day. Surprisingly, as Rivals predicted, Henne is sacked five times by the Trojans blitzing schemes and Booty doesn’t fare much better against Woodley.

USC 25 – Michigan 21

If it lends any credibility to NCAA 07′s prediction AccuScore has “predicted” all of the bowls for ESPN, and thinks USC is a slight favorite in the Rose Bowl. They think USC 23 – Michigan 22.

And an NCAA 06 “playoff” simulation on Scout.com has USC beating Michigan for the national championship.