Wednesday, August 27, 2008

NCAA Football 09 1-season Simulation Results

As promised way back in June, here is the first of a series of video game simulations to help guess how the coming football seasons will play out. Up first is my 1-season NCAA 09 simulation. Here are my ground rules:
  • Rosters - Except for player names, the rosters remain unedited (i.e. - no changes to positions and/or ratings).
  • Redshirts - You are only able to redshirt players from the team you select. I select Penn State for every sim. so a few of the freshman and injured LB Sean Lee do get redshirted and miss the year. All other teams forego redshirts unless the computer applies them.
  • Injuries/Suspensions - They happen, get use to it. It isn't my fault if Tim Tebow gets injured and your Florida Gators limp to a 4-8 finish. Also, any injuries that have happened during spring practice or training camp are not reflected here. That helps you out in the end, Florida. The same goes for suspensions (luck you, Miami). I can't suspend players so they are eligible for all games.
  • Schedules - The schedules set by EA are used, no changes.
  • Gameplay - Not a single game is played by a human. This entire simulation is done by EA computer engine. Your gripe is with them, not me, if your team sucks during this.
I think that covers the basics. First off, we need to know how the teams were initially ranked. Here is EA's list of their Top 25:

Rank Preseason
1 Georgia
2 Oklahoma
3 Ohio State
5 Florida
7 Missouri
8 West Virginia
9 Wisconsin
10 Texas
11 Clemson
12 Texas Tech
13 Penn State
14 Arizona State
15 Kansas
16 Auburn
17 Virginia Tech
18 Illinois
19 Tennessee
20 BYU
21 South Carolina
22 Alabama
23 Oregon
24 Cincinnati
25 Wake Forest

This poll will be used in all future simulations as well. So that is where we started. Where do we win after a 1-season sim.? Let's take a look...

Sim 1
Rank Final Coaches Wins Losses
1 USC 12 1
2 Florida State 12 1
3 Missouri 13 1
4 Ohio State 11 2
5 Clemson 12 2
6 West Virginia 11 2
7 Michigan 12 1
8 South Carolina 12 2
9 Tennessee 11 2
10 Florida 11 2
11 Texas Tech 10 3
12 Georgia 10 3
13 Wisconsin 10 3
14 Kansas State 10 3
15 Washington 10 3
16 Notre Dame 10 3
17 Oregon 10 3
18 LSU 9 4
19 Miami 8 5
20 Arizona State 9 4
21 Auburn 9 4
22 Cincinnati 9 4
23 Bowling Green 11 3
24 BYU 10 3
25 Northern Illinois 9 4

Quite the turnover. Preseason favorite Georgia finishes 12th. Unranked Florida State finishes 2nd. Originally unranked, like Florida State, Michigan comes in at #7. That's quite the first season under a new head coach: 12-1, a Big Ten Championship, and a Rose Bowl victory. And yet they still finish behind Ohio State (preseason #3, final #4). Who were the surprise teams, other than Florida State (originally 29th) and Michigan (originally 27th)? How about Bowling Green. Their preseason rank was 85 and they finished at 23, with an 11-3 record. Or Kansas State. They checked in intially at 51 but climbed to 14th and finished 10-3. Perhaps the most underrated team was Northern Illinois. They finished the season at 25 despite starting ranked 105th! Oh yeah and then there was Notre Dame. Started 53rd, ended 16th. Yawn. Next!

While some teams surprise, others disappoint. Here's a list of the underachievers (be aware, Penn Staters, it ain't pretty):
  • Georgia - Everyone's preseason favorite struggled to a 10-3 record and a 12th place finish in the polls.
  • Illinois - The game, like the media and many fans, is vastly overrating the Illini. They started 18th and finished out of the Top 25. Expect that to happen in real life, too.
  • Kansas - Wow I can't believe they struggled. Kidding. They had a wonderful season last year but that won't carry over. Started 15th and ended on the outside looking in.
  • LSU - Last year's National Champs struggled in the competitive SEC. From 6th to 18th and a 9-4 record.
  • Oklahoma - According to the video game, this team could be vastly overrated. In this 1-season simulation Oklahoma started 2nd and dropped out of the Top 25. They finished a pedestrian 8-5. Uh oh! Is this a sign of things to come? Not likely.
  • Texas - Another Big 12 team falls. Originally ranked #10, they fell out of the Top 25 with a 9-5 mark on the season. Not good, boys. Texas, in my opinion, is overrated this season. But they should still be in the Top 25.
  • Virginia Tech - Were ranked #17 initially but didn't breach the Top 25 in the end. They were close, like Texas. 9-5 on the season.
  • Penn State - Last and certainly least. Ready for this, guys? The 1-season simulation had the Nittany Lions ranked 13th and then plummet. They did salvage a winning record: 7-6. Ew. They even lost their bowl game, a second stright visit to the Alamo. Against Texas A&M. Again. Outcome: 37-24 Aggies. If the season plays out like this, Paterno will be gone.
Here are some other important things you may want to know. First the Heisman Trophy. The preseason favorites, according to EA, were:

Preseason Watch List
Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
Chris Wells, RB, Ohio State
Percy Harvin, WR, Florida
Chase Daniel, QB, Missouri
Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech

And here are the final results:

Final Results - Sim 1 Points
Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri 1625
Mark Sanchez, QB, USC 1359
Joe Ganz, QB, Nebraska 674
Colt McCoy, QB, Texas 450
Chris Wells, RB, Ohio State

A bit of a shocker. Not that Maclin couldn't have a Heisman-type year, but look at some of the other names on the list. Sanchez? Ganz? Really? OK. Wells, Tebow, and Georgia's Knowshon Moreno are mentioned by everyone and yet the game results only put Wells in the final. And he didn't do too well.

Here are the "major" bowl game matchups and results:

National Championship
USC Missouri
41 20

Rose Bowl
Michigan Washington
38 34

Orange Bowl
Clemson West Virginia
42 20

Sugar Bowl
South Carolina Ohio State
7 42

Fiesta Bowl
Florida State Texas Tech
26 7

Finally, for you Penn State fans out there, here is a game-by-game overview of this disastrous season...

Penn State Sim 1 Result
vs Coastal Carolina 35-7 W
vs Oregon State 27-14 W
at Syracuse 10-13 L
Temple 60-7 W
Illinois 35-31 W
at Purdue 17-14 W
at Wisconsin 20-27 OT L
Michigan 30-51 L
at Ohio State 13-30 L
BYE ----- -----
at Iowa 39-16 W
Indiana 31-35 L
Michigan State 41-30 W

Bowl Game Alamo Result
vs Texas A&M 24-37 L

Final Record Wins Losses

7 6

Yep. A loss to Syracuse. A shellacking by Michigan (10 in a row). And a loss, at home, to lowly Indiana (who actually finished the season at 9-4. Hopefully little of this comes true for PSU.

So there you have it. That is the official ruling on how the season will play out, according to a 1-season simulation using EA Sports NCAA Football 09. Obviously there are a lot of flaws (Michigan, really?) to this method. That is why I am conducting a 10-season simulation. I will sim. the 2008 season 10 times and do some averages for the polls, each team, and the Heisman. Penn State will have a litte more info. So stay tuned for that in the coming week!


Anonymous said...

Go canes

NotreDameFan10000 said...

Check out my website for the same thing except with the upcoming 2011 - 2012 season with the new conferences, but I can't sim it on NCAA 11, but I can sim in online.
Check it out! I sim it a little slower, a week at a time so people can look and see how their team does in the same thing as this post. The conference championships and the Bowl games will infact be simulated on NCAA 11!!! Check it out now!