Sweet 16 - East
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What is this?
Since NCAA Football desperately needs a playoff, why not create one? Sixteen teams were chosen (11 conference winners and five at-large bids) and placed into brackets. Dan Biggio, Sim Lucien and I will take a look at each game and decide who we think will win the game. The team that moves on to the next round will be the team that gets two votes to win out of the three predictions. The predictions for each game will be posted during the time listed for each contest (i.e. Ohio State-Troy State will be posted 12:00 Friday).






#1 Ohio State (12-0) vs. #8 Troy State (7-5).
Friday, 12:00 ET

Walt's Take:
Note: This game and the Wake Forest-Oklahoma tilt have been posted early because I work 10-5 today. The other matchups will be posted at the corresponding times.

Step 1: Construct a Trojan horse, move it outside of Jim Tressel's house, and ring the doorbell. Step 2: ... Step 3: Beat Ohio State!

Ohio State 45, Troy State 0.

NCAA Dan's Take:
In the past, Jim Tressel's Buckeyes have maintained a defense-first, offense-second make-up to them. This year, Troy Smith, Ted Ginn Jr and Antonio Pittman have had something to say about that. The Buckeyes hung 42 on a very tough Michigan defense during their last regular season game. Despite losing AJ Hawk and others on defense, Ohio State looks like the most complete team in the land. Troy State is no match for these Buckeyes.

Ohio State 48, Troy State 10.

Sim's Take:
This will be quick; not just my prediction, but the game itself. The Buckeyes are the Big Ten champs and several notches above most of the country. The Trojans are a scrappy mid-major team. The Buckeye backups will be in before halftime.

Ohio State 42, Troy State 6.

Mike's Take:
Who the hell is Troy State?

Ohio State 42, Troy State 7.

Public Poll:
Ohio State 97%

Winner: #1 Ohio State
Avg Score: Ohio State 44, Troy State 6.




#4 Oklahoma (11-2) vs. #5 Wake Forest (11-2).
Friday, 3:30 ET

Walt's Take:
Remember when everyone was clamoring about how great the ACC would be when Virginia Tech, Miami and Boston College joined the conference a few years ago? So, what happened? Both the Hokies and Hurricanes were major disappointments this season, while the conference championship was a 9-6 snooze-fest. The only reason Wake Forest won was because the combination of Chan Gailey and Reggie Ball has an exceptional knack for losing.

Simply put, Oklahoma is the better team. The Demon Deacons were a nice story, but every story has an ending.

Oklahoma 17, Wake Forest 3.

NCAA Dan's Take:
Oklahoma comes into this matchup the surprising winner of the Big 12. The Sooners managed to hang tough this season, after losing a heartbreaker to the Ducks in Eugene and then their star running back Adrian Peterson. The Sooners were handled pretty easily by Texas in the Red River shootout, but ran the table since then. Oklahoma is on a roll.

This should be a pretty good matchup against the upstart Demon Deacons. Nobody would have picked these guys to come out of the ACC, but it is them representing the conference over perennial powerhouse teams like Virginia Tech and Miami. Wake has done it with good defense this year, a big factor in impressive wins over Maryland, Boston College, and the ACC Championship game against Georgia Tech. Look for a lower-scoring affair in this one, but I like the Sooners to prevail.

Oklahoma 17, Wake Forest 9.

Sim's Take:
I'm not sure who is more of a surprise to make the playoff. On one hand, there is Oklahoma. All-word running back Adrian Peterson has been injured for almost the entire season, before training camp; quarterback Rhett Bomar and a projected starting offensive lineman were dismissed from the team, and the Sooners still won the Big XII. On the other hand, there is Wake Forest. My I'm having trouble typing that they are ACC champs. They finally had a winning football season after 13 years of getting pummeled in this conference.

Neither team really impresses me, however. Texas rolled on Oklahoma. The Oregon loss was not as close as the score shows, and the other ranked opponents were Texas A&M, Missouri, and Nebraska in the confrence title game. Note, Texas was the only team ranked in the Top 10. Wake Forest won out in an ACC slump year. A weak Virginia Tech team beat them at home, as did Clemson, the only Top 15 team they played all season. The rest of the schedule was cupcake at best. Teams included: Duke, Syrause, Ole Miss, Liberty, and very bad Florida State.

I still have to give the edge to the Sooners due to their post-season experience, toughness, and strength of the conference.

Oklahoma 24, Wake Forest 17.

Mike's Take:
Wake Forest has just found ways to win all year without stats. Having said that, Paul Thompson has led his team with a 60 percent pass completion percentage, and has shown he can play without the best running back in the country. Oklahoma goes to the Elite Eight in a boring game.

Oklahoma 21, Wake Forest 7.

Public Poll:
Oklahoma 72%

Winner: #4 Oklahoma
Oklahoma 20, Wake Forest 9.




#3 Louisville (11-1) vs. #6 West Virginia (10-2).
Saturday, 3:30 ET

Walt's Take:
The first West Virginia-Louisville tilt was one of the most exciting contest this season. It seemed like both offenses scored on every possession. I'd pay to see a rematch on a neutral field.

I think there are a number of things going West Virginia's way; as I mentioned, the first meeting was at Louisville; the Cardinals will not have a weekday-night homefield advantage this time around. Secondly, Steve Slaton left the aforementioned game with an injury, and should be healthy this time around. And finally, we've all seen that it is difficult to beat the same team twice in one campaign.

West Virginia 35, Louisville 27.

NCAA Dan's Take:
Bobby Petrino's Louisville teams have been successful in large part due to explosive offenses. This year's Cardinal squad is no exception. Louisville nearly went undefeated, with only a close loss on a Thursday night at Rutgers keeping them from running the table. Louisville's defense, however, is still suspect.

The Mountaineers love to run the football; Rich Rodriguez continues to play smash-mouth football. Pat White is able to throw the ball effectively at times. When these two teams met in Kentucky earlier this season, Slaton was out for an extended period of time, causing the Moutaineers to be a more one-dimensional team. Even still, WVU scored over 30 on Louisville. This game has shootout written all over it. The over-under could be set at 100. But with a healthy White and on a neutral field, I like West Virginia to even the score. Remember, Rodriguez's team upset Georgia in a BCS bowl last year.

West Virginia 41, Louisville 34.

Sim's Take:
I know it is very hard for a team to beat the same team twice in college football, but Louisville is one of the few who can. This rematch will be more one-sided than the first game. I think Louisville's defense will contain WVU running back Steve Slaton, and dramatically limit this potent Mountaineer offense. The Cardinals will score points that is a given. In the last four years, Louisvillle has been one of the highest-scoring offenses in the country. Even with running back Michael Bush out for most of the season, they still have scored 28 points or move in every game except one. They have topped 40 points in six of their 12 contests.

Louisville 38, West Virginia 13.

Mike's Take:
A rematch of two overrated Big East teams. There will be no difference this time. Louisville will use Brian Brohm and pick apart West Virginia's secondary.

Louisville 45, West Virginia 35.

Public Poll:
Louisville 60%

Winner: #3 Louisville
Louisville 36, West Virginia 31.




#2 Florida (12-1) vs. #7 Central Michigan (9-4).
Saturday, 12:00 ET

Walt's Take:
There's no question Florida beats Eastern Michigan. I mean, ummm... Northern Michigan? Ummm.... Uhhh... Yeah, whatever.

Florida 38, Central Michigan 17.

NCAA Dan's Take:
Relax, Urban, your team is in a favorable bracket even if not receiving a No. 1 seed. Florida has looked sloppy and inconsistent at times this year. When their offense plays well, the defense seems to relax a bit. And when the defense steps up for them, some games it seems like the offense does just enough to win. They have won several ugly games, but playing in the SEC will do that. Florida's schedule and record speaks for itself. The sole loss of the season came at the hands of a very good Auburn Tiger team. Loss No. 2 will not come this weekend to Central Michigan. Chris Leak will shine and help out his NFL stock.

Florida 34, Central Michigan 16.

Sim's Take:
This game isn't even fair. This is an early season tune-up game at best. Florida is too big, too strong, too fast, too physical, too experienced, too well trained, and did I mention too fast?

Florida 42, Central Michigan 10.

Mike's Take:
Central Michigan played Michigan and lost 41-17. You may think Florida is better than Michigan, but the Gators win easily in a game led mostly by Tim Tebow.

Florida 35, Central Michigan 10.

Public Poll:
Florida 98%

Winner: #2 Florida
Florida 37, Central Michigan 13.



NCAA Football Tournament 2007
Brackets:
Championship / Final Four
Elite Eight - East / Elite Eight - West
Sweet Sixteen - East / Sweet Sixteen - West

NCAA Football Tournament 2006
Brackets:
Championship / Final Four
Elite Eight - East / Elite Eight - West
Sweet Sixteen - East / Sweet Sixteen - West

NCAA Football Tournament 2005
Brackets:
Championship / Final Four
Elite Eight - East / Elite Eight - West
Sweet Sixteen - East / Sweet Sixteen - West

NCAA Football Tournament 2004
Brackets:
Championship / Final Four
Elite Eight - East / Elite Eight - West
Sweet Sixteen - East / Sweet Sixteen - West

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