2006 Championship
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-LSU will be posted 8:00 Tuesday).

#1E Ohio State (12-0) vs. #2W LSU (10-2).
Tuesday, Jan. 2, 8 p.m. ET

Walt's Take:
I haven't watched any bowl games. I haven't looked at any of the scores. I don't even know who has played yet. And I'm really proud to say all of this. I'm boycotting the bowls again, and I implore all of you to do the same. The only we'll ever see a playoff system in college football is if ratings go down, and the greedy college presidents start losing some of the blood money they're raking in every year. But as long as millions of ignorant people keep watching the bowls, there will never be a real championship.

Bringing blood pressure down from 300/200. I think these teams are the top two squads in college football this year, thanks in part to their great defenses, and veteran leadership at the quarterback position. However, I give Troy Smith the edge here; he's a senior and has proven that he can carry the Buckeyes on his shoulders.

Ohio State 27, LSU 24.

NCAA Dan's Take:
It is most fitting that two great teams from the two best conferences in college football right now meet head to head in the championship game. Michigan is a close second, but Ohio State has proven to be the best team in the Big Ten. LSU certainly is among teams in a discussion for best team in the SEC, along with the Auburn Tigers and Florida Gators. LSU actually lost to both Auburn and Florida in the regular season. But I believe LSU is playing the best football of these teams at this time of year; LSU poses the biggest challenge to Jim Tressel and the Ohio State Buckeyes' goal of taking home another national championship.

Expect JaMarcus Russell and the Tiger offense to be able to put up points against the Buckeyes. They will mix up the run and pass, keeping Ohio State off balance enough to keep them in the game. LSU averaged over 30 points a game this season, and while I do not expect them to generate this type of offense, I do see the Tigers being able to score in the 20s.

LSU has a tough, physical defense that Ohio State will have to contend with. But we all know that the Buckeyes have plenty of weapons on offense to test even the most stout of defenses. Michigan possessed a tough, physical stop unit, much like LSU does, and the Buckeyes were able to hang 42 on the Wolverines to win that one.

Look for an entertaining matchup in this championship game. I think it will be close at halftime, and will go into the fourth quarter. Ohio State might be just a bit deeper on the offensive side of the football, so I am taking the Buckeyes to win.

Ohio State 27, LSU 20.

Sim's Take:
I'm so happy this is a mock playoff and this game will not happen...at least not this season. This is the clash of two extremely over-hyped squads the country and this Web site are in love with. What can I say about the Buckeyes that I haven't said about every OSU team after the National Championship in 2003? This team is not that freaking special. Look at whom they beat this season: mediocre Penn State, uncharacteristically soft Iowa, overrated Texas, very over-hyped Michigan, the rest of a bad Big 11, some MAC riff-raff, and Cincinnati. Yes, they are a good team, but I'm not impressed. Ted Ginn Jr. is still nothing more than a walking 40-time. Antonio Pittman is at best the 4th-best running back in the conference. Troy Smith is either a slower, better-passing Michael Vick or a shorter, less-talented or cool Vince Young, depending on your perspective. The defensive line is good; not great. James Laurinaitis is legit, but, in A.J. Hawk fashion, his linebacking sidekicks are over-hyped. And the secondary looks good because everyone fears the defensive front.

LSU hasn't shown me much either. They lost to a solid Auburn and a very good Florida squad. They barely beat a soft Tennessee team and Arkansas. The rest of the schedule: Tulane, ULL, uncharacteristically bad Fresno Sate, Arizona, the rest of the weak SEC West, and Kentucky.

I like The Tigers in the matchup. By virtue of a much harder schedule, I think they are a tougher and more physical team. And yes, "Southern Speed" does exist. Don't believe me? Look where most of the 2002-2003 and 2005-2006 Buckeye defensive starters are from: Florida. Also, there has been at least one team south of the Mason-Dixon Line in every BCS Title Game since the first one. Rant over. Anyway, JaMarcus Russell is a small improvement on Troy Smith. I like both LSU lines, and the Tiger secondary, led by All-American LaRon Landry, one of the best in the country.

Even though I don't think either team should be here, I think this will be an entertaining game.

LSU 24, Ohio State 17.

Mike's Take:
This will be Ohio State's second-toughest game this year. The hardest contest was against Michigan. LSUís quick and strong SEC defense will keep this game close, but Troy Smith will pull a spectacular play for a solid win and a national championship.

Ohio State 24, LSU 17.

Public Poll: Ohio State 80%

Winner: #1E Ohio State
Ohio State 24, LSU 21.

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

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

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

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

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