While some of you might have planned your fantasy football seasons to end at the end of the nine-week regular season (and if you did, leave us a quick note in the comments about how your season went!), we’re going to follow the fantasy versions of these teams into the post-season, in both SBAC and Relegation League versions.
For the Smarter Balanced Athletic Conferences (or “SBAC”),…
…we’ve re-sorted all 130 FBS teams (plus ten of the top FCS teams to further balance the conferences) into fourteen ten-team conferences by region, where ALL the teams have an equal shot at the national championship: Win your conference, and you’ll play for the National Championship in a 16-team tournament, guaranteed!
(And yes, UCF made the tournament!)
We took the ELO-Following Football composite ranking (with an emphasis weighting the CFP rankings) to seed the teams, and to choose the two wild cards. Here’s what we came up with:
|Team (SBAC record, CFP rank)||SBAC conference affiliation||(Real life record/conf)||Combined ranking|
|#1 seed||Alabama (8-1/+304),||Deep South||11-0||1|
|#2 seed||Clemson (9-0/+ 371),||Plantation||11-0||2|
|#3 seed||Michigan (8-1/+279)||Great Lakes||10-1||3|
|#4 seed||Georgia (8-1/+232)||Wild Card – PL||10-1||4|
|#5 seed||Notre Dame (9-0/+205)||Ohio||11-0||5|
|#6 seed||Oklahoma (8-1/+177)||Lone Star||10-1||6|
|#7 seed||Ohio State (7-2/+201)||Wild Card – GL||10-1||7|
|#8 seed||LSU (8-1/+178)||Gulf Coast||9-2||9|
|#9 seed||Central Florida (8-1/+157)||Panhandle||10-0||11|
|#10 seed||Washington (9-0/+154)||Northwest||8-3||15|
|#11 seed||Fresno State (9-0/+183)||Bear Republic||9-2||19|
|#12 seed||Iowa State (8-1/+121)||MidWestern||7-3||27|
|#13 seed||Army-WP (7-2/+180)||New England||8-3||35|
|#14 seed||Appalachian State (7-2/+146)||Mid Atlantic||8-3||40|
|#15 seed||Arizona State (7-1-1/+103)||Rocky Mountain||6-4|
|#16 seed||Vanderbilt (8-1/+92)||Tobacco Road||5-6|
Without having any national ranking data for either ASU or Vandy, we simply decided that 6-4 was better than 5-6.
Then, we just dropped them into the standard inverse grid (1 plays 16, 2 plays 15, etc), and here were the game results from round one of the SBAC post-season championship tournament…
#1 ALABAMA def. #16 Vanderbilt 40-19 – #9 CENTRAL FLORIDA def. #8 LSU 29-17
#4 GEORGIA def #13 Army 39-10 – #5 NOTRE DAME def #12 Iowa State 15-5
#2 CLEMSON def #15 Arizona State 18 to -5 – #7 OHIO STATE def #10 Washington 42-30
#14 APPALACHIAN ST def #3 Michigan 7-5 – #6 OKLAHOMA def #11 Fresno State 24 to -4
So, just two upsets in the opening round, and one very minor (UCF was a nine-seed beating an eight-seed). Michigan’s disastrous loss to their rivals to the south cost them a victory in the SBAC playoffs as well.
In the quarterfinals, UCF plays at ‘Bama (their fondest wish, although probably not without Milton as they will be), with the winner playing the winner of Notre Dame at Georgia. On the other side of the bracket, Ohio State goes to Clemson and App St goes to Oklahoma.
As for the six-level Relegation Leagues,…
…there are two types of post-season games going on. First of all, here are the four-team tournaments for each of the six levels of conferences we followed this year. The top level would ostensibly be for the National Championship, although for some reason the SBAC seems to have come out more realistically. That’s probably just a random effect this season; we’ll have to see how that plays out over the years (if God happens to give us several more years down here on earth!).
HERE are the six tournaments, and the first round results:
C1) Notre Dame d Iowa State 10 to -1, and Clemson d.Utah by the same score (coincidentally!).
No, really! They started from completely different start scores!
C2) Iowa State d Virginia 20-18, and Georgia Tech d. Fresno State 12-9.
Those would have been two exciting games to watch in real life!
C3) Temple d Houston 52-9, and UCF d. Nevada 45-5.
These two games, on the other hand… (Three wins by the SE divisions so far.)
C4) James Madison d Northern Iowa 29-8, and North Dakota St d FIU 38-15.
Just like we’d hoped – JMU and NDSU, at it again!
C5) Indiana State d Nicholls State 45-40, and Wofford d Idaho State 61-46.
Two teams playing while their opponents sat – one wins, one loses.
C6) Duquesne d Monmouth 100-60, and Lamar d Davidson 107-56.
This time, both teams playing in the FCS playoffs won here!
The other set of games were the RELEGATION games. The teams above, all #1 in their conferences, automatically move up one level (except for those in Conference 1, of course!), while the teams in last place automatically move down one (again, except C6 teams, which can’t). Those teams are…
- Louisville, Duke, TCU, and Cal-Berkeley (moving from C1 to C2).
- Rutgers, Arkansas, Illinois, and Oregon State (moving from C2 to C3).
- Eastern Michigan, USF, Tulane, and New Mexico State (moving from C3 to C4).
- Bowling Green, UTSA, South Alabama, and Sacramento State (moving from C4 to C5).
- Richmond, Mercer, McNeese State, and Northern Colorado (moving from C5 to C6).
But for the teams in the second-to-last place position, they have the chance to save their spot by playing the team in the second-place position in the conference below them. Winner takes the higher position; loser goes to (or stays in) the lower one. Here are the match-ups and the results (all neutral site games) –
Battling for a spot in Conference One
Virginia Tech stays in the NE1, defeating Pitt 20-13.
Wake Forest moves into the SE1, beating Mississippi State 75-52.
Texas A&M saved their slot in the MW1 by beating Texas Tech 27-7.
Boise State moves up to the top West division after winning 35-18 over Colorado.
In the games for spots in Conference Two
Toledo manages to stay in C2, defeating MAC-mate Miami-OH 51-40.
North Carolina State deservedly stays in C2, beating a great Troy team 28-25.
Kansas managed to keep their slot as well, winning against Northern Illinois 42-22.
Wyoming made the one advancement at this level, beating Arizona 50-40.
Fighting for the spot in Conference Three
Western Kentucky surprisingly moves up, beating Western Michigan 72-59.
Tennessee saved themselves some embarrassment, holding off UAB 9-3. (An embarrassing score, though.)
Louisiana-Lafayette won a close one to move up on Tulsa, 48-47.
South Dakota State moved up alongside its northern rivals (the Bison), defeating San Jose State 49-38.
Four successful challenges for the available position in Conference Four
Youngstown State moves up, routing Connecticut 56-13.
Kennesaw State made up for its loss in September, beating Georgia State 48-21.
Southeast Missouri State continued its strong season over Sam Houston State 80-49.
Cal Poly SLO sent Idaho down a level again, beating the Vandals 55-51 on ratings alone.
Finally, there were four games being played for slots in Conference Five
(It should be noted that the matchups were more arbitrary, as there weren’t any “Northeast” or “West” conferences, but rather they were remnants of real conferences.)
Rhode Island stays in C5, beating Tennessee-Martin 58-49.
Elon held on against Tennessee State 49-47, despite losing to Wofford in the FCS playoffs.
Chattanooga moved up a level by beating Stephen F Austin 66-52.
And Portland State kept Dayton down in C6, winning 67-60.