Let a stupidity start with this 64-team college football bracket

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The College Football Playoff is not expanding. For now.

Even if a CFP grows, it’s expected 8 teams will be a limit. The margin will be bigger and presumably better, nonetheless positively zero like what they have in college basketball.

March Madness is here, as a NCAA men’s basketball contest starts with a First Four on Tuesday and Wednesday in Dayton, Ohio, followed by a first- and second-round matchups during sites around a country. It’s time to revisit one of a favorite hypotheticals: What would a 64-team college football margin demeanour like in 2019?

Here’s how a routine works: Using ESPN’s preseason Football Power Index, teams are seeded 1 by 64. This year, FPI’s tip 4 seeds — Clemson, Alabama, Georgia and LSU — all occupy a same ubiquitous area, so we had to be a bit artistic about that organisation headlines any region. Since LSU is No. 4, a Tigers will have to win in a west to strech their initial football Final Four.

There’s no First Four in this tournament, nonetheless a round-by-round matchups will play out until a inhabitant champion is crowned.

Expect play and upsets. FPI competence consider it has a competition figured out, nonetheless not any higher-seeded organisation will advance. Matchups matter, and some teams are under-seeded or over-seeded. And, like a basketball preference committee, we emanate some pairings formed on intriguing storylines.

Today, let’s take a demeanour during a margin and a initial dual rounds of matchups, as we slight a pool from 64 to 16. On Wednesday, we’ll play a rest of a games.


(3) Auburn 28, (14) Duke 13: David Cutcliffe earnings to his SEC roots as he leads Duke to face Auburn for a initial time given 1980. Both teams are replacing NFL-caliber quarterbacks, nonetheless Auburn’s widespread defensive line will be a disproportion as a Tigers lift divided in a second half.

(13) Arizona 28, (4) Mississippi State 27: Here’s a initial dissapoint of a region, as Arizona’s descent backfield of quarterback Khalil Tate and using behind J.J. Taylor gain on a Mississippi State defensive front that is going by poignant transition. The Bulldogs get a large diversion from Kylin Hill, nonetheless Tate shines late.

(5) Missouri 34, (12) NC State 27: Missouri’s postseason anathema doesn’t lift over to this tournament, and quarterback send Kelly Bryant immediately gets a shot during an ACC invulnerability he knows well. Bryant accounts for 3 touchdowns, NC State’s offense struggles in a fourth entertain and Barry Odom’s organisation advances.

(6) Wisconsin 27, (11) BYU 20: The Cougars dumbfounded a Badgers in Madison final September, environment off what would be a unsatisfactory deteriorate for Paul Chryst’s team. Wisconsin bounces behind this time behind Jonathan Taylor (150 rush yards, dual touchdowns) and loyal beginner quarterback Graham Mertz, who throws a late touchdown pass.

(10) Cincinnati 30, (7) USC 20: Anyone who watched these dual teams play in 2018 wouldn’t seed Cincinnati aloft than USC. These programs are streamer in conflicting directions. Luke Fickell’s organisation scores a “upset” behind energetic quarterback Desmond Ridder and a miserly defense. USC’s JT Daniels and his receivers never find a postulated rhythm.

(9) Arizona State 33, (8) Baylor 31: This will be one of a some-more engaging first-round matchups. Baylor has a slight quarterback corner with Charlie Brewer, who throws dual touchdown passes, nonetheless Arizona State uses a QB options and a best actor on a margin — using behind Eno Benjamin — to mountain a large second-half surge. Benjamin runs for 150 conflicting a Baylor invulnerability that struggled conflicting a run in 2018.

Second round

(1) Clemson 38, (9) Arizona State 17: The measure would be many closer if Herm Edwards and Dabo Swinney competed in a locker-room speech-off. Unfortunately for Edwards and a Sun Devils, they don’t have adequate to delayed down Lawrence, Travis Etienne, Tee Higgins and a fortifying champs.

(2) Notre Dame 23, (10) Cincinnati 17: Fighting Irish manager Brian Kelly faces his former team, that is rolling along like it was when Kelly left for South Bend. Expect both defenses to control play, nonetheless Notre Dame’s descent line imposes a will on a game-winning expostulate in a fourth quarter.

(6) Wisconsin 21, (3) Auburn 20: It will be a frustrating diversion to watch for offensive-minded conduct coaches Paul Chryst (Wisconsin) and Gus Malzahn (Auburn). Derrick Brown and a Tigers’ invulnerability assistance their organisation to an early lead, nonetheless a Taylor-Mertz multiple comes alive for Wisconsin in a fourth quarter.

(5) Missouri 38, (13) Arizona 30: Bryant and Tate set adult an sparkling quarterback matchup, and both broach in a high-scoring game. Missouri’s invulnerability creates a few some-more plays, though, and Bryant and star parsimonious finish Albert Okwuegbunam bond for dual touchdowns to assistance a Tigers advance.

Regional semifinals

(1) Clemson vs. (5) Missouri
(2) Notre Dame vs. (6) Wisconsin


South region

First round

(1) Alabama 38, (16) Appalachian State 13: New manager Eli Drinkwitz takes over an Appalachian State module that has 41 wins in a past 4 seasons, nonetheless his postseason entrance won’t be many fun. Tua Tagovailoa, Jerry Jeudy and a rest of a Tide will be extra-motivated to win a championship after flopping on a large theatre final year.

(2) Florida 35, (15) Kansas State 13: Chris Klieman will have K-State pulling off upsets shortly enough, nonetheless a register needs some work. Florida, meanwhile, continues to build on offense behind using behind Lamical Perine and a low organisation of receivers. A quick Gators invulnerability binds Kansas State scoreless in a second half, and Florida advances.

(3) Texas AM 37, (14) Memphis 24: There’s a mini-reunion in this one, as Aggies descent coordinator Darrell Dickey came to AM from Memphis. Both teams have firepower on offense, nonetheless a Aggies’ invulnerability is a disproportion in this one as a organisation takes a large step underneath second-year coordinator Mike Elko.

(13) Syracuse 33, (4) Tennessee 27: Here’s another matchup in that a seeds don’t unequivocally compare up, given any program’s trajectory. Tennessee will be softened in Year 2 underneath Jeremy Pruitt, nonetheless Dino Babers will have a Orange’s offense clicking again behind quarterback Tommy DeVito. An orange organisation will prevail, and it will be a one from upstate New York.

(5) Utah 35, (12) Texas Tech 24: The dual teams don’t know one another, nonetheless a coaching staffs positively do, as new Texas Tech trainer Matt Wells twice faced Utah while heading Utah State. Wells inherits some talent in Lubbock, nonetheless Utah isn’t going to event in back-to-back postseason games after a second-half fall conflicting Northwestern in a Holiday Bowl.

(11) Boise State 30, (6) UCLA 24: LeGarrette Blount does a silver toss wearing fighting gloves, and Chip Kelly, who forsaken his head-coaching entrance during Oregon to Boise State behind in 2007, falls to a Broncos nonetheless again. UCLA will be softened this year, nonetheless a Broncos’ invulnerability and run diversion proves to be too much.

(7) Texas 37, (10) UCF 28: Every NCAA contest joint has a matchup that should start in a after rounds. This is a college football version, as both teams seem under-seeded. Texas has a softened quarterback conditions and defense, though, and Sam Ehlinger accounts for 4 touchdowns in a win.

(9) Nebraska 38, (8) Miami 30: A Huskers-Hurricanes matchup, even in a initial round, is too constrained to pass up. Both teams are generating hum for a future, nonetheless Nebraska gets a corner here given of quarterback Adrian Martinez and an offense that will be tough to delayed down.

Second round

(1) Alabama 44, (9) Nebraska 21: Martinez is a form of quarterback who gives Alabama problems, and he’ll furnish some highlights. But Nebraska’s invulnerability is nowhere nearby good adequate to delayed down Tagovailoa, Jeudy, Najee Harris and an Alabama conflict that racks adult 31 first-half points.

(7) Texas 29, (2) Florida 27: Two normal college football heavyweights perplexing to lapse to a tip weight category accommodate in an sparkling second-round matchup. Ehlinger recovers from an early pick-six and rallies his organisation late, environment adult Dicker a Kicker — Cameron Dicker that is, of 2018 Red River Showdown celebrity — for a winning margin goal.

(3) Texas AM 31, (11) Boise State 21: Although Boise State built a repute on violence programs such as Texas AM, a Broncos will be rebuilding a bit on offense. The Aggies, meanwhile, have a centerpiece in quarterback Kellen Mond, as good as a invulnerability that will reason adult softened conflicting a pass. The Aggies pierce on to face You Know Who.

(5) Utah 27, (13) Syracuse 24: The fast-paced Orange highlight Jaylon Johnson and Utah’s secondary, nonetheless a Utes make some intelligent in-game adjustments and take over with their run game, propelled by Zack Moss and Armand Shyne. Utah racks adult 250 rush yards and 3 touchdowns in a win.

Regional semifinals

(1) Alabama vs. (5) Utah
(7) Texas vs. (3) Texas AM


East region

First round

(1) Georgia 41, (16) Colorado 17: It’s a Mel Tucker Bowl as Tucker creates his postseason coaching entrance conflicting a Bulldogs invulnerability he concurrent for a past 3 seasons. Colorado’s Laviska Shenault gets giveaway for dual touchdowns before Georgia’s invulnerability tightens and quarterback Jake Fromm surges in a second half.

(2) Michigan 45, (15) Western Michigan 10: There’s some Harbaugh story here as Jack Harbaugh coached Western Michigan from 1982 to 1986, while son Jim was personification quarterback down I-94 during Michigan. This shouldn’t be many of a diversion as Michigan’s softened flitting diversion shines behind stream QB Shea Patterson.

(3) Penn State 24, (14) Cal 13: The categorical tie here is Penn State jaunty executive Sandy Barbour, who came to PSU after a decade heading Cal’s department. Cal’s gifted invulnerability will keep this one interesting, nonetheless there’s not many to get vehement about with a Bears’ offense. Tommy Stevens throws a touchdown pass and runs for another measure as a Lions pierce on.

(13) Pitt 20, (4) Michigan State 17: The NCAA contest preference cabinet loves mentor-protégé coaching matchups in a initial round, so let’s play along. MSU’s Mark Dantonio and Pitt’s Pat Narduzzi both know defense, so design points to be during a reward in this one. Pitt scores 3 some-more as Narduzzi beats his longtime trainer and friend.

(5) South Carolina 41, (12) North Carolina 21: The Battle of a Carolinas should be fun for both fan bases, generally with Mack Brown behind on a UNC sideline. But South Carolina is simply a many stronger organisation right now, and quarterback Jake Bentley has a large day conflicting a Tar Heels invulnerability that needs a lot of work.

(6) Florida State 38, (11) Ole Miss 35: Remember a 2016 deteriorate opener, when these dual programs common a inhabitant theatre in Orlando? It feels like decades ago, as both teams seem to be slipping. The matchup of new descent coordinators — Kendal Briles (FSU) and Rich Rodriguez (Ole Miss) — should be interesting, as both teams put adult points. FSU and Cam Akers put adult 3 more.

(7) Iowa 26, (10) TCU 20: College football’s longest-tenured coaches — Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz (1999) and TCU’s Gary Patterson (2000) — accommodate in what should be one of a softened first-round matchups. The Hawkeyes have fewer questions during quarterback with Nathan Stanley, and A.J. Epenesa and their defensive line will be a difference.

(9) Kentucky 34, (8) Washington State 28: Hal Mumme should toss a silver for this one, as a former Kentucky manager (1997-2000) will watch protégé Mike Leach take on his aged team. Gabe Gubrud, Washington State’s latest quarterback transfer, puts a Cougs brazen nonetheless Terry Wilson rallies Kentucky with dual late touchdown runs.

Second round

(1) Georgia 28, (9) Kentucky 17: It’s an SEC East reunion as Kentucky, that finished 31-game losing strain to Florida, aims to snap a nine-game trip conflicting Georgia. Mark Stoops’ invulnerability comes to play nonetheless Georgia eventually overwhelms a Wildcats during a line of scrimmage.

(2) Michigan 26, (7) Iowa 21: Michigan’s struggles conflicting archrival Ohio State get some-more attention, nonetheless a Wolverines also hasn’t fared good newly conflicting Iowa, dropping 5 of a past 6 meetings, including a heartless 14-13 reversal in 2016 during Kinnick Stadium. Both of these defenses should be excellent, nonetheless Patterson and his far-reaching receivers make some plays late to win this Big Ten battle.

(3) Penn State 33, (6) Florida State 17: After a auspicious seed and first-round draw, FSU’s good happening runs out. The rematch of a 2006 Orange Bowl — Joe Paterno vs. Bobby Bowden — goes Penn State’s approach again in decisive fashion, as Tommy Stevens accounts for 3 touchdowns in a win.

(13) Pitt 31, (5) South Carolina 28: Narduzzi’s organisation ensures a in-state opposition isn’t a usually Pennsylvania organisation in a Sweet 16. Pickett continues his glorious play in coordinator Mark Whipple’s offense, that builds a double-digit lead and allows a Panthers to reason off Bentley and a Gamecocks down a stretch.

Regional semifinals

(1) Georgia vs. (13) Pitt
(2) Michigan vs. (3) Penn State


West region

First round

(1) LSU 35, (16) Maryland 13: New Terrapins manager Mike Locksley got a best of LSU while operative on Alabama’s staff. He’ll find things worse now, generally conflicting a talent-stocked Tigers invulnerability led by reserve Grant Delpit, who annals a pick-six conflicting a Terrapins. Quarterback Joe Burrow throws dual touchdown passes for Coach O’s Tigahs.

(2) Oklahoma 45, (15) Arkansas 24: It’s a bit startling to see Arkansas in a margin after a 2-10 clunker in 2018. At slightest a Razorbacks and Sooners will accommodate for a initial time given 2012 and only a second time given 1978. Jalen Hurts‘ laxity with a Hogs should assistance OU, that rides Hurts, far-reaching receiver CeeDee Lamb and an softened invulnerability to an easy win.

(3) Oregon 27, (14) Northwestern 23: The Wildcats seem ridiculously under-seeded, after a multiplication championship and with quarterback Hunter Johnson eligible. Will they lift off a upset? Almost. Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert is a difference, along with a plain defense, as a Ducks tarry and advance.

(4) Ohio State 37, (13) Vanderbilt 20: The Buckeyes’ preseason FPI seed (No. 13 overall) will fuel them via this tournament. Georgia quarterback send Justin Fields gets another event conflicting an SEC East competition as a Buckeyes obey some early points before winning a second half.

(5) Washington 31, (12) Indiana 20: The fortifying Pac-12 champion Huskies start their postseason lift with a new quarterback, many expected Georgia send Jacob Eason, as good as other pivotal newcomers on both sides of a ball. But Washington’s talent edge, generally on defense, is too many to means a first-round slip. Running behind Salvon Ahmed racks adult 150 yards on a belligerent as UW moves on.

(11) Virginia 23, (6) Stanford 21: This segment has been chalk-heavy so far, so it’s time to shake things up. we like Stanford quarterback K.J. Costello, nonetheless other areas of a organisation seem a bit shaky. Virginia quarterback Bryce Perkins builds off of a clever 2018 deteriorate with dual touchdown passes, and a Hoos invulnerability binds Stanford’s run diversion in check.

(10) Oklahoma State 32, (7) Minnesota 31: A tough preference here as Minnesota is trending ceiling with a low organisation of using backs, while Oklahoma State once again will have a new starting quarterback. But in a matchup of chosen receivers, a Pokes’ Tylan Wallace edges a Gophers’ Tyler Johnson, creation a leaping touchdown squeeze in a final minute.

(8) Iowa State 30, (9) Virginia Tech 17: These programs seem to be headed in conflicting directions notwithstanding rarely regarded coaches on both sides. There are distant some-more assurances with a Cyclones, who exaggerate energetic quarterback Brock Purdy and a sound invulnerability that roughly always gives opponents fits. Virginia Tech creates an early exit.

Second turn

(1) LSU 24, (8) Iowa State 20: Matt Campbell’s organisation gives LSU all it can hoop in a back-and-forth game. Burrow, intuiting a rematch with Ohio State in a Sweet 16, finds a stroke with a brew of runs and passes as a Tigers reason off Purdy and a Cyclones on a late drive.

(2) Oklahoma 41, (10) Oklahoma State 30: Bedlam in a postseason? Yes, please. Mike Gundy and a Pokes haven’t beaten OU given a Tyreek Hill punt lapse in 2014. They keep watchful for a breakthrough notwithstanding a plain descent performance. Hurts runs for dual scores and throws a touchdown in a Sooners’ win.

(11) Virginia 28, (3) Oregon 26: Perkins outplays Herbert in an sparkling quarterback matchup and a Cavaliers continue to warn underneath third-year manager Bronco Mendenhall. An underrated Virginia invulnerability army several brief field-goal attempts and blocks one to lift off another upset.

(4) Ohio State 34, (5) Washington 28: It’s a Rose Bowl rematch, solely though Urban Meyer on a Buckeyes’ sidelines or quarterbacks Dwayne Haskins Jr. and Jake Browning. Eason attacks a Buckeyes early, nonetheless Dobbins breaks off dual prolonged touchdown runs in a second half to propel Ohio State forward.

Regional semifinals

(1) LSU vs. (4) Ohio State
(2) Oklahoma vs. (11) Virginia

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