What would occur in a 64-team college football bracket?

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It’s OK to acknowledge it.

Like many Americans, we will douse yourself in a NCAA men’s basketball competition during a subsequent 3 weeks. But college football is never distant from your thoughts.

You are not alone. In fact, many of you, while stuffing out basketball brackets this week, will consternation what it would be like if college football had a 64-team field.

We’ve got we covered. And Mike Leach receives no royalties for a idea.

Here’s how it works: Teams are seeded 1 by 64 according to ESPN’s preseason FPI rankings for 2018. The tip 4 seeds — Clemson, Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State — will pretension geographic regions. Round-by-round matchups for a 2018 postseason will play out (sorry, no First Four here) until a inhabitant champion is crowned.

Just as in a NCAA hoops tournament, there will be upsets. This is all about matchups and projections. Just since FPI likes a organisation doesn’t meant it will advance.

So let’s take a demeanour during a margin and a initial dual rounds of matchups as we slight a pool to a Sweet 16.


The bracket

1-seeds: Clemson, Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State

2-seeds: Notre Dame, Washington, Auburn, Penn State

3-seeds: Oklahoma, Michigan State, Michigan, Wisconsin

4-seeds: Stanford, Miami, USC, Mississippi State

5-seeds: Texas, Florida State, Oregon, Texas AM

6-seeds: Oklahoma State, Florida, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech

7-seeds: Iowa, LSU, Cal, South Carolina

8-seeds: Missouri, Duke, West Virginia, Northwestern

9-seeds: Utah, TCU, Louisville, Boston College

10-seeds: Boise State, Texas Tech, Wake Forest, Baylor

11-seeds: Iowa State, Arizona, NC State, Kansas State

12-seeds: Ole Miss, Memphis, North Carolina, Purdue

13-seeds: UCLA, Nebraska, Arizona State, Tennessee

14-seeds: UCF, Arkansas, Syracuse, Kentucky

15-seeds: Pitt, San Diego State, Minnesota, Maryland

16-seeds: Washington State, Houston, Fresno State, South Florida


EAST REGION

First round

(1) Clemson 45, (16) South Florida 17: The Tigers can’t bonus South Florida’s athleticism, that coaches contend is on standard with that of many Power 5 teams. But though quarterback Quinton Flowers or using backs Darius Tice and D’Ernest Johnson, USF won’t have adequate energy to dig a hulk orange wall that is Clemson’s defensive line.

(2) Penn State 35, (15) Pitt 27: The basketball competition preference cabinet loves first-round matchups with some adversary juice, and Penn State-Pitt will not disappoint. It’s a rematch of a Week 2 diversion that will leave Pat Narduzzi and a Panthers generally bitter. Panthers sophomore quarterback Kenny Pickett shines, though Trace McSorley prevents a dissapoint with some fourth-quarter magic.

(3) Michigan State 41, (14) Arkansas 20: FPI finally showed MSU a small adore in a preseason rankings, slotting a Spartans during No. 10 overall. Quarterback Brian Lewerke leads an offense that earnings 10 starters, including several energetic receivers who light adult an Arkansas organisation that stays in transition underneath first-year manager Chad Morris.

(4) Miami 39, (13) UCLA 27: By this indicate in a season, Chip Kelly’s offense should be not usually watchable though unequivocally fun. Still, Miami’s invulnerability is distant too gifted to cavern in, generally adult front. The Canes use final year’s bad finish as fuel and get large rises from quarterback N’Kosi Perry and wideout Ahmmon Richards.

(12) Ole Miss 38, (5) Florida State 32: The 5-12 dissapoint carries over to a football bracket, where Ole Miss, notwithstanding a postseason ban, is authorised for this tournament. Florida State is still classification out a defensive issues underneath a new staff, and Rebels far-reaching receiver A.J. Brown has a large opening in a rematch of a 2016 deteriorate opener.

(11) Kansas State 33, (6) Florida 27: An 11-seed is kind of ideal for Bill Snyder, isn’t it? A manager who has led underdogs and overachievers via his career takes a dangerous organisation into a tournament. Behind quarterbacks Skylar Thompson and Alex Delton, K-State beats an overseeded Florida organisation that shows alleviation on offense underneath Dan Mullen.

(7) LSU 23, (10) Boise State 20: One of a some-more intriguing first-round matchups facilities dual vigourous defenses that build on their 2017 performances. In a end, LSU gets “greedy” as Andraez “Greedy” Williams picks off quarterback Brett Rypien low in Tigers domain to secure an critical win for second-year manager Ed Orgeron.

(9) TCU 40, (8) Missouri 34: This competition facilities several No. 9 seeds no one will wish to play, and TCU competence be a many dangerous of a bunch. This should be one of Gary Patterson’s many gifted descent teams, and a Frogs will need points to exist Drew Lock and a energetic Missouri offense in a Big 12-like contest.

Second round

(1) Clemson 37, (9) TCU 27: The Tigers get their initial exam of a competition as TCU sophomore quarterback Shawn Robinson and a discerning organisation of receivers, led by KaVontae Turpin, plea a secondary. But Clemson’s invulnerability clamps down in a fourth quarter, and Travis Etienne puts a diversion divided with a 60-yard touchdown run.

(7) LSU 24, (2) Penn State 23: By this indicate in a season, LSU’s defense, underneath a instruction of $2.5 million-per-year coordinator Dave Aranda, will be one of a nation’s best. The Tigers harass McSorley, control a line of onslaught and get only adequate offense from Myles Brennan to advance.

(3) Michigan State 35, (11) Kansas State 28: Snyder’s organisation gives a Spartans all they can handle, though Lewerke and wideout Felton Davis infer unstoppable in a second half. Kansas State’s offense comes out hot, though Mark Dantonio’s halftime adjustments click as a Spartans tie adult and impetus on.

(4) Miami 41, (12) Ole Miss 24: Unlike in 2017, Miami starts to strike a walk down a widen in 2018. Jaquan Johnson, Shaquille Quarterman and a rest of a Hurricanes’ invulnerability subdues Brown and a manly Rebels offense, while Perry fires 3 touchdown passes and Travis Homer rushes for dual more.

Regional semifinals
(1) Clemson vs. (4) Miami
(7) LSU vs. (3) Michigan State


SOUTH REGION

First round

(1) Alabama 41, (16) Fresno State 17: These teams played in Tuscaloosa final season, and Alabama started fast behind Jalen Hurts. Fresno State is an descending module underneath Jeff Tedford and will hang around a bit longer in this one before Alabama pulls divided behind Damien Harris, Najee Harris and a using game.

(2) Auburn 38, (15) Minnesota 10: Behind quarterback Jarrett Stidham, Auburn should beget points and yards for many of 2018. Minnesota is upgrading a talent underneath second-year manager P.J. Fleck, though quarterback stays a vital issue. Auburn’s invulnerability bottles adult Minnesota’s run diversion and keeps a Gophers out of a finish section until a shutting minutes.

(14) UCF 44, (3) Oklahoma 42: Josh Heupel will delight this one. The first-year UCF coach, dumped by Oklahoma after a 2015 season, will palm his alma mater a unpleasant first-round exit. McKenzie Milton and Kyler Murray broach in a extravagantly interesting shootout, though UCF prevails interjection to a late Sooners turnover.

(4) Mississippi State 38, (13) Arizona State 27: The Joe Moorhead-coached Bulldogs should be a dangerous organisation in this competition since of what they move behind on offense, led by quarterback Nick Fitzgerald. I’m going with Moor Cowbell over Forks Up in this one as Herm Edwards’ organisation fights tough though can’t make adequate stops in a second half.

(5) Texas 38, (12) North Carolina 24: Tom Herman’s organisation avoids a dreaded 5-12 dissapoint interjection to an offense that shows transparent alleviation in his second deteriorate during a helm. North Carolina will be better, too, generally on a health front, though a Heels don’t have adequate on invulnerability to delayed down Texas’ run game.

(11) Arizona 37, (6) Georgia Tech 31: If we haven’t figured it out yet, we adore a No. 11 seeds in this tournament. Georgia Tech seems significantly overseeded here, and while a triple choice gives Arizona fits during times, Khalil Tate will take over this diversion down a stretch. Expect a unequivocally discerning competition — both teams adore to run a turn — though Kevin Sumlin’s Wildcats tarry and advance.

(10) Wake Forest 34, (7) Cal 30: The Demon Deacons pennyless by on offense final year and seem doubtful to expire too much, even after losing quarterback John Wolford. Cal is still building abyss underneath Justin Wilcox and seems a bit overseeded after a 5-7 deteriorate in 2017. Wake Forest advances behind Kendall Hinton‘s legs and arm.

(8) West Virginia 45, (9) Louisville 33: It feels like a Mountaineers are seeded too low after returning 3,500-yard passer Will Grier and one of a nation’s best receiver groups. FPI doesn’t adore WVU’s defense, though Tony Gibson typically gets a lot out of his group, that is led by linebacker David Long. Louisville’s invulnerability won’t have adequate answers in this one.

Second round

(1) Alabama 35, (8) West Virginia 23: This is a good matchup for Alabama, that will win a line of onslaught and lift divided behind Tua Tagovailoa. Grier and T.J. Simmons (a send from Alabama) give a Tide some early difficulty before Bama tie things adult to strech a Sweet 16.

(2) Auburn 34, (10) Wake Forest 19: Kevin Steele’s invulnerability rises to a plea again as Wake Forest can’t utterly get going offensively. Although Wake will be softened on invulnerability in 2018, Stidham and his far-reaching receivers uncover adult large in a fourth entertain as Auburn continues to gait a archrival in a bracket.

(11) Arizona 49, (10) UCF 46: This one will be unequivocally fun. Tate and Milton trade touchdowns via a diversion as conjunction invulnerability has many answers. After Adrian Killins Jr. puts UCF adult 6 in a final minute, Tate leads a winning expostulate and scores with 5 seconds to play as Arizona pushes forward.

(5) Texas 28, (4) Mississippi State 24: Despite Texas’ intermediate 2017 season, coaches raved about a team’s defensive alleviation underneath coordinator Todd Orlando. Defense carries a day for a Longhorns here as they trouble Nick Fitzgerald down a widen and get dual late touchdown passes from Sam Ehlinger.

Regional semifinals

(1) Alabama vs. (5) Texas
(2) Auburn vs. (11) Arizona


SOUTHEAST REGION

First round

(1) Georgia 41, (16) Washington State 17: Despite descending only brief of a inhabitant pretension final year, Georgia will continue to arise behind gifted immature descent ability players and softened lines. Washington State will be rebuilding a bit in 2018, generally on offense. Kirby Smart’s organisation opens with an easy win.

(2) Notre Dame 31, (15) Maryland 23: The Irish are a startling 2-seed, given their questions during quarterback and elsewhere on offense. But a invulnerability can lift them a prolonged way, and a vigourous front 7 stairs adult opposite Kasim Hill and Maryland’s softened offense. Running behind Dexter Williams puts a win divided with a late touchdown.

(3) Michigan 30, (14) Kentucky 21: Mark Stoops should have his many gifted UK team, generally on defense, and Michigan will have to throw a approach out of a initial round. Ole Miss send Shea Patterson, ruled authorised for a 2018 season, provides a much-needed hint for a Wolverines’ offense, that gets a using diversion going in a second half.

(4) USC 41, (13) Tennessee 24: The Tee Martin Bowl will go to Martin’s stream team, not his alma mater, as USC’s flourishing heedfulness on offense should be left by this indicate in a season. Freshman prodigy J.T. Daniels and using behind Stephen Carr both have large days opposite Jeremy Pruitt’s work-in-progress invulnerability as a Trojans quarrel on.

(12) Purdue 38, (5) Oregon 36: For a second true year, Purdue annals a postseason dissapoint of a Pac-12 organisation led by an glorious quarterback. While Ducks star Justin Herbert creates several large plays, a Boilers float a clever second half from their run diversion to advance.

(11) NC State 37, (6) Oklahoma State 31: Mike Gundy should have Oklahoma State’s offense relocating good by a postseason, though it’s tough to collect opposite a proven comparison quarterback in Ryan Finley. Although new Cowboys defensive coordinator Jim Knowles knows a Wolfpack from his Duke days, his section doesn’t have utterly adequate answers to stop Finley.

(7) Iowa 36, (10) Texas Tech 33: Kliff Kingsbury’s invulnerability is no longer a joke, though Iowa has a some-more finish organisation and a quarterback corner with Nathan Stanley, who throws 3 touchdowns in a second half to convene a Hawkeyes into a second round. Phil Parker’s invulnerability boundary far-reaching receiver T.J. Vasher and a revamped Texas Tech offense.

(9) Utah 27, (8) Duke 24: Utes manager Kyle Whittingham is 11-1 in bowls, and he’ll continue his postseason poise here. Decorated beginner Jack Tuttle will be Utah’s starting quarterback by this point, and he’ll step adult with dual touchdown passes and no turnovers. Duke’s Daniel Jones plays well, too, though Utah’s always-stingy invulnerability prevails.

Second round

(1) Georgia 27, (9) Utah 17: This will be one of a some-more earthy matchups in a whole competition as both teams move it during a line of scrimmage. Georgia’s higher descent ability eventually wins out as D’Andre Swift plows opposite a idea line in a shutting minutes. Georgia’s knowledge scrapping in a SEC will compensate off.

(2) Notre Dame 30, (7) Iowa 23: Once again, Notre Dame’s invulnerability rises adult opposite Stanley and a Hawkeyes, who onslaught to strech a finish section for 3 quarters. Irish beginner quarterback Phil Jurkovec relieves Brandon Wimbush and throws dual touchdowns as Notre Dame moves on to a Sweet 16.

(11) NC State 27, (3) Michigan 24: It’s an early exit for a Fightin’ Harbaughs as Finley and a NC State offense make a few some-more plays opposite Michigan’s vigourous defense. The Wolverines’ offense never truly comes out of a bombard as NC State marches on.

(4) USC 37, (12) Purdue 24: Clay Helton’s organisation starts to strike a walk behind a immature quarterback and a invulnerability that annals 3 takeaways. USC’s speed on a fringe and an softened descent line uncover adult in a second half as a Trojans conduct into a showdown with Georgia.

Regional semifinals
(1) Georgia vs. (4) USC
(2) Notre Dame vs. (11) NC State


MIDWEST REGION

First round

(1) Ohio State 41, (16) Houston 21: Dwayne Haskins and a Buckeyes’ offense swell to feat in a final diversion for reigning Outland Trophy leader Ed Oliver, who helps Houston with dual tackles for loss. Ohio State jumps out to a gentle lead before branch things over to a defense, led by Nick Bosa.

(2) Washington 31, (15) San Diego State 27: Washington is good wakeful of what San Diego State does to Pac-12 teams, though Jake Browning, Myles Gaskin and a other Huskies veterans aren’t going out simply in this tournament. Browning and Gaskin both comment for fourth-quarter touchdowns as Washington survives a wily opener.

(3) Wisconsin 45, (14) Syracuse 27: Dino Babers’ offense provides a good early plea for T.J. Edwards, Ryan Connelly and a clever Wisconsin defense. But a Orange have no answer for sophomore using behind Jonathan Taylor, who eclipses 200 yards on a belligerent as a Badgers run divided to victory.

(4) Stanford 34, (13) Nebraska 17: New Huskers manager Scott Frost competence be a bit dismissed adult as he started his college career during Stanford before returning home to Nebraska. Frost’s organisation hangs around for a bit though doesn’t have adequate on invulnerability to delayed down Bryce Love, K.J. Costello and a Cardinal.

(5) Texas AM 31, (12) Memphis 27: The FPI placed Texas AM in a tip 25 nationally for both offense and invulnerability notwithstanding some doubt outlines on both sides. But Mike Elko worked sorcery during Notre Dame in 2017 and will boost Texas AM’s defense, that binds a high-powered Memphis offense during brook down a stretch. Jimbo Fisher advances in his initial postseason diversion heading a Aggies.

(6) Virginia Tech 30, (11) Iowa State 20: Both defenses should be unequivocally good again, and Virginia Tech’s offense should have some pivotal answers by this indicate in a season. The Hokies allege behind Josh Jackson and Sean Savoy, and they extent a repairs from Iowa State’s manly run game.

(10) Baylor 33, (7) South Carolina 31: Expect Baylor to take a poignant burst in Matt Rhule’s second season. Quarterback Charlie Brewer builds on his finish to a finish of 2017 and performs good opposite South Carolina’s rapid defense. Former Tennessee using behind Jalen Hurd scores a late touchdown to give a Bears a win.

(9) Boston College 28, (8) Northwestern 23: Both teams can brew it adult on defense, though Boston College’s A.J. Dillon is a best ability hazard on a margin and shows it. Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson is behind from his knee damage though can’t convene his organisation to a second round.

Second round

(1) Ohio State 34, (9) Boston College 17: Urban Meyer faces former partner and tighten crony Steve Addazio, whose organisation hangs around for a half. But a Buckeyes have too many talent on both sides of a turn and mangle by with dual touchdown runs from J.K. Dobbins.

(2) Washington 41, (10) Baylor 13: A bit of a existence check here for Baylor as Washington shows it means business in this tournament. Browning throws for 3 touchdowns and Jimmy Lake’s invulnerability annals a measure of a possess as a Huskies impetus on.

(6) Virginia Tech 20, (3) Wisconsin 17: No Virginia Tech competition run is finish though a Bud Foster masterpiece. A revamped Hokies invulnerability comes together during a ideal time to suppress Jonathan Taylor and force a late interception from Alex Hornibrook. Justin Fuente’s organisation moves on to a Sweet 16.

(4) Stanford 33, (5) Texas AM 21: Stanford is a some-more finish organisation and controls a line on both sides. An improving Cardinal invulnerability boundary Trayveon Williams and Bryce Love seals it with a prolonged touchdown run.

Regional semifinals
(1) Ohio State vs. (4) Stanford
(2) Washington vs. (6) Virginia Tech

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