Sunday, January 8

marchron sports presents: December Dementia

The College Football Division I-A Tournament

Why the NCAA steadfastly refuses to embrace this idea is beyond me. Next year they'll take one step towards it with the "plus-one" system. Hopefully, demand following that will be so great that the NCAA will go to a tournament system for football that proves so popular (and marketable) as the one for basketball.

Until then, we can always play in the realm of the theoretical:

First Round: New Orleans/Lafayette
16 Arkansas State vs.

The perennial laughingstock Arkansas State Indians came off arguably the greatest season in the history of their program, and as a reward for winning the Sun Belt conference, they draw for their first-round game arguably the greatest team in the history of college football. An act of God moved this game from New Orleans to Lafayette; it would likely take several for the Indians to upset the Trojans.

Final Score: USC 42, Arkansas State 10

First Round: Mobile
15 Nevada vs.
2 Texas

The upstart Wolf Pack split the WAC championship with Boise State, and they have the offensive chops to rack up points in big numbers; however, so does Texas, following their 70-3 demolition of Colorado to win the Big XII. Nevada would give it their all, but in the end wouldn't have enough to win the shootout in Dixie.

Final Score: Texas 51, Nevada 35

First Round: Las Vegas
14 Toledo vs.
3 Penn State

Penn State looks to cap off their comeback season with a deep showing in the tournament, so they'd come out strong. The Toledo Rockets are no fluke, but they probably used up all their luck in their comeback win over Bowling Green to take the MAC.

Final Score: Penn State 38, Toledo 21

First Round: San Diego
13 Tulsa vs.
4 Ohio State

Don't knock the Golden Hurricane for being from Conference USA: they have an explosive offense and a shutdown defense. Unfortunately for them, so does Ohio State, the highest-ranking at-large team. Buckeyes in a rout.

Final Score: Ohio State 45, Tulsa 17

First Round: Fort Worth
12 Florida State vs.
5 Oregon

The Ducks look to be the much stronger team on paper, matching their 10-1 record and BCS-worthy credentials against the Seminoles, who wobbled through the season but still managed to defeat Virginia Tech to win the ACC. But that hardly matters: as any good Bracketologist knows, if there's an upset to be had, odds are it's coming in the 5/12 game. The same holds true for football.

Final Score: Florida State 20, Oregon 19

First Round: Honolulu
11 TCU vs.
6 Notre Dame

The Horned Frogs never seem to get much respect when they play outside the Mountain West Conference. They would get respect, though, from Charlie Weis and the Fighting Irish. Postseason games in Hawaii are usually track meets; this would be no exception, but the Irish would prevail in Paradise.

Final Score: Notre Dame 48, TCU 41

First Round: Detroit
10 West Virginia vs.
7 Georgia

You couldn't have asked for a better game than the one these teams actually played in the 2006 Sugar Bowl. So I won't.

Final Score: West Virginia 38, Georgia 35

First Round: Orlando
9 Auburn vs.
8 Miami

Not much to draw on here, since both teams looked terrible in their real bowl games.

Final Score: One Team 1, Other Team 0

Second Round: LIBERTY BOWL, Memphis
10 West Virginia vs.
2 Texas

The Mountaineers raced out to the lead against Georgia and then staved off the tenacious Bulldogs. They'll do neither against the mighty Longhorns.

Final Score: Texas 34, West Virginia 21

Second Round: COTTON BOWL, Dallas
6 Notre Dame vs.
3 Penn State

I'm as big a ND-lover as anybody, but they didn't look good at all in their real bowl against Ohio State, so they probably wouldn't fare well against one of the two teams that beat the Buckeyes. I just hope for better next year when the Nittany Lions come to ND Country.

Final Score: Penn State 37, Notre Dame 24

Second Round: GATOR BOWL, Jacksonville
12 Florida State vs.
4 Ohio State

The 'Noles, on the other hand, did look good against one of the two teams that beat Ohio State, until their kicker got the yips and yakked up several important field goals. But every tournament needs a Cinderella.

Final Score: Florida State 34, Ohio State 31

Second Round: ORANGE BOWL, Miami
8 Miami / 9 Auburn vs.

Put both teams together. Call them the Hurrigers. It wouldn't matter.

Final Score: USC 50, Miaburn -7

12 Florida State vs.

Florida State may have handled the twin Buckeye threats of Troy Smith and Ted Ginn, Jr., but Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush have more talent and more hardware. Time to turn back into a pumpkin.

Final Score: USC 34, Florida State 19

3 Penn State vs.
2 Texas

The Nittany Lions have an outstanding defense, so this would be the only real low-scoring game of the entire tournament. But Longhorn quarterback Vince Young would be the difference-maker, finding the tiniest cracks in the PSU defensive wall and exploiting them for just enough to edge out JoePa's upstart kids.

Final Score: Texas 17, Penn State 14

ROSE BOWL, Pasadena

2 Texas vs.

I couldn't create a better game than what the Longhorns and Trojans actually played. Nobody could. So I won't even try.

Final Score: Texas 41, USC 38


Location: Mishawaka, Indiana, United States

I graduated with an English degree from the University Of Notre Dame in 2001, and in 2008 I have a day job that has nothing to do with my degree but gets the bills paid in a semi-regular fashion. (I have running water five days a week!) The idea is that once I get turned around on my bills, I go to grad school. I also have an idea for cold fusion. Anyone's guess which will be feasible first. In non-work mode, I'm usually reading columns by famous and well-read thinkers, blogs by critically praised writers, or sometimes blogs by overzealous cranks who make me laugh. I yearn to be all three at once; until then I'll settle for being the third. I also have an undying love for the Chicago Cubs and Notre Dame football. Praise them and I'll buy you a beer; curse them and I'll dump it over your head. If that's not enough, I'm becoming quite the fan of no-limit Texas Hold'em. My games have one of two results: I either win all the money or whine because I didn't win all the money.

marchandchronicles -at-

Fair warning: I reserve the right to post any and all criticisms and flames, in their entirety. Seriously. Just ask this guy.

July 2006
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January | February | March | April
May | June | July | August
September | October | November | December

Essays on whatever I feel like writing about.

August 8, 2005: High Gas Prices
August 1, 2005: Judge Roberts' Hearings
June 20, 2005: Senator Durbin's Comments
May 23, 2005: Newsweek & Pepsi
May 2, 2005: Al Gore's MoveOn Speech
April 25, 2005: Lebanon
April 18, 2005: The Nuclear Option
April 11, 2005: Pope John Paul II
March 5, 2005: The Domino Effect
January 31, 2005: Iraqi Elections
January 24, 2005: Bush's Inaugural
January 17, 2005: Roemer, Dean & The DNC

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Contributor to Steal The Blinds


marchand chronicles has such massive readership and influence that it makes me weep.
—Glenn Reynolds


Damn right.


What's Your Line?


I absolutely love the name of your site.

Scott "Big Trunk" Johnson, Power Line
Just the name? Not the content? . . . I'll take it.

You have something in common with Dave Barry, Hemingway, and Mark Steyn: I'm not linking to them, either.


That's good stuff there Mark.

Dean Barnett, Soxblog
Psst, it's "Mike."

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All text and original images © MMVI by Mike Marchand/Marchand Chronicles.

Okay, so I don't really have a copyright. But I still don't want you ripping me off. Reprint it all over the Internet if you like, but give me proper credit and link back to me. Besides, if you're going to plagiarize, steal from someone with some talent.

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