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BCS as a Playoff: Florida emerges victorious over a different opponent in 2006

Nick Bromberg
Dr. Saturday

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Welcome to Dr. Saturday's BCS as the College Football Playoff feature. This week we'll go through each of the 16 years of the BCS and hypothesize if the national championship would have changed hands under the new College Football Playoff.

Since we don't have the benefit of a selection committee, we're taking the top four teams from the BCS standings entering bowl season. Is 2006 the start of another SEC title streak?

No. 1 Ohio State (12-1)

Coach: Jim Tressel

Notable players: QB Troy Smith, RB Antonio Pittman, WR Ted Ginn Jr., WR Anthony Gonzalez, DL Quinn Pitcock, LB James Laurinaitis, DB Malcolm Jenkins

Ohio State's season: The road trip of the home-and-home series with Texas went much better for Ohio State in 2006. The Buckeyes won at Texas 24-7 en route to an undefeated regular season. OSU got to the BCS Championship Game by virtue of a 42-39 home win over then No. 2 Michigan in the final game of the season. It was Ohio State's first outright Big Ten title since 1984. Smith won the Heisman Trophy, throwing for 2,542 yards and 30 touchdowns.

No. 2 Florida (13-1)

Coach: Urban Meyer

Notable players: QB Chris Leak, QB Tim Tebow, RB Deshawn Wynn, WR Percy Harvin, WR Andre Caldwell, DL Derrick Harvey, DL Jarvis Moss, LB Brandon Siler,

Florida's season: Thanks to the circumstances surrounding Ohio State's game with Michigan, Florida was in a good spot. Despite losing to Auburn in October, as long as Florida won against Florida State and then Arkansas in the SEC Championship, Florida was going to be in the title game. The Gators got those two wins and earned the trip to Arizona. Leak split time with Tebow and threw for 2,942 yards and 23 touchdowns. In spot duty as a freshman, Tebow had 469 yards rushing and eight scores.

No. 3 Michigan (11-2)

Coach: Lloyd Carr

Notable players: QB Chad Henne, RB Mike Hart, WR Mario Manningham, WR Steve Breaston, LB Lamarr Woodley, DB Leon Hall, DB Prescott Burgess

Michigan's season: Just like Ohio State, Michigan was in a win-and-in-the-BCS Championship Game scenario on Nov. 18. However, Henne and company couldn't compete the comeback. The loss meant a berth in the Rose Bowl, where the Wolverines lost to USC 32-18 to finish the season with consecutive losses. Had the game against Ohio State been played in September, it's fair to wonder if Michigan would have gotten a rematch. Henne finished the season with 2,508 yards passing and 22 touchdowns. Hart ran for 1,562 yards and 14 scores.

No. 4 LSU (11-2)

Coach: Les Miles

Notable players: QB JaMarcus Russell, RB Jacob Hester, WR Dwayne Bowe, WR Craig Davis, DT Glenn Dorsey, LD Ali Highsmith, DB Craig Steltz, DB Laron Landry

LSU's season: Much like Florida, LSU's hopes for an undefeated season were derailed by Auburn. LSU's loss came on Sept. 16 in a 7-3 thriller. The Tigers' second loss came to the Gators by the score of 23-10. That meant LSU went to the Sugar Bowl where it blitzed Notre Dame 41-14. Russell threw for 3,129 yards and 28 touchdowns. Seven Tigers had over 100 yards rushing on the season. The leader was Hester, who had 440 yards on the ground and six touchdowns.

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2007 BCS Championship Game: Smith's possible Heisman-winner coronation did not go as the Buckeyes' planned. Florida blitzed Ohio State in the first half, jumping out to a 34-14 lead. Heck, it was so easy that after the game Moss said that he could name "four or five" SEC teams that could compete with Ohio State. Ouch. The Gators won the game 41-14 as Smith was 4-14 for 35 yards passing and Ohio State had 20 carries for 47 rushing yards.

The Playoff matchups: No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 4 LSU, No. 2 Florida vs. No. 3 Michigan

Just missing out: No. 5 USC, No. 6 Louisville

The semifinals: It's the battle of the Big Ten and the SEC. Are we taking a split, or will one conference be guaranteed a hypothetical Playoff title? Given the struggles that Ohio State had with Florida, we think those same struggles will happen against LSU's front seven, which was manned by Dorsey, Ricky Jean-Francois, Highsmith and others. We're taking the Tigers. In the other semifinal, we'll play the transitive property game. Florida dominated Ohio State. Ohio State beat Michigan. Give us the Gators.

The finals: The SEC is guaranteed a champion and we're sticking with Florida. In the teams' first meeting in Gainesville, Fla., Florida forced Russell into three interceptions while Tebow helped account for all of Florida's scores. A rematch may not be so Tebow-centric, but we like Florida on a neutral field.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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