A 16-team college football playoff is simulated, and it doesn’t care much for Notre Dame
A playoff system may not begin in college football until the 2014 season, but if one was in store this year, a simulation model says the championship game would look a little different.
According to Paul Bessire of PredictionMachine.com, in a dream situation involving a 16-game playoff system, the BCS's current No. 1 team Notre Dame wouldn't make it past the second round.
In this model all 11 conferences champions were represented and five teams (including top-seeded Notre Dame) received at-large bids. The bracket was simulated 50,000 times with Bessire noting that over half the games were decided by less than one score.
Of course, the simulation isn't based in reality. The current BCS system is still in place and when the playoff format is implemented for 2014, it won't involve 16 teams. But we can dream, right?
In the simulation, Alabama won the championship 33.2 percent of the time. With the SEC receiving three at-large bids (Georgia, LSU and Florida join Alabama in the field), PredictionMachine.com says there is a 50.7 percent chance of the champion coming from the SEC in this simulation. Not too surprising.
Here is the seeding and results from Bessire for the first round:
First Round Results:
1) Notre Dame (at-large) 33
16) Tulsa (C-USA Champion) 16
8) LSU (at-large) 19
9) Florida State (ACC Champion) 20
4) Oregon (at-large) 35
13) Wisconsin (Big Ten Champion) 27
5) Kansas State (Big 12 Champion) 35
12) Louisville (Big East Champion) 21
6) Stanford (Pac-12 Champion) 28
11) Utah State (WAC Champion) 21
3) Florida (at-large) 23
14) Boise State (MWC Champion) 17
7) Georgia (at-large) 43
10) Northern Illinois (MAC Champion) 21
2) Alabama (SEC Champion) 41
15) Arkansas State (Sun Belt Champion) 13
While there was only one upset in the first round, one major shakeup happens in the second round where the top seed in the playoffs, Notre Dame, is upended in a tight game against Jimbo Fisher's Seminoles. The rest of the favorites win, including Alabama in a rematch of the SEC Championship Game:
Round 2 Results:
1) Notre Dame 21
9) Florida State 23
7) Georgia 24
2) Alabama 34
5) Kansas State 31
4) Oregon 37
6) Stanford 17
3) Florida 20
There was an SEC semifinal, and Oregon against Florida State in the other final four game. The Ducks won a close one, and Alabama surprisingly cruised against Florida:
9) Florida State 27
4) Oregon 33
3) Florida 13
2) Alabama 26
Alabama vs. Oregon was a dream BCS Championship Game matchup for most of the college football season, and that's what plays out here, with the Crimson Tide holding on for the title:
2) Alabama 34
4) Oregon 27
We're probably never going to see a playoff format like this (we'd settle for an eight-team tournament), but it would be a lot of fun if it did happen.
Notre Dame fans should hope the prediction machine doesn't know what the heck it is talking about.
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Follow Yahoo! Sports' Kristian R. Dyer via Twitter @KristianRDyer.