PROTEST PLAYOFF '06 REVISITED: Selection Sunday

ONE MONTH AND THREE DAYS UNTIL KICKOFF!

I'll spare you my lecture to Congress that led off the 2006 playoff field back in May. So just hit the jump to get this thing under way again!

A straight seeding procedure yields:

  1. Ohio State
  2. Florida
  3. Michigan
  4. LSU
  5. USC
  6. Louisville
  7. Wisconsin
  8. Boise State
  9. Auburn
  10. Oklahoma
  11. Notre Dame
  12. Wake Forest
  13. BYU
  14. Houston
  15. Central Michigan
  16. Troy

Everything worked fine through the first 10 seeds, but Notre Dame presented several difficulties. The Fighting Irish could not be the 11 seed due to helmet incompatibility with Louisville and they could not be the 12 seed due to having already played USC in 2006. Helmet issues locked the Irish into being either the 13 seed or the 15 seed, and although making them the 13 seed sets up a potential 2nd-round rematch with USC, I'll let it slide since it would not be a conference rematch.

The other major difficulty was caused by Central Michigan, who should now be seeded somewhere around 14 - except that would condemn the Chippewas to a rematch against Michigan, who already beat them in 2006. So, CMU falls to the dreaded No. 16 spot and will face Michigan's Big Ten counterpart, Ohio State, instead.

Ironically, two real-life 2006 BCS matchups are replicated in this seeding: Louisville-Wake Forest and LSU-Notre Dame. This was completely accidental, I assure you.

 

2006: The Field

No. 1 seed Ohio State Buckeyes (12-0; BCS #1): Big Ten Champion (automatic bid)
5th playoff appearance
2nd consecutive playoff appearance
- 1998: 4th round elimination
- 2002: 2nd round elimination
- 2003: 1st round elimination
- 2005: 3rd round elimination

Notable Wins: BCS #19 Texas, BCS #3 Michigan
Losses: none
Head Coach: Jim Tressel (3-3 playoff record)
Offensive Style: Favor Run

Quarterback: Troy Smith
Running Backs: Antonio Pittman and Chris Wells
Wide Receivers: Ted Ginn and Anthony Gonzalez
Tight End: Rory Nicol

 

No. 2 seed Florida Gators (12-1; BCS #2): SEC Champion (automatic bid)
5th playoff appearance
- 1998: 2nd round elimination
- 1999: 1st round elimination
- 2000: 1st round elimination
- 2001: National Champion

Notable Wins: BCS #17 Tennessee, BCS #4 LSU, BCS #12 Arkansas
Losses: BCS #9 Auburn
Head Coach: Urban Meyer (1-2 playoff record)
Offensive Style: Favor Run

Quarterback: Chris Leak
Running Backs: DeShawn Wynn and Kestahn Moore
Wide Receivers: Percy Harvin and Jemalle Cornelius
Tight End: Cornelius Ingram

 

No. 3 seed Michigan Wolverines (11-1; BCS #3): at-large bid
4th playoff appearance
- 1999: 2nd round elimination
- 2003: 1st round elimination
- 2004: 1st round elimination

Notable Wins: BCS #11 Notre Dame, BCS #7 Wisconsin
Losses: BCS #1 Ohio State
Head Coach: Lloyd Carr (1-3 playoff record)
Offensive Style: Heavy Run

Quarterback: Chad Henne
Running Backs: Mike Hart and Kevin Grady
Wide Receivers: Steve Breaston and Adrian Arrington
Tight End: Carson Butler

 

No. 4 seed LSU Tigers (10-2; BCS #4): at-large bid
4th playoff appearance
- 2001: 1st round elimination
- 2003: 4th round elimination
- 2004: 1st round elimination

Notable Wins: BCS #17 Tennessee, BCS #12 Arkansas
Losses: BCS #9 Auburn, BCS #2 Florida
Head Coach: Les Miles
Offensive Style: Favor Run

Quarterback: JaMarcus Russell
Running Backs: Jacob Hester and Keiland Williams
Wide Receivers: Dwayne Bowe and Early Doucet
Tight End: Richard Dickson

 

No. 5 seed USC Trojans (10-2; BCS #5): Pac-10 Co-Champion (automatic bid)
5th consecutive playoff appearance
- 2002: 3rd round elimination
- 2003: 2nd round elimination
- 2004: National Champion
- 2005: National Champion

Notable Wins: BCS #12 Arkansas, BCS #23 Nebraska, BCS #18 Cal, BCS #11 Notre Dame
Losses: BCS #22 Oregon State, BCS #25 UCLA
Head Coach: Pete Carroll (11-2 playoff record)
Offensive Style: Balanced

Quarterback: John David Booty
Running Backs: Chauncey Washington and C.J. Gable
Wide Receivers: Steve Smith and Dwayne Jarrett
Tight End: Fred Davis

 

No. 6 seed Louisville Cardinals (11-1; BCS #6): Big East Champion (automatic bid)
4th playoff appearance
- 2000: 2nd round elimination
- 2001: 1st round elimination
- 2004: 3rd round elimination

Notable Wins: BCS #13 West Virginia
Losses: BCS #16 Rutgers
Head Coach: Bobby Petrino (2-1 playoff record)
Offensive Style: Favor Run

Quarterback: Brian Brohm
Running Backs: Kolby Smith and Anthony Allen
Wide Receivers: Harry Douglas and Mario Urrutia
Tight End: Gary Barnidge

 

No. 7 seed Wisconsin Badgers (11-1; BCS #7): at-large bid
3rd playoff appearance
- 1998: 1st round elimination
- 1999: 2nd round elimination

Notable Wins: none
Losses: BCS #3 Michigan
Head Coach: Bret Bielema
Offensive Style: Heavy Run

Quarterback: John Stocco
Running Backs: P.J. Hill and Lance Smith-Williams
Wide Receivers: Paul Hubbard and Luke Swan
Tight End: Travis Beckum

 

No. 8 seed Boise State Broncos (12-0; BCS #8): WAC Champion (automatic bid)
7th playoff appearance
5th consecutive playoff appearance
- 1999: 1st round elimination
- 2000: 1st round elimination
- 2002: 2nd round elimination
- 2003: National Champion
- 2004: 1st round elimination
- 2005: 1st round elimination

Notable Wins: BCS #22 Oregon State
Losses: none
Head Coach: Chris Petersen
Offensive Style: Heavy Run

Quarterback: Jared Zabransky
Running Backs: Ian Johnson and Brett Denton
Wide Receivers: Jerard Rabb and Drisan James
Tight End: Derek Schouman

 

No. 9 seed Auburn Tigers (10-2; BCS #9): at-large bid
3rd consecutive playoff appearance
- 2004: 2nd round elimination
- 2005: 1st round elimination

Notable Wins: BCS #4 LSU, BCS #2 Florida
Losses: BCS #12 Arkansas, Georgia
Head Coach: Tommy Tuberville (1-2 playoff record)
Offensive Style: Heavy Run

Quarterback: Brandon Cox
Running Backs: Kenny Irons and Brad Lester
Wide Receivers: Courtney Taylor and Rodgeriqus Smith
Tight End: Gabe McKenzie

 

No. 10 seed Oklahoma Sooners (11-2; BCS #10): Big 12 Champion (automatic bid)
5th playoff appearance
- 2000: 4th round elimination
- 2002: National Champion
- 2003: 3rd round elimination
- 2004: 4th round elimination

Notable Wins: BCS #21 Texas A&M, BCS #23 Nebraska
Losses: Oregon, BCS #19 Texas
Head Coach: Bob Stoops (12-3 playoff record)
Offensive Style: Heavy Run

Quarterback: Paul Thompson
Running Backs: Adrian Peterson and Allen Patrick
Wide Receivers: Malcolm Kelly and Juaquin Iglesias
Tight End: Joe Jon Finley

 

No. 11 seed Wake Forest Demon Deacons (11-2; BCS #14): ACC Champion (automatic bid)
1st playoff appearance

Notable Wins: BCS #24 Boston College
Losses: Clemson, BCS #15 Virginia Tech
Head Coach: Jim Grobe
Offensive Style: Heavy Run

Quarterback: Riley Skinner
Running Backs: De'Angelo Bryant and Kevin Harris
Wide Receivers: Nate Morton and Willie Idlette
Tight End: John Tereshinski

 

No. 12 seed Houston Cougars (10-3; Sagarin #54*): C-USA Champion (automatic bid)
1st playoff appearance

Notable Wins: none
Losses: Miami, UL Lafayette, Southern Miss
Head Coach: Art Briles
Offensive Style: Favor Run

Quarterback: Kevin Kolb
Running Backs: Jackie Battle and Anthony Alridge
Wide Receivers: Vincent Marshall and Donnie Avery
Tight End: Mark Hafner

 

No. 13 seed Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-2; BCS #11): at-large bid
3rd playoff appearance
2nd consecutive playoff appearance
- 2002: 1st round elimination
- 2005: 2nd round elimination

Notable Wins: BCS #25 UCLA
Losses: BCS #3 Michigan, BCS #5 USC
Head Coach: Charlie Weis (1-1 playoff record)
Offensive Style: West Coast

Quarterback: Brady Quinn
Running Backs: Darius Walker and James Aldridge
Wide Receivers: Jeff Samardzija and Rhema McKnight
Tight End: John Carlson

 

No. 14 seed Troy Trojans (7-5; Sagarin #81*): Sun Belt Co-Champion (automatic bid)
1st playoff appearance

Notable Wins: none
Losses: Florida State, Georgia Tech, BCS #23 Nebraska, UAB, Arkansas State
Head Coach: Larry Blakeney
Offensive Style: Balanced

Quarterback: Omar Haugabook
Running Backs: Kenny Cattouse and Justin Brooks
Wide Receivers: Gary Banks and Toris Rutledge
Tight End: Cornelius Williams

 

No. 15 seed BYU Cougars (10-2; BCS #20): Mountain West Champion (automatic bid)
2nd playoff appearance
- 2001: 1st round elimination

Notable Wins: none
Losses: Arizona, BCS #24 Boston College
Head Coach: Bronco Mendenhall
Offensive Style: Balanced

Quarterback: John Beck
Running Backs: Curtis Brown and Fui Vakapuna
Wide Receivers: McKay Jacobson and Matt Allen
Tight End: Jonny Harline

 

No. 16 seed Central Michigan Chippewas (9-4; Sagarin #56*): MAC Champion (automatic bid)
1st playoff appearance

Notable Wins: none
Losses: BCS #24 Boston College, BCS #3 Michigan, Kentucky, Northern Illinois
Head Coach: Brian Kelly/Jeff Quinn**
Offensive Style: West Coast

Quarterback: Dan LeFevour
Running Backs: Ontario Sneed and Marcel Archer
Wide Receivers: Bryan Anderson and Damien Linson
Tight End: Sam Williams

 

*BCS rankings only went from #1-25 from 2003-present, so I used Sagarin rankings to help seed all teams not listed in the BCS Top 25.

**Brian Kelly departed before the Motor City Bowl, in which the team was coached by Jeff Quinn. It is reasonable to hypothesize, however, that Kelly would have remained at Central Michigan until the team was eliminated from the playoff.

 

2006: What Really Happened

2006 represents the year when the "little guys" first kicked down the BCS door. Nontraditional names like Boise State, Louisville and Wake Forest dotted the BCS roster, as the move to increase the number of BCS games from four to five produced an immediate egalitarian result.

Even better, Boise State and Louisville justified their inclusion with dominant wins over BCS champions, and the former pulled off one of the biggest upsets in college football history, in one of the most exciting, memorable and trick-play-filled games in college football history. Looking back, I think it was the first cough and wheeze of a dying BCS system, one that will finally stop breathing in the not-too-distant future.

Anyhow, Florida christened the inaugural BCS Championship with an upset of its own, knocking off wire-to-wire No. 1 Ohio State 41-14 and kicking off the SEC's current three-year domination of the title game, usually to the Buckeyes' chagrin.

USC settled into a familiar consolation pattern, one that would repeat for the next few seasons - finishing just shy of a title berth and instead being forced to settle for yet another Rose Bowl beatdown of an outmatched and overhyped Big Ten team. The Trojans whacked Michigan 32-18.

Notre Dame capped another overachieving season with another embarrassing bowl loss, this time in the Sugar Bowl to LSU, 14-41.

Louisville was awarded a fairly unsexy matchup with Wake Forest, but for a fan base yearning for recognition as a legitimate BCS program, there was nothing unsexy about a 24-13 Orange Bowl victory in Miami.

Wisconsin capped a surprising 11-1 season under first-year head coach Bret Bielema with a 17-14 victory over Darren McFadden and Arkansas. It's all been pretty much downhill for Bielema since, unfortunately ... but that's what you get when you rely on Allan Evridge to be your starter, I guess.

As previously mentioned, Boise State won one of the greatest games ever played, 43-42 in overtime in the Fiesta Bowl, and continued Oklahoma's streak of futility on BCS games thanks to ballsy hook-and-lateral and Statue-of-Liberty plays.

Auburn beat an incredibly overrated Nebraska squad 17-14 in the Cotton Bowl.

Houston lost to South Carolina 36-44 in the Liberty Bowl.

Troy beat the tar out of Houston's cross-town rival, Rice, in the New Orleans Bowl, 41-17.

BYU embarrassed Oregon 38-8 in the Las Vegas Bowl, beginning what would become a trend over the next few seasons of Mountain West teams knocking off Pac-10 favorites.

Central Michigan beat Middle Tennessee State 31-14 in the Motor City Bowl, but lost the only thing that really mattered: Their incredibly talented coach jumped ship to Cincinnati before the bowl game.

Wikipedia's 2006 season summary

 

Tomorrow's Games

#16 Central Michigan @ #1 Ohio State
Ohio Stadium
Columbus, Ohio

#13 Notre Dame @ #4 LSU
Tiger Stadium
Baton Rouge, La.

#12 Houston @ #5 USC
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Los Angeles, Calif.

#9 Auburn @ #8 Boise State
Bronco Stadium
Boise, Idaho

 

BracketCat's Protest Playoff Archives

1998: Selection Sunday | Sweet 16 (1) | Sweet 16 (2) | Elite 8 | Final 4 | Fiesta | Data | Encore

1999: Selection Sunday | Sweet 16 (1) | Sweet 16 (2) | Elite 8 | Final 4 | Sugar | Data | Encore

2000: Selection Sunday | Sweet 16 (1) | Sweet 16 (2) | Elite 8 | Final 4 | Orange | Data | Encore

2001: Selection Sunday | Sweet 16 (1) | Sweet 16 (2) | Elite 8 | Final 4 | Rose | Data

2002: Selection Sunday | Sweet 16 (1) | Sweet 16 (2) | Elite 8 | Final 4 | Fiesta | Data

2003: Selection Sunday | Sweet 16 (1) | Sweet 16 (2) | Elite 8 | Final 4 | Sugar | Data

2004: Selection Sunday | Sweet 16 (1) | Sweet 16 (2) | Elite 8 | Final 4 | Orange | Data

2005: Selection Sunday | Sweet 16 (1) | Sweet 16 (2) | Elite 8 | Final 4 | Rose | Data

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