PROTEST PLAYOFF '08: Selection Sunday

SIX DAYS UNTIL KICKOFF!

Well, we've almost caught up to the real world in the Protest Playoff, and with the 2009 kickoff only six days away, it's not a moment too soon.

Last week's media drama derailed my plans to finish this cumbersome project then, but I feel confident I can wrap this thing up in time for kickoff at the Bill. Hopefully, the 2008 playoff will serve double duty as a Cliff's Notes version of last season, in case details have faded from your mind over the spring and summer.

Click the jump to see the final Protest Playoff field... for a while, anyway.

Straight seeding yields:

  1. Oklahoma
  2. Florida
  3. Texas
  4. Alabama
  5. USC
  6. Utah
  7. Texas Tech
  8. Penn State
  9. Boise State
  10. Ohio State
  11. TCU
  12. Cincinnati
  13. Virginia Tech
  14. ECU
  15. Troy
  16. Buffalo

This field probably required the least tweaking of any I have done. The top eight seeds remained the same. I switched TCU and Cincinnati to get the Horned Frogs on the opposite side of the bracket from conference nemesis Utah. The only other change was a swap of Buffalo and Troy, in order to get Troy on the opposite side of Ohio State, who beat them in a non-conference game.

 

2008: The Field

No. 1 seed Oklahoma Sooners (12-1; BCS #1): Big 12 Champion (automatic bid)
7th playoff appearance
3rd consecutive playoff appearance
- 2000: 4th round elimination
- 2002: National Champion
- 2003: 3rd round elimination
- 2004: 4th round elimination
- 2006: 1st round elimination
- 2007: 3rd round elimination

Notable Wins: BCS #12 Cincinnati, BCS #11 TCU, BCS #7 Texas Tech, BCS #13 Oklahoma State, BCS #21 Missouri
Losses: BCS #3 Texas
Head Coach: Bob Stoops (14-5 playoff record)
Offensive Style: Favor Run

Quarterback: Sam Bradford
Running Backs: Chris Brown and DeMarco Murray
Wide Receivers: Juaquin Iglesias and Ryan Broyles
Tight End: Jermaine Gresham

 

No. 2 seed Florida Gators (12-1; BCS #2): SEC Champion (automatic bid)
7th playoff appearance
3rd consecutive playoff appearance
- 1998: 2nd round elimination
- 1999: 1st round elimination
- 2000: 1st round elimination
- 2001: National Champion
- 2006: 4th round elimination
- 2007: 3rd round elimination

Notable Wins: BCS #15 Georgia, BCS #4 Alabama
Losses: BCS #25 Ole Miss
Head Coach: Urban Meyer (6-4 playoff record)
Offensive Style: Heavy Run

Quarterback: Tim Tebow
Running Backs: Chris Rainey and Jeffery Demps
Wide Receivers: Louis Murphy and Deonte Thompson
Tight End: Aaron Hernandez

 

No. 3 seed Texas Longhorns (11-1; BCS #3): Big 12 South Co-Champion* (at-large bid)
6th playoff appearance
- 2001: 4th round elimination
- 2002: 1st round elimination
- 2003: 2nd round elimination
- 2004: 3rd round elimination
- 2005: 3rd round elimination

Notable Wins: BCS #1 Oklahoma, BCS #21 Missouri, BCS #13 Oklahoma State
Losses: BCS #7 Texas Tech
Head Coach: Mack Brown (8-5 playoff record)
Offensive Style: Favor Run

Quarterback: Colt McCoy
Running Backs: Vondrell McGee and Cody Johnson
Wide Receivers: Jordan Shipley and Quan Cosby
Tight End: Blaine Irby

 

No. 4 seed Alabama Crimson Tide (12-1; BCS #4): SEC West Champion (at-large bid)
2nd playoff appearance
- 1999: 1st round elimination

Notable Wins: BCS #15 Georgia, BCS #25 Ole Miss
Losses: BCS #2 Florida
Head Coach: Nick Saban (4-4 playoff record)
Offensive Style: Heavy Run

Quarterback: John Parker Wilson
Running Backs: Glen Coffee and Mark Ingram
Wide Receivers: Julio Jones and Mike McCoy
Tight End: Nick Walker

 

No. 5 seed USC Trojans (11-1; BCS #5): Pac-10 Champion (automatic bid)
7th consecutive playoff appearance
- 2002: 3rd round elimination
- 2003: 2nd round elimination
- 2004: National Champion
- 2005: National Champion
- 2006: 2nd round elimination
- 2007: National Champion

Notable Wins: BCS #10 Ohio State, BCS #17 Oregon
Losses: Oregon State
Head Coach: Pete Carroll (16-3 playoff record)
Offensive Style: Favor Run

Quarterback: Mark Sanchez
Running Backs: Stafon Johnson and C.J. Gable
Wide Receivers: Damian Williams and Patrick Turner
Tight End: Anthony McCoy

 

No. 6 seed Utah Utes (12-0; BCS #6): Mountain West Champion (automatic bid)
4th playoff appearance
- 1999: 1st round elimination
- 2003: 1st round elimination
- 2004: 2nd round elimination

Notable Wins: BCS #11 TCU, BCS #16 BYU
Losses: none
Head Coach: Kyle Whittingham
Offensive Style: Favor Run

Quarterback: Brian Johnson
Running Backs: Matt Asiata and Darrell Mack
Wide Receivers: Freddie Brown and Bradon Godfrey
Tight End: Colt Sampson

 

No. 7 seed Texas Tech Red Raiders (11-1; BCS #7): Big 12 South Co-Champion (at-large bid)
1st playoff appearance

Notable Wins: BCS #3 Texas, BCS #13 Oklahoma State
Losses: BCS #1 Oklahoma
Head Coach: Mike Leach
Offensive Style: Heavy Pass

Quarterback: Graham Harrell
Running Backs: Shannon Woods and Baron Batch
Wide Receivers: Michael Crabtree and Detron Lewis
Tight End: Adam James

 

No. 8 seed Penn State Nittany Lions (11-1; BCS #8): Big Ten Co-Champion (automatic bid)
2nd playoff appearance
- 2005: 4th round elimination

Notable Wins: BCS #10 Ohio State, BCS #18 Michigan State
Losses: Iowa
Head Coach: Joe Paterno (3-1 playoff record)
Offensive Style: Favor Run

Quarterback: Daryll Clark
Running Backs: Evan Royster and Stephfon Green
Wide Receivers: Deon Butler and Derrick Williams
Tight End: Mickey Shuler

 

No. 9 seed Boise State Broncos (12-0; BCS #9): WAC Champion (automatic bid)
8th 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
- 2006: 2nd round elimination

Notable Wins: BCS #17 Oregon
Losses: none
Head Coach: Chris Petersen (1-1 playoff record)
Offensive Style: Balanced

Quarterback: Kellen Moore
Running Backs: Ian Johnson and Jeremy Avery
Wide Receivers: Jeremy Childs and Austin Pettis
Tight End: Kyle Efaw

 

No. 10 seed Ohio State Buckeyes (10-2; BCS #10): Big Ten Co-Champion (at-large bid)
7th playoff appearance
4th consecutive playoff appearance
- 1998: 4th round elimination
- 2002: 2nd round elimination
- 2003: 1st round elimination
- 2005: 3rd round elimination
- 2006: 3rd round elimination
- 2007: 2nd round elimination

Notable Wins: BCS #18 Michigan State, BCS #23 Northwestern
Losses: BCS #5 USC, BCS #8 Penn State
Head Coach: Jim Tressel (6-5 playoff record)
Offensive Style: Heavy Run

Quarterback: Terrelle Pryor
Running Backs: Chris Wells and Daniel Herron
Wide Receivers: Brian Robiskie and Brian Hartline
Tight End: Brandon Smith

 

No. 11 seed Cincinnati Bearcats (11-2; BCS #12): Big East Champion (automatic bid)
2nd playoff appearance
- 2002: 2nd round elimination

Notable Wins: BCS #20 Pittsburgh
Losses: BCS #1 Oklahoma, Connecticut
Head Coach: Brian Kelly (0-1 playoff record)
Offensive Style: Balanced

Quarterback: Tony Pike
Running Backs: Jacob Ramsey and John Goebel
Wide Receivers: Dominick Goodman and Marshwan Gilyard
Tight End: Ben Guidugli

 

No. 12 seed TCU Horned Frogs (10-2; BCS #11): at-large bid
4th playoff appearance
- 1999: 2nd round elimination
- 2000: 2nd round elimination
- 2005: 2nd round elimination

Notable Wins: BCS #16 BYU
Losses: BCS #1 Oklahoma, BCS #6 Utah
Head Coach: Gary Patterson (1-1 playoff record)
Offensive Style: Heavy Run

Quarterback: Andy Dalton
Running Backs: Joseph Turner and Aaron Brown
Wide Receivers: Jimmy Young and Ryan Christian
Tight End: Shae Reagan

 

No. 13 seed Virginia Tech Hokies (9-4; BCS #19): ACC Champion (automatic bid)
5th playoff appearance
2nd consecutive playoff appearance
- 1999: 4th round elimination
- 2000: 3rd round elimination
- 2004: 2nd round elimination
- 2007: 2nd round elimination

Notable Wins: BCS #14 Georgia Tech, BCS #24 Boston College
Losses: ECU, BCS #24 Boston College, Florida State, Miami
Head Coach: Frank Beamer (7-4 playoff record)
Offensive Style: Heavy Run

Quarterback: Tyrod Taylor
Running Backs: Darren Evans and Kenny Lewis
Wide Receivers: Danny Coale and Jarrett Boykin
Tight End: Greg Boone

 

No. 14 seed ECU Pirates (9-4; Sagarin #54**): C-USA Champion (automatic bid)
1st playoff appearance

Notable Wins: BCS #19 Virginia Tech
Losses: NC State, Houston, Virginia, Southern Miss
Head Coach: Skip Holtz
Offensive Style: Favor Run

Quarterback: Patrick Pinkney
Running Backs: Norman Whitley and Brandon Simmons
Wide Receivers: Dwayne Harris and Alex Taylor
Tight End: Davon Drew

 

No. 15 seed Buffalo Bulls (8-5; Sagarin #76**): MAC Champion (automatic bid)
1st playoff appearance

Notable Wins: BCS #22 Ball State
Losses: BCS #20 Pittsburgh, BCS #21 Missouri, Central Michigan, Western Michigan, Kent State
Head Coach: Turner Gill
Offensive Style: Balanced

Quarterback: Drew Willy
Running Backs: James Starks and Brandon Thermilus
Wide Receivers: Naaman Roosevelt and Ernest Jackson
Tight End: Jesse Rack

 

No. 16 seed Troy Trojans (8-4; Sagarin #70**): Sun Belt Champion (automatic bid)
2nd playoff appearance
- 2006: 1st round elimination

Notable Wins: none
Losses: BCS #10 Ohio State, BCS #13 Oklahoma State, UL Monroe, LSU
Head Coach: Larry Blakeney (0-1 playoff record)
Offensive Style: West Coast

Quarterback: Levi Brown
Running Backs: DuJuan Harris and Maurice Greer
Wide Receivers: Jerrel Jernigan and Kennard Burton
Tight End: Matt Stidham

 

*and self-professed rightful Big 12 Champion?

**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.

 

2008: What Really Happened

How much of this do I need to recap? It was just eight months ago, after all...

I'm sure everyone remembers the Great Tiebreaker Controversy. Oklahoma won the popularity contest and Bradford won the Heisman, but Florida won it all, 24-14.

Meanwhile, Texas delivered another humiliating bowl loss to Ohio State, 24-21 in the Fiesta Bowl. For the record, Texas, you did not screwed. Getting to play in the Fiesta Bowl as a consolation prize is about as far from screwed as you can get. Google the terms "Kansas State," "BCS," "1998" and "Alamo Bowl" for a real definition of screwed.

And the third wheel, Texas Tech, laid an egg in the Cotton Bowl against Ole Miss, who won 47-34.

Alabama got a good, old-fashioned Mormon whooping in the Sugar Bowl courtesy of Utah, 31-17. Then HCBS poached two of the Utes' coaches, and we enjoyed the singular treat of watching Andy Ludwig hopscotch through three time zones before he finally figured out where he actually wanted to work this year.

Another season, another ho-hum, by-the-numbers USC pasting of a Big Ten team (this time it was Penn State) in the Rose Bowl. Final score: 38-24.

Boise State suffered a rare bowl loss at the hands of fellow mid-major upstart TCU and Gary "It's" Patterson, who won the Poinsettia Bowl 17-16.

Cincinnati lost to Virginia Tech 7-20 in the Orange Bowl. A little-known fact is that nobody actually watched that game.

ECU capped a mildly surprising season with a 19-25 belly-flop against Kentucky in the Liberty Bowl.

Likewise, unlikely MAC champion Buffalo lost to Connecticut in the International Bowl, 20-38.

And completing the bottom-seed trifecta was Troy, who won the worst conference in the country and then lost to a middling Conference USA team, Southern Miss, 27-30 in the New Orleans Bowl.

Wikipedia's 2008 season summary

 

Tomorrow's Games

#16 Troy @ #1 Oklahoma
Oklahoma Memorial Stadium
Norman, Okla.

#13 Virginia Tech @ #4 Alabama
Bryant-Denny Stadium
Tuscaloosa, Ala.

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

#9 Boise State @ #8 Penn State
Beaver Stadium
State College, Pa.

 

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

2006: Selection Sunday | Sweet 16 (1) | Sweet 16 (2) | Elite 8 | Final 4 | Fiesta | Data

2007: Selection Sunday | Sweet 16 (1) | Sweet 16 (2) | Elite 8 | Final 4 | Sugar | Data

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