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PROTEST PLAYOFF '03 REVISITED: Sweet Sixteen (Day 1)


Now that Big 12 Outlook is no longer taking up so much of my time, and the twin arrivals of spring football and March Madness have me back in a playoff kinda mood, it's time to finish my original time-consuming project.

Nothing too special this week; just going back to 2003 and adding the recaps I never wrote the first time around. Seems like a good way to refresh memories and get back into the swing of things, plus it will be nice to do one last week with K-State in the field before the Lynch Mob goes bye-bye.

Fiesta Bowl: With the first choice, the Fiesta Bowl selected the Oklahoma-Tennessee regional, despite K-State being the Big 12 Champion.

Capital One Bowl: After the Cotton Bowl selected the LSU-Texas regional, the newly-renamed Capital One Bowl was left to select from Florida State-Michigan and Ohio State-USC. It chose the former, claiming both a home-state host team and a traditional Big Ten power to satisfy that tie-in.


Today's Games


Game 1: No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners (12-1) VS. No. 16 Southern Miss Golden Eagles (9-3)

Oklahoma Memorial Stadium - Norman, Okla.
Friday, Dec. 12, 2003 - 10 AM CST

Precipitation: None
Temperature: 55
Wind: SE 23 MPH

Final Score: Oklahoma 37, Southern Miss 7

Player of the Game
Oklahoma RB Kejuan Jones

Box Score


NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - No. 1 seed Oklahoma opened its defense of last year's national championship in dominating fashion, crushing Southern Miss 37-7.

The Sooners (13-1) collected 26 1st downs, 10 more than their opponent, and overcame an early 7-0 deficit by shutting the Golden Eagles (9-4) out over the final 55 minutes of the game.

Southern Miss' Sherron Moore struck first with a 22-yard TD run, but it was actually Tim Blackwell who did most of the damage on the ground for his team (16 carries, 108 yards). He got little help from his quarterback, though; Dustin Almond was just 9 of 20 for 35 yards and 2 INTs.

The Sooners were led by Kejuan Jones' 24 carries for 203 yards and 1 TD, Mark Clayton's 5 catches for 77 yards and Jason White's 17-of-24 passing for 194 yards and 2 INTs. Trey DiCarlo was 3 for 3 on FGs, while Oklahoma RBs Donta Hickson and Renaldo Works added 3 TDs.

Oklahoma will advance to face the winner of tonight's game between Miami University and Tennessee, while Southern Miss has accepted a bid to the Liberty Bowl.



Game 2: No. 4 Michigan Wolverines (10-2) VS. No. 13 Boise State Broncos (12-1)

Michigan Stadium - Ann Arbor, Mich.
Friday, Dec. 12, 2003 - 1 PM EST

Precipitation: None
Temperature: 24
Wind: N 14 MPH

Final Score: Boise State 28, Michigan 6

Player of the Game
Boise State RB David Mikell

Box Score


ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Michigan apparently learned nothing from Iowa's mistakes last season.

History repeated itself as No. 13-seeded Boise State (13-1) went on the road and beat a No. 4-seeded Big Ten team for the second straight year. The Broncos dominated Michigan (10-3) 28-6 to advance to play the winner of tonight's Florida State-Georgia game.

Boise State had 21 1st downs to Michigan's 13 and out-rushed the Wolverines 244-169. The Broncos led 7-0 after the 1st quarter, 14-0 at halftime and 21-0 early in the 3rd quarter before Michigan finally put its first (and only) points on the board with 28- and 33-yard Garrett Rivas FGs.

David Mikell led the Broncos on the ground with 24 carries for 164 yards and a TD, while Ryan Dinwiddie was efficient through the air, going 10 of 16 for 121 yards.

Meanwhile, Michigan's John Navarre was just 11 of 32 for 133 yards, forcing Chris Perry (32 carries, 132 yards) to shoulder most of the offensive load. It wasn't enough, as the Wolverines stalled in the red zone on countless drives and never mounted a serious threat to the Boise State defensive posture.



Game 3: No. 5 Florida State Seminoles (10-2) VS. No. 12 Georgia Bulldogs (10-3)

Doak Campbell Stadium - Tallahassee, Fla.
Friday, Dec. 12, 2003 - 4:30 PM EST

Precipitation: None
Temperature: 54
Wind: N 10 MPH

Final Score: Florida State 36, Georgia 24

Player of the Game
Florida State QB Chris Rix

Box Score


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Bobby Bowden collected his 9th playoff win, second only to Bill Snyder's 11, as his Seminoles advanced to the 2nd round of the FBS Playoff with a 36-24 win over Georgia.

Georgia (10-4) actually out-rushed Florida State (11-2) 282-152, but the Seminoles made up for their weakness on the ground with their advantage in the passing game.

Chris Rix completed 20 of 29 passes for 309 yards, 2 TDs and 2 INTs; his favorite target was Craphonso Thorpe (4 catches, 97 yards, 1 TD). Meanwhile, David Greene went 17 of 24 for 165 yards and 1 TD.

Kregg Lumpkin rushed 16 times for 168 yards and a TD to provide the bulk of the Bulldogs' offense, and although Florida State's Leon Washington produced just 83 yards on 11 carries, he did score a 55-yard TD run to give the Seminoles a 23-7 lead just 5 minutes after halftime.

Xavier Beitia was probably the difference, as he went 3 for 3 on FGs to help the Seminoles advance to the Capital One Bowl, where they will face upstart Boise State.



Game 4: No. 8 Tennessee Volunteers (10-2) VS. No. 9 Miami University RedHawks (12-1)

Neyland Stadium - Knoxville, Tenn.
Friday, Dec. 12, 2003 - 8 PM EST

Precipitation: None
Temperature: 33
Wind: Vrbl 3 MPH

Final Score: Miami University 42, Tennessee 37

Player of the Game
Miami University RB Calvin Murray

Box Score


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Friday's playoff action saved the best for last, as Miami University overcame a 27-14 halftime deficit to win a thriller against Tennessee, 42-37.

The RedHawks (13-1) were probably inspired by the last two teams to face the Volunteers (10-3) in a road playoff game; TCU and Maryland both collected huge upset victories in Neyland Stadium in 1999 and 2001. Add in Tennessee's loss to No. 8 Texas A&M as a No. 1 seed in 1998, and coach Phillip Fulmer's 1-4 playoff record has him facing some serious heat in Knoxville.

James Wilhoit was 3 for 3 on FGs as Tennessee built an early lead behind Casey Clausen's passing (16-29, 297 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT), Chris Hannon's receiving (5 catches, 106 yards) and Jabari Davis' rushing (15 carries, 83 yards, 2 TDs).

But it was all undone in a little over 15 minutes following halftime, as Miami's Calvin Murray (16 carries, 107 yards) rushed for 3 of his 4 TDs on the day to put the RedHawks ahead 35-30 early in the 4th quarter.

Ben Roethlisberger (20-28, 247 yards) then overcame two early interceptions to seal the game with 6 minutes left by throwing a 22-yard TD pass to Micheal Larkin. Miami's defense punctuated the victory when its fifth sack of the game stopped Tennessee's final, desperate drive.

Now the RedHawks face an even more formidable challenge: trying to unseat the defending national champion, Oklahoma, in the Fiesta Bowl.


All helmet images are courtesy of The Helmet Project. Check it out - it's pretty cool.


Tomorrow's Games

#15 Utah @ #2 LSU
Tiger Stadium
Baton Rouge, La.

#14 North Texas @ #3 USC
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Los Angeles, Calif.

#11 Kansas State @ #6 Ohio State
Ohio Stadium
Columbus, Ohio

#10 Miami @ #7 Texas
Texas Memorial Stadium
Austin, Texas


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