Posted: Monday December 4, 2006 5:12PM; Updated: Monday December 4, 2006 5:22PM
My Xbox 360 says Chad Henne and Michigan are No.2.
My favorite thing about the trailer for the new Rocky Balboa movie is the beginning, which appears to introduce the premise for the film: A video game tournament pits boxers from various eras against each other, and Rocky (presumably from the '80s) beats a current-day Antonio Tarver's Mason "the Line" Dixon. Rocky is then seen eating dinner with gossip columnist-turned-actor AJ Benza, who earnestly tells Rock, "That computer fight got a lot of people curious."
I mean, come on. Sly Stallone wrote "Rocky Balboa," and if he thinks a televised "computer fight" would really get "a lot of people curious," and enough people to spawn a heavyweight title fight involving a 60-year-old, he's further removed from reality than I already suspected. (But you better believe I'll be there with my popcorn on opening day.)
Nevertheless, computer simulations can be used for the greater good. As soon as the whole Florida/Michigan controversy erupted this weekend, I pulled out NCAA Football 2007 for the Xbox 360 and fired it up. If computers were going to be used in the BCS system, why not use them to simulate a play-in game? (And then Scott Van Pelt suggested the idea to KirkHerbstreit last night on SportsCenter.)
I played as Florida, since I've seen them play more than Michigan this year. I let Michigan be the home team, but played the game in the neutral Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, just because I figured if I were a fan of either of these teams, I'd totally want an excuse to go to Vegas.
It came down the wire and ended with heartbreak and glory. And now we have an official No, 2 and 3. Here's how Michigan really earned a trip to the BCS Championship game:
Michigan wins the coin toss and opts to receive. On the first play from scrimmage, Chad Henne throws a conservative five-yard out to TE Tyler Ecker, who fumbles after being popped by linebacker BrianCrum. Brandon Siler picks up the lose ball and runs it back 25 yards for a TD. Watching it live, I'm not sure if it's a fumble, so I run my special teams out there to kick the extra point before Lloyd Carr can challenge; he never challenges it, and Florida is up 7-0, fifteen seconds into the game.
On the ensuing kickoff, Michigan's Carl Tabb returned the ball to the 28, and then fumbled again! I imagined Lloyd Carr throwing his ill-fitting baseball cap to the grass. Lee Corso suggested Florida go for an immediate touchdown, and Kirk Herbstreit seconded this. But I played it safe, running twice and missing a short pass on third down. On 4th and 3 from the 22, I decided to kick the field goal, bringing in Joey Ijjas. He leaves it short. Florida still leads 7-0.