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The peoples' champ

USC knocks off Oklahoma to win 16-team tournament

Posted: Thursday December 13, 2007 1:45PM; Updated: Thursday December 13, 2007 1:49PM
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By Gennaro Filice, SI.com

Here's how SI.com's playoff worked. Using the final BCS rankings, we seeded the top 16 teams in order. To avoid inter-conference matchups in the first round, we made two simple adjustments (swapping Arizona State and Florida in the seeding process, as well as Illinois and Boston College). For the purpose of this simulation, we assumed that all "banged up" players (Tim Tebow, Glenn Dorsey, etc.) would take part in the action.

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In the preseason AP poll, USC was a runaway No. 1, receiving 62 of 65 first-place votes. And even though the Trojans lost at home to Stanford and look mediocre for large stretches of the season, they're still the cream of the crop in the eyes of the masses.

After trailing in the voting for much of the Wednesday, the Trojans overwhelmed Oklahoma over night and ended up winning convincingly, 31,867 (55 percent) to 25,755 (45 percent).

Seventh-seeded USC won every game by at least 10 percent. In the first round, the Trojans spanked undefeated Hawaii 140,157 (74 percent) to 50,217 (26 percent). Then USC knocked off supposed favorite LSU 123,982 (55 percent) to 101,200 (45 percent). In the semifinals, the Trojans routed defending national champ Florida 84,543 (63 percent) to 48,863 (37 percent).

In real life, the Trojans won't have a chance to take home the title, as the Trojans are set to play Illinois in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1. But USC and Oklahoma boast plenty of young talent and both Ultimate Playoff finalists should be in the midst of the 2008 national championship race.

CLICK BELOW FOR RESULTS FROM PREVIOUS ROUNDS

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