Reliving the epic 2005 college football season with ‘NCAA Football 06’: Sweet 16 bracket

first_imgWelcome back to “The Tournament,” a 32-team college football bracket reliving the incredible 2005 season through one of the best sports video games produced in the mid-2000s.After a first round filled with huge upsets ,  the heavyweights largely came to play in the Sweet 16. The top three seeds — Texas, USC and Ohio State — won by a combined margin of 82 points. Only one team outside the top 11 seeds remains alive. (SN illustration) ‘NCAA Football 06′ tournament bracket https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/b9/d1/ncaa-06-bracket-071420-ftr_1h7ov026lmn9f1dzl7en8sorak.jpg?t=1304704459&w=500&quality=80No. 1 Texas 28, No. 16 West Virginia 20If this had been the 2006 or 2007 version of Pat White and Steve Slaton, perhaps West Virginia would have been able to pull off this upset. But with each star in their freshman form in 2005 — still great in real life but not as respected in the video game — it was too tough of a task.Until midway through the third quarter, it appeared as if the Mountaineers could cause problems. White and Slaton ran the option effectively while mixing in the occasional quick hit wide receiver screen, and their defense kept Vince Young in check.It couldn’t last, though: A deep throw to Limas Sweed gave the Longhorns an 11-point fourth-quarter advantage they would hold comfortably the rest of the way. West Virginia’s offense struggled to run the ball in the second half and outside of a late desperation touchdown heave with the game out of reach did very little to threaten.No. 8 Oklahoma 52, No. 24 Texas A&M 42Adrian Peterson is an unstoppable force. After obliterating Cal in the opening round and outplaying counterpart Marshawn Lynch in the process, he slayed a Texas A&M defense with future NFL linemen Johnny Jolly and Michael Bennett. His 221 rushing yards and four touchdowns against the Aggies put him in position to claim MVP of the competition; he’s up to 369 yards and seven scores in just two games.It’s worth noting that Peter Thompson — who we’re giving the keys to the quarterback position over Rhett Bomar — has also been much better than expected and could be an X-factor in Oklahoma’s upcoming tilt with Texas.We’re going to miss playing as Texas A&M. Reggie McNeal is an amazing dual-threat talent in the game and his surrounding pieces (namely Courtney Lewis and Jason Carter) made for a fun experience.No. 4 Penn State 31, No. 13 Oregon 20Trash. Clownish. Rigged.That’s how we feel about the third-quarter pass interference call that bailed out Penn State in the red zone and allowed them to take the lead. In no world was Jordan Norwood impeded here.Oregon fell apart thereafter, unable to move the ball in the snow against a defense featuring Paul Posluszny and Tambi Hali.No. 28 Iowa 27, No. 21 Virginia Tech 21Iowa continued to make the Big Ten proud by reaching the Elite 8 behind its legendary linebacker duo of Chad Greenway and Abdul Hodge.In the biggest case of a team being much stronger in video game form than in real life, the Hawkeyes actually put together a much more complete performance than they did in the first round at Georgia. Rather than relying exclusively on their defense, they moved the ball well under the guidance of quarterback Drew Tate.That didn’t mean Marcus Vick and Virginia Tech were without moments of brilliance.Virginia Tech almoooost pulled off a wild comeback with Vick in inferno mode. Then Chad Greenway happened.No. 2 USC 26, No. 18 Michigan 10We learned from giving up 79 points to USC in round one and made this one competitive until late.The biggest rule we implemented was to under no circumstance kick the ball anywhere near Reggie Bush, who brought back three kicks for touchdowns against Clemson. That definitely helped and worked to negate the impact of Bush, one of the most explosive college football players ever.Chad Henne and Steve Breaston linked up nicely throughout the contest for Michigan, while Lamarr Woodley was an absolute monster defensively. Mike Hart averaged just 3.5 yards per carry but did deliver his team’s lone touchdown.USC ultimately took charge in the fourth quarter. Matt Leinart found tight end Dominique Byrd in the end zone to send the Trojans on their way to the Elite 8, but it was nonetheless a respectable effort from a Wolverines squad that went 7-5 in real life.No. 7 LSU 24, No. 10 Florida 21This was the juiciest matchup of the round on paper, and it lived up to the hype.Chris Leak and the Gators moved the ball without issue for much of the game. This pretty pass to Chad Jackson on a post pattern provided an early lead and momentum in Death Valley.LSU responded well despite JaMarcus Russell playing like he was on the Raiders for the second straight game. Running back Alley Broussard delivered a trick pass for a score before punching in another touchdown on the ground.Safety LaRon Landry made the play of the game with a pick-six — his second game-changing interception in as many contests.No. 3 Ohio State 48, No. 14 UCLA 0The Buckeyes are crazy good and haven’t even needed to be at their best so far in this competition. They sacked Drew Olson nine times and intercepted him five times. They burned UCLA with a steady dose of Antonio Pittman on the ground and Ted Ginn Jr. and Santonio Holmes through the air. They’re definitely the biggest obstacle to Texas or USC winning the whole thing.Maurice Jones-Drew and Marcedes Lewis deserved better.No. 11 Miami 10, No. 27 Georgia Tech 7Even though Calvin Johnson mostly disappeared, Georgia Tech had every opportunity to beat their ACC foe. But outside of one strong drive, quarterback Reggie Ball was at his most erratic, costing his team a trip to the Elite 8.With under two minutes remaining, Ball threw three straight incompletions. A punt and hope the Yellow Jackets’ defense could come through then proved the wrong decision, as Miami quarterback Kyle Wright hit tight end Buck Ortega for a game-clinching first down.Stats leaderboard for ‘The Tournament’Passing (top 10)PlayerTeamGames PlayedComp/AttPass YardsPass TDINTChris LeakFlorida227 of 5055951Vince Young*Texas217 of 3447051Kyle Wright*Miami230 of 5445230Reggie McNealTexas A&M228 of 4543231Kellen ClemensOregon227 of 4741813Paul Thompson*Oklahoma224 of 5341031Brian BrohmLouisville116 of 4438403Drew Tate*Iowa219 of 4137823Matt Leinart*USC219 of 3636252Michael Robinson*Penn State222 of 4235952*Team still alive in competition Still, there continued to be surprises, including the struggles of LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell and the strength of Iowa’s defense.This story will take you through the Sweet 16 results. We’re also logging game stats throughout “The Tournament” and sharing them at the end of each story.(Basic competition rules: Games are being played in “NCAA Football: 06” by manually controlling the underdog team on sliders that provide generally realistic results (though obviously not perfect). Home field is given to the higher seed. We’re recording game play and posting highlights on YouTube and in our articles summarizing each round.)Here are all results from the Sweet 16, followed by player stats and Elite 8 matchups: Rushing (top 10)PlayerTeamGames PlayedRush YardsRush TDScrim YardsAdrian Peterson*Oklahoma23697369Alley Broussard*LSU23503390Antonio Pittman*Ohio State22394239Maurice Jones-DrewUCLA22040217Courtney LewisTexas A&M21894209Reggie Bush*USC21861220Tony Hunt*Penn State21832224Robert MerrillTCU11801210Mike HartMichigan21763177Terrence WhiteheadOregon21733213*Team still alive in competitionReceiving (top 10)PlayerTeamGames PlayedReceiving YardsReceiving TDJason CarterTexas A&M22953Jordan Shipley*Texas22461Chad JacksonFlorida22202Joel FilaniTexas Tech12061Andre CaldwellFlorida22043Steve BreastonMichigan21990Calvin JohnsonGeorgia Tech21792Dwayne Jarrett*USC21782Michael DePriestTCU11721Joshua TinchLouisville11640*Team still alive in competitionElite 8 matchupsHere are the matchups for the next round:No. 1 Texas vs. No. 8 OklahomaNo. 2 USC vs. No. 7 LSUNo. 3 Ohio State vs. No. 11 MiamiNo. 4 Penn State vs. No. 28 Iowalast_img read more