College Football as Futbol: Knockout Round Results and National Champion

Who would take home a National Championship if the 2013 college football season was played in World Cup format?

After the completion of group play in our 2014 College Football World Cup, we've reached the knockout round of the tournament. To recap, here are the results from the eight groups: Group A, Group B, Group C, Group D, Group E, Group F, Group G and Group H.

And the teams advancing out of each group:

Group A - Florida State (winner), Clemson (runner up)
Group B - LSU (winner), Arizona State (runner up)
Group C - Alabama (winner), Washington (runner up)
Group D - Wisconsin (winner), Texas (runner up)
Group E - Stanford (winner), Notre Dame (runner up)
Group F - Oregon (winner), Baylor (runner up)
Group G - Georgia (winner), Ohio State (runner up)

The knockout round actually produces some pretty compelling matchups. I mean, you'd watch ...

[A1] Florida State Seminoles vs. [B2] Arizona State Sun Devils
[C1] Alabama Crimson Tide vs. [D2] Texas Longhorns
[E1] Stanford Cardinal vs. [F2] Baylor Bears
[G1] Georgia Bulldogs vs. [H2] UCLA Bruins

[B1] LSU Tigers vs. [A2] Clemson Tigers
[D1] Wisconsin Badgers vs. [C2] Washington Huskies
[F1] Oregon Ducks vs. [E2] Notre Dame Fighting Irish
[H1] Missouri Tigers vs. [G2] Ohio State Buckeyes

Or in bracket format (click to enlarge):

Cfb-world-cup_medium

Again, using the very first simulation from whatifsports.com's game simulator, here are the results of the knockout round of the tournament, including a surprise National Champion:

Round of 16

Florida State 47, Arizona State 12
Alabama 64, Texas 20
Stanford 26, Baylor 17
UCLA 34, Georgia 16
LSU 54, Clemson 17
Wisconsin 37, Washington 35
Oregon 38, Notre Dame 20
Ohio State 20, Missouri 17

After the round of 16, the quarterfinals shape up thusly:

Florida State Seminoles vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
Stanford Cardinal vs. UCLA Bruins
LSU Tigers vs. Wisconsin Badgers
Oregon Ducks vs. Ohio State Buckeyes

Cfb-world-cup-2_medium

Quarterfinals

Florida State 41, Alabama 24
UCLA 38, Stanford 20
LSU 42, Wisconsin 20
Oregon 41, Ohio State 38

Cfb-world-cup-3_medium

Semifinals

Florida State 51, UCLA 16
Oregon 51, LSU 39

Cfb-world-cup-4_medium

Title and Third Place Game

LSU 30, UCLA 14
Oregon 45, Florida State 20

Florida State almost wins it all as they did in 2013 before getting knocked off by Oregon, 45-20. Oregon QB Marcus Mariota outduels the Heisman Trophy winner, throwing for 261 yards, 5 TDs and 2 INTs on 22-of-32 passing. Winston's final stat line: 23-of-33, 329 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs.

Cfb-world-cup-5_medium

Oregon wins its first National Championship, while two-time champ Florida State finishes second. Three-time champion LSU finishes third.

Of course this will never happen, but it's interesting to see how the college football postseason would play out in this format. It sure beats the present system -- a four-team playoff combined with a slew of meaningless bowl games sponsored by random corporations.

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