For those that don't know me all that well, I love video games...and I love football. The NCAA Football series by EA sports has brought these two things together in perfect harmony for years and years, going back to the Sega Genesis in the dorms of the University of Michigan ten years ago. Since the inception of UMTailgate.com, I have done a preview of the Wolverines upcoming season based on the game, not with me at the helm, but with the computer playing the computer as to not involve any human skills or bias. For the past few years, this simulation has been done on the Xbox.
I simulate the entire NCAA football season, game by game, and I always take the first run simulation as the prediction, first posting on UMTailgate.com the season record and bowl destination, then following up each week with the Xbox predicted score for that game in the week before it actually takes place. Each year, the Xbox is eerily close in predicting the record, having never been off by more than one game, and often picking the right bowl and even the bowl opponent. Trust me, I want it to tell me that Michigan is going undefeated and winning the National Championship each and every year that I do it. As I progress through the simulation, it kills me when the Wolverines lose...but I move on, play it out, looking for an honest answer from the number crunching football mirror on the wall. Never has it answered back "Michigan...Michigan is the fairest of them all." Until today.
Now, it wasn't all roses on the way to the Rose Bowl, with several close calls in a National Championship season that resembled the Buckeyes ugly run of 2002. But it was a 3rd consecutive Big Ten Championship and National Championship nonetheless.
Not surprising was the Wolverines Rose Bowl opponent, USC, but it was surprising that they were #2 in the BCS, while Michigan was #1. It was a season riddled with losses for top teams, and Michigan was not undefeated, but one-defeated. But at the end of the season, Michigan was the only team with only one loss, and garnered all of the first place votes from both the coaches and media poll.
The Wolverines were led by Lamar Woodley and Pierre Woods on a defense that grabbed player of the game honors in 4 out of 12 games, including the Rose Bowl. On offense, Chad Henne to Jason Avant became Michigan's calling card, with both in the top five on the Heisman watch list for most of the season.
The top five in the Big Ten includes (in order) Michigan (11-1), Purdue (9-3), Minnesota (9-3), Iowa (9-3), Ohio State (7-5). Just looks crazy enough to maybe be right.
Game by game scores will come as the season progresses. For now, I gotta run, because the virtual parade down State St. should be starting soon. Enjoy!
Back To The Real World
The Wolverines came up big in the polls again, coming in at #4 in the AP. This keeps the streak alive for Michigan, who has been in every AP poll for the last 6 seasons, and holds the active record for most appearances in the AP poll, with 712, entering the 2005 season.
Come Back Soon
Along with coverage of the Michigan Fan Day at the Big House next week, be sure to log on to get more information about the first game against Northern Illinois, theme information, and a special report on the upcoming UMTailgate.com Hall of Fame and Century Club inductions. Should be an exciting year.