Next week, we will kick off a 16-team tournament to determine the best national championship team of the last two decades.
The first round match-up for the 2002 Ohio State national championship team will be against the 2001 national champions from Miami (Fla.). That game takes place and will be reported online on Tuesday.
WhatIfSports.com – a Scout partner site under the Fox umbrella -- has long been at the forefront of simulating match-ups that can only be imagined and sadly not actually played on the gridiron. They use state-of-the-art simulation software, and for the most accurate results the games are simulated 31 times.
This gives a realistic representation of what would have REALLY happened, down to the exact stats for the players for the teams you've wondered about as well as a detailed play-by-play analysis of each game.
Could the improbable 2002 champion Buckeyes muster enough offense to hold off the exceptional defense of the 2001 Miami Hurricanes? How would the emotionally-charged 1990 Colorado Buffaloes perform against the undefeated '88 Fighting Irish? And what if Vince Young and the 2005 Longhorns had to square off against the resurgent 2000 Sooners and their suffocating defense?
We will find out the answers to all of those questions over the next few weeks!
The tournament format is simple. We have gathered the 16 most recent national champions (limit one per school) and formed a bracket, beginning with the first round match-ups listed below. The winner moves on, the loser bows out, until we reach the championship between the two most worthy of these memorable teams. It's guaranteed to be a fun and interesting competition to see who truly is the top team that has taken the field over the past two decades.
If OSU gets past Miami, the Buckeyes could have a quarterfinal round showdown with Michigan's 1997 championship team. Possible match-ups with the 2005 Texas team and USC's 2004 team also loom in the semifinals.
Here is the schedule of games for the Tournament of Champions:
Monday June 12th
1995 Nebraska vs. 1994 Penn State
1988 Notre Dame vs. 1990 Colorado
Tuesday June 13th
1992 Alabama vs. 1998 Tennessee
1996 Florida vs. 1999 Florida State
Wednesday June 14th
2001 Miami vs. 2002 Ohio State
1991 Washington vs. 1997 Michigan
Thursday June 15th
2005 Texas vs. 2000 Oklahoma
2003 LSU vs. 2004 USC
Monday June 19th
Tuesday June 20th
Wednesday June 21st
Thursday June 22nd
Monday June 26
Wednesday June 28
Wednesday July 5th