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Computer Rankings And National Titles


National Champion Prediction: Oklahoma
Predicted Participants (BCS Championship): Oklahoma (11-1) vs. Virginia Tech(13-0)
Actual Participants (BCS Championship): Alabama (12-1) vs. Notre Dame (12-0)
Computer Line: Alabama by 6.42
Final: Alabama 42, Notre Dame 14
National Champ: Alabama
Comment: Alabama overcame a regular season SEC home loss to Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M to capture the SEC West division and went on to defeat Georgia 32-28 in Atlanta in the SEC Championship. Notre Dame shocked most of the nation by running the table in the regular season while narrowly avoiding defeats to some rather average teams, including a triple-overtime victory versus a Pittsburgh (6-7), a 20-17 win over Purdue (6-7) and a 17-14 win over BYU (8-5).

The Tide entered the BCS Championship game in Miami ranked 2nd while the Irish stood No. 1, but Alabama was favored by the computer by 6.42 points and the game was never close. 'Bama scored on its first three possessions to take a 21-0 lead just seconds into the 2nd quarter and led 35-0 before Notre Dame got on the board.

The victory marked the 7th consecutive national title for an SEC team and the 3rd for Alabama in the last 3 seasons. Just last year, Alabama's Nick Saban became the first head coach to win three national championships in the BCS era. He now has four. Saban's crowns have come with Alabama in the 2009, 2011 and 2012 season, as well as one with LSU in the 2003 season. He is the first to have back-to-back BCS titles, and Alabama is the first school to repeat as undisputed national champs since Nebraska turned that trick in 1994 and 1995 under Tom Osborne.

Notre Dame saw its bowl record fall to 15-17 with its 11th bowl loss in its last 13 tries. The Irish are winless in BCS bowl games with their four losses coming by an average of 39.5 to 14.25.

Oklahoma was 7th in the final regular season Congrove Computer Rankings at, but dropped to 13th after losing 41-13 to Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl. Virginia Tech suffered its worst season (7-6) since 1992 and barely managed to run its bowl appearance streak to 20 seasons by winning its final 2 regular season games. The Hokies defeated Rutgers 13-10 in overtime in the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando.

See: 2012 Final Computer Rankings

National Champion Prediction: Stanford
Predicted Participants (BCS Championship): Stanford (13-0) vs. Georgia (13-0)
Actual Participants (BCS Championship): Auburn (12-1) vs. Florida State (13-0)
Computer Line: Florida State by 16.67
Final: Florida State 34, Auburn 31
National Champ: Florida State
Comment: The projected Stanford-Georgia matchup was handicapped from the opening week of the season when the Bulldogs lost at Clemson. Matters were made worse when the injury bug bit the Bulldogs and doomed Georgia to an 8-5 finish after falling 24-19 to Nebraska in the Gator Bowl. Stanford went 10-2 during the regular season and then beat Arizona State in the PAC-12 Championship game to advance to the Rose Bowl where the Cardinal lost 24-20 to Michigan State.

Florida State, projected to go 10-2 in the preseason, ran the table and demolished a surprise Duke entrant in the ACC Championship game. Seminole quarterback Jameis Winston became the second straight freshman to win the Heisman Trophy. Winston then led FSU on an 80-yard march to victory in the last 1:19 of the national game.

Auburn, under new head coach Gus Malzahn, made a dramatic and unexpected turnaround from 3-9 (0-8, SEC) in 2012 to 12-0 in 2013. The Tigers had several last-minute wins, including a 109-yard return of a missed Alabama 57-yard field goal attempt on the final play of the last regular season game. The Tigers went on to defeat Missouri in the SEC Championship game. Ironically, the turnaround came after firing the head coach of the 2010 national championship team, Gene Chizik.

Ultimately, Florida State's win over Auburn ended a 7-season streak of national champions from the SEC and a 4-season streak of national champion teams from the state of Alabama.

See: 2013 Final Computer Rankings

National Champion Prediction: Florida State
Predicted Participants (CFP Championship): Florida State (14-0) vs. UCLA (14-0)
Actual Participants (CFP Championship): Ohio State (13-1) vs. Oregon (13-1)
Computer Line: Oregon by 0.32
Final: Ohio State 42, Oregon 20
National Champ: Ohio State
Comment: The inaugural College Football Playoff saw Oregon and Ohio State advance to the title game in Arlington, Texas from a final 4 that also included Alabama and Florida State. The 'Noles were bounced by Oregon, and the Tide were washed out by the Buckeyes.

The computer's preseason forecasted correctly tabbed two of the final 4 teams - Ohio State and Florida State, and the champion ultimately came from one of its final 4 picks. (UCLA and Oklahoma were the computer's other selections).

See: 2014 Final Computer Rankings


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