We here at Hustle Belt love video games. That's why we go as far as ranking games in terms of difficulty for their upsets by using older games as a basis. So when NCAA 13 came out, we knew we had to run a simulation. Sure we've put a Heisman winner on Akron and saw what everyone was rated, but what about the season itself?
Well never fear! I'm here with the game and finishing up the simulation as I type this (yeah, it takes a bit). Here are the basics:
- I played as Texas-San Antonio. Why? Well it was either them or Notre Dame (30 min from my hometown). UTSA are the Roadrunners, the same nickname as the local community college (10 min in the country roads). No conflicts of interest here.
- I didn't touch anything in relation to teams. So Penn State would be eligible (today's news doesn't go into effect), no recruiting was touched, and schedules were not altered.
- Conferences and BCS Bowl affiliations were not touched. I could've put the MAC Champion in a bowl, but I decided not to (for now). If you guys like this enough, maybe we'll do another and see if we can get a MAC team to win the BCS title game
Ok, so lets get to it! If I miss your team, it's probably a good thing (or if you're a fan of a bad team, it's not so good)
Week 1 - Ball State beat EMU 24-21 in the season opener, holding off EMU after a TD pulled the Eagles within 3 with 6 to go. CMU beat FCS Midwest(?) by just 7 on a 51-yard TD with 5 to go. UCF killed Akron 41-7. The BCS teams won pretty handily. That's about it. Nothing too special outside the top. Penn State did put a hurtin' on Ohio 41-10.
Week 2 - BGSU held on to beat Idaho 28-20. Indiana and UMass went into OT in a crazy game. UMass scored 2 TDs in the final 6:38 to tie it, and then IU won in OT 27-21. WMU had some trouble with FCS Midwest (are they good?) but won 31-16 after trailing at the half. MSU beat CMU 16-3 (weird), and FIU destroyed Akron.
Week 3 - EMU with the first huge upset, beating Purdue 35-31 after trailing 31-21 with 9 minutes to go. Indiana beat Ball State 17-16 after the Cardinals elected to hit a FG instead of going for a TD with 5:30 to go. WMU beat Minnesota 26-17. Boise State and Michigan destroyed Miami and UMass respectively. Toledo and Bowling Green finished with a baseball score: 10-5. No team scored after halftime. Very, very weird.
Week 4 - Buffalo with an upset, beating Kent State 17-10. Game winning TD with 1:42 to go. Ball State beat USF 20-17. Michigan State having troubles against the directionals, beating EMU by a 14-13 score. UConn beat WMU 21-13. Kansas beats NIU again, this time by 3 (24-21). And the big story, VaTech goes into OT with BGSU, and wins 27-24.
Week 5 - Akron with a stunner, upsetting Miami 24-23. Game winning TD with 2:35 to go. CMU nails NIU again, 31-21 while Toledo and WMU play a thrilling 31-28 game (UT wins) in Kalamazoo. Toledo got the game winner with 1:23 to go on a 4 yard run by Darius Reeves. Ball State beat Kent State by 10, and UConn drilled Buffalo.
Week 6 - Toledo handled CMU 37-20, and BGSU beat Akron 34-29. Cincy and Miami were tight, but Miami couldn't recover late. The "Dull Bowl" (EMU-Kent State) wasn't bad. 17-10 with the game winner coming with about 3 min to go. WMU and Ohio handled UMass and Buffalo, and NIU continued to fall as Ball State beat them 27-17.
Week 7 - Army FINALLY beat a MAC team, getting it over Kent State. Toledo beat EMU 17-10 to take control of the West. WMU came from 14 down in the 4th with 10 min to go to beat Ball State 31-24. Tyler VanTubbergen was in the game at QB for the Broncos. Navy crushed CMU, Ohio handled Akron, and BGSU used a late surge to knock down Miami 31-23. NIU got back on trak with a 26-21 win over Buffalo.
Week 8 - CMU killed Ball State and Kent State did the same to WMU. BGSU handled Umass and Akron drilled NIU 31-21. Buffalo surprisingly drilled Pitt to the tune of 38-17, while fellow MAC school Toledo lost to Cincy 26-12. EMU ended the week with a 31-28 win over Army. The game was fairly close, but Gillett snuck one in with 3 min to go to give EMU a 10 point lead. Army scored with 11 sec to go to make it look close
Week 9 - Rutgers and Vandy beat Kent State and UMass respectively. EMU and CMU handled BGSU and Akron respectively. Ball State drilled Army. WMU destroyed NIU. Miami upset Ohio 24-14, and Toledo hung on against Buffalo 34-27.
Week 10 - EMU-Ohio went into OT. Ohio kicked a FG, but EMU scored a TD to upset the Bobcats 30-27. Miami held on against Buffalo while Kent State dropped a heartbreaker to Akron, 31-24 in OT. NIU finally drubbed an opponent in UMass, and WMU ended their losing streak in Mt. Pleasant, beating CMU 21-12.
Week 11 - EMU beat CMU 23-7 to set up the Michigan MAC showdown with WMU. Kent State came from 12 down to beat Miami 27-26. Akron drilled UMass and Toledo did the same to Ball State. Buffalo released a TON of frustration on WMU (42-17), and Ohio got back on track, beating BGSU 20-10.
Week 12 - Buffalo made sure UMass would all but go 0-12, beating them 30-10 in the 2nd to last week. Kent State held on over BGSU and Ohio drilled Ball State. NIU with a huge upset (on the game), holding off a late UT charge and beating the Rockets 28-23. EMU scored 29 unanswered to beat WMU 36-17. Lastly, the game of the week ended with a CMU FG with 35 seconds left to beat Miami 38-37.
Week 13 - The last week of the season started with a Toledo-Ohio MACCG already set. Nevertheless, games had to be played. CMU finished .500 with a 42-23 drubbing of UMass who finished 0-12. BGSU handled Buffalo to get to .500, winning 23-13. NIU turned it up late in the season, and that included a 34-16 smashing of EMU to get to .500. Toledo ended Akron's bowl hopes, and Miami did the same to Ball State. Lastly, Ohio beat Kent State 27-10.
So the final standings looked like this............
|Ohio||9-3 (6-2)||Toledo||9-3 (7-1)|
|BGSU||6-6 (4-4)||EMU||8-4 (5-3)|
|Akron||5-7 (4-4)||CMU||6-6 (5-3)|
|Miami||5-7 (4-4)||WMU||6-6 (4-4)|
|Buffalo||5-7 (3-5)||NIU||6-6 (4-4)|
|Kent State||4-8 (3-5)||Ball State||5-7 (3-5)|
So a very competitive year in the MAC. Outside of Ohio, Toledo, and UMass, all the teams are within two games of each other. Now it should be noted that injuries were not recorded by me at all (I only noticed TVT in for Carder for WMU), so who knows how the season really will go.
Post-season - Toledo absolutely demolished Ohio in Detroit. It wasn't even close. Toledo scored 21 in the 2nd and were up 28-0 at one point. Final score: 38-7. In the bowl games, 4 teams made it. EMU drew Louisiana Tech in the Potato Bowl, losing 42-26. Ohio got #23 Ohio State (who just upset then undefeated Michigan heh heh). That wasn't too pretty. After Ohio got up 6-0, Ohio State scored 24 straight to win 24-9. CMU played Navy again, this time in the Military Bowl. Same result, different score: 38-21 Navy win. Toledo got Gus Mahlzan's Arkansas St team in the GoDaddy Bowl. Final score: 42-21. Winner? Well let's just say that the MAC will mathematically be out of the "Best Conference Bowl Challenge" this year. (Toledo lost).
The BCS Title game was played between Kansas State and Tulsa (I know, right?), with Tulsa winning the title.
As far as stats go, the way the game is set-up, it's impossible to get conference leaders. I do see that Ryan Boykin (RB, Ohio) finished 4th on the NCAA rushing list. Bernard Reedy (WR, Toledo) finished 2nd on the overall receiving yards list. MAC Tackles were huge, as Robert Bell (LB, UT) led the nation in solo tackles, tied with Troy Gilmer (LB, Akron). 5th on the list was Tony Martin (LB, Ball State). Ryland Ward (SS, BGSU) finished tied-4th on the INT list.
Well, that's all I have. Now discuss while I go complain that EA ruined my simulatory chances of glory with WMU. Oh, and my UTSA squad? We didn't do too bad. No bowl game, but 7-5 (although 5 of those wins were against FCS teams)