Virtual Simulation Stimulation: Season Predictions With NCAA ’12

By Adam Kramer   Jul. 12, 2011

There are certain times of the college football offseason that stand out each and every year. National Signing Day, the moment Phil Steele’s magazine finally hits shelves, media days and, of course, the day EA releases the latest NCAA video game.

For me, this has always been a telling sign that the long, painful offseason is coming to a close. And as nerdy and desperate as that may sound and seem, (and believe me I am very much both at the moment), I know there are plenty of you out there who feel the exact same way.

Last year I kicked off the NCAA ’11 festivities by simulating the season and reporting the findings. Your Heisman winner? Arkansas wide receiver Greg Childs who started off hot on the actual turf but eventually missed a good portion of the season after injuring his patellar tendon. Kegs ‘n Eggs curse? Your national champion was the Arkansas Razorbacks, a pick that while incorrect wasn’t all that far off. Their opponent, West Virginia, was.

As for this year, we’re back on that virtual horse. There were no trial runs, test simulations, or any staging of the sort. I began simulating at nearly one a.m. after picking the game up at midnight, and frankly fixing a video game simulation seems slightly more embarrassing than this entire thing already is. I think the results will verify this is not at all staged. (Ron Zook agrees)

Without further adieu, I give you the first Virtual Stimulation Simulation of 2011 – the entire season previewed using the greatest game on the planet.

The Heisman

A sleeper in the eyes of many, Florida State’s E.J. Manuel takes home the Heisman in the simulation. 41 touchdowns, 3101 passing yards, and 909 rushing yards gets it done for him and the Florida State Seminoles. If you’re trusting this particular simulation, you can get Manuel at the Heisman betting window at the cool price of 50/1. [quickly logs into Bodog account and bets entire life savings]

As for the rest, here’s how it went down.

2. Case Keenum, Houston – 58 total touchdowns and 3, yes 3, interceptions. Monster of a season, but should we be surprised? It’s obvious that Case has learned a lot in his 11 years in college football.

3. Trent Richardson, Alabama – Nearly 1,300 yards rushing and 500 receiving yards. Not bad considering the game can’t really factor in he could squat the entire cheerleading squad.

4. Andrew Luck, Stanford – 42 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions is good for fourth place. Larry Scott will still likely find a way to bring down this post and make him the winner, so stay tuned.

5. Stephen Garcia, South Carolina – Well, well, well, I must say that I’m impressed. 33 passing touchdowns, 5 rushing touchdowns and ONLY one fumble. Best of all, not a single run in with virtual beer, which we can only assume EA can account for.

Award Winners

It’s the Case Kennum show, y’all, and look at Illinois getting plenty of hardware love. TRUST ME, the amount of Zook in this post will only increase. Buckle up.

Maxwell: Case Kennum, QB, Houston

Walter Camp: Case Keenum, QB, Houston

Bednarik: Justin Green, CB, Illinois (yep)

Thorpe: Justin Green, CB, Illinois (yep, yep)

Nagurski: Justin Green, CB, Illinois (yep, yep, yep computer explodes)

Lombardi: Donte Paige-Moss, DE, North Carolina

O’Brien: Case Keenum, QB, Houston

Walker: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

Biletnikoff: Royce Pollard, WR, Hawaii (wait till you see these #s)

Mackey: Brian Linthicum, TE, Michigan State

Outland: Phil Smith, RT, Georgia Tech

Rimington: Jay Finch, C, Georgia Tech (Yellow Jacket dominance)

Groza: Jeremy Shelley, K, Alabama

Guy: David Lerner, P, Florida

Team Notables

-Illinois goes 12-1. No, really they did. To celebrate, I-L-L gives Ron Zook a lifetime contract extension.

-And on that note, Washington goes 10-2 to lead the Pac-12 North. Addition by subtraction? Why yes, yes it is.

-Oregon goes 4-8 and finishes 8th in the Pac-12. Yahoo! Sports is now investigating.

-The Florida Gators fire off a 6-6 season under Muschamp, good for 10th in the SEC. They did, however, beat out Kentucky and 1-win Vandy.

-The ACC gets three 11-win teams and one of them is NC State. Clemson finishes 5-7 which is good for 10th in the conference. Duke finished 9th.

-Oklahoma’s loaded team doesn’t pan out. An early 41-7 loss at FSU sets the tone and they finish 8-4.

-USF dominates (and I mean dominates) the Big East going 11-1. I wouldn’t go running to the betting window on this one.

The Brady Hoke era starts off with a 9-4 season. Not too shabby, Michigan.

In their first year in the B1G, Nebraska goes 8-4. Not bad, but no match for Illinois. Had to put that down one more time.

Player Notables

-The nation’s leading rusher? Western Kentucky’s Bobby Rainey who goes for 1,626 yards and averaged 6.3 yards a carry. But clearly we knew this.

-Hawaii WR Royce Pollard catches 128 balls for 2,030 yards and 24 touchdowns. Dayum.

-OK State’s Justin Blackmon catches a pedestrian (for him): 1292 yards and 16 touchdowns. Florida State wide receiver Bert Reed nearly matches him catching 1293 yards and 14 touchdowns.

-UGA’s Aaron Murray throws for 28 touchdowns and 15 interceptions while Tennessee’s Tyler Bray gets hurt early and finished with only 108 attempts.

-Looking for a bounce back, Texas QB Garrett Gilbert throws 16 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, although Texas still gets 8 wins.

-Auburn quarterbacks combine (they split plenty o’ time) to throw for 28 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. UF’s John Brantley, however, managed 21 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions. Charlie magic…

-Michigan’s Denard Robinson manages only 19 scores and 342 yards rushing after getting hurt midseason

BCS Bowls

The Rose Bowl – Illinois vs. Utah: Oh, EA. Kudos for giving is all a violent chuckle as we celebrate your wonderful game. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to very politely place my Xbox on a set of train tracks. Congrats to Ron Zook on firing off the first of many 13-win seasons!

The Orange Bowl – Virginia Tech vs. TCU: I’ll sign up for this matchup right now, and this is a nice refreshing showdown compared to our first bowl. TCU heads to the Big East in impressive fashion, which is like saying you dressed up because you ironed your 3rd nicest pair of pants.

The Fiesta Bowl – Alabama vs. Oklahoma State: The best of the bowl matchups and it’s not even close, and the game turned out to be a good one as well. John Junker may be gone, y’all, but Alabama fans celebrate his departure be racking up record strip club tabs throughout the week.

The Sugar Bowl: NC State vs. USF: Go Crazy! Now this is the matchup we’ve been DYING for! If you’re like EA and think these two teams will finish 2011-2012 with a combined 3 losses, I think it’s time you check yourself in to college football rehab. It ain’t that bad.

The National Championship: Boise State vs. South Carolina

Storyline Overload. Kellen Moore, Marcus Lattimore, Tom Rinaldi, Stephen Garcia, the Ol’ Ball Coach, trick plays, blue turf, visors, Alshon Jeffery, oh my goodness – head explodes

Admit it, you’d love to see what Stephen Garcia would do in a situation like this. Just imagine the parties. You’d also love to see Steve Spurrier in the spotlight for a good 40 days and watch him answer the exact same question the exact same way and not flinch.

Then there’s Boise State. What better way to stick it to, well, everyone then to win the title, dust a little dirt of the shoulder, and tell the Department of Justice “the system is fine, bro.” And what about Kellen Moore? What a fitting way to send off one of college football’s most underappreciated to the next level.

As for the winner, according to EA, college football will have only one undefeated team in 2011-2012.

  • NCAA 2012

    1. Jay V

      Who was SC’s regular season loss to?

      A 2-loss TCU in the BCS is the least-realistic result in your entire sim.

    2. lafish

      At least I can take solace in the fact that last year’s simulation was so far off… if this simulation came true, I’d probably have to kill myself.

      Thanks for the laughs. Can’t wait to pick up my copy this weekend!

    3. dd

      Notre Dame…

    4. shawn

      TCU will not get into the BCS with 2 losses. No way, no how. Probably not even with 1 loss towards the end of the season (BSU). Man! I was going to buy this game but that flaw may change my mind.

    5. KVB

      Wake up people. TCU is in the Big East now and a conference title would give them an automatic bid to the BCS. Remember those 3-4 loss Pitt-WVU teams getting births recently. Better than that. Buy the game, you might learn something about college football.

      I wonder if they have Lucas Oil stadium option for the venue of the Big Ten title game?

    6. lafish

      Wake up, KVB. TCU is in the Mountain West this season. They don’t join the Big Least until 2012.

    7. erk

      Uh….TCU is still in the Mountain West this season. The don’t move to the Big East until NEXT year.

    8. really

      KVB, maybe YOU should learn something about college football.

    9. nowayout

      Uh….Im not an oregon fan….but 4-8, are you serious. And I suppose Lamicheal James isnt for real either, not even a mention for the ncaa leading rusher. That dude is fun to watch, when he’s not playing us

    10. Adam Kramer


      I need to check out why exactly they finished the way they did. No major injuries that I saw, which was by far the most bizarre thing of the simulation (outside a few of these 1-loss teams). I’ll throw the Ws and Ls on here later tonight.

    11. KVB

      Oh I see USF is the big east representative up there. My bad and yes I am buying the game tonight. You can reshuffle any conference during any offseason, I’m excited about that.

      Terrelle Pryor for Heisman (jk)

    12. 7/12/11

      The Sugar bowl has to take an SEC team instead of South Carolina who is in the BCS Championship game. Alabama would play in the Sugar Bowl.

    13. Grizz

      You nailed it. Boise State.

    14. 7/12/11

      Has the author watched any football in the last two years.Utah to the Rose Ball?Oregon 4-8?Boise State National Champioship.Ok I just wasted 5 minuts of my life reading this.Good luck with these projections and don’t give up your day job

    15. 7/12/11

      Hey other Chris.. this is a simulation of NCAA 12, not the guys predictions..

      it’d be helpful to actually read the first paragraph ..

    16. Ironbowl

      These guys had Auburn losing by more than 10 most every week last year…shows why they play the game instead of using computers.

    17. 7/12/11

      Worst sim ever. Are you kidding me? Northwestern is never above .500 and you have them in a bowl, let alone close to LSU.

      That must have been some good weed those guys were smoking.

    18. Big Gib

      Man I don’t really understand why everyone wants to rip on Ron Zook. Dude has been to the Rose Bowl. Illinois should be the second best team in the division next year. And by the way Justin Green is a straight up stud.

    19. whatajoke

      OU Sooners NOT mentioned at a serious contender???? No Respect BUT you will see its THEIR YEAR!!!

    20. Chris

      Just want to see if I missed somthing, but where is the pac 12 in these champion ship games?

    21. Max

      Chris. Looks like Utah is the PAC-12 representative in the BCS, losing to Illinois in the Rose Bowl.

    22. Jim

      Internesting. Georgia’s first two games are against Boise State and South Carolina. If they win both, the National Champion will be crowned in September.

    23. Jeff

      Guys.. this is just a game simulation not their picks.. and YES TCU can make it to a BCS game with 2 losses.. look at their ranking – #4. Non-AQ’s get an auto-bid to a BCS game if they are the top ranked non-AQ team (with a BCS ranking of at least 16). Since Boise State was selected to go to the MNC game, than that gave TCU the auto-bid.. Now I do not think this will happen.. but that is the reason.. STOP criticizing the authors.. they did not pick the teams.. blame EA sports simulation.. that is how it panned out..

    24. 7/13/11

      Wild picks for BCS. South Carolina 5th best in the SEC. Look for LSU/BAMA winner. They have the talent to overcome key injuries. Bama has 75 three star or better players
      on the team. Les Miles is a good coach with mental lapses at the end game. Just
      dumb luck at times. Can Boise overcome the injury bug? Look for Bama/Wisconsin in the BCS. It is all hot air right now. It will be over in 6 months.

    25. Chris is probably doing to die alone. Read the first paragraph.

    26. Killa-Cotton

      This from the same folks who had Auburn losing by 35 points to Oregon. LOL, wrong.

    27. KFM

      So, let me get this SIM straight. FSU thumps #1 OK early in the year, has the SIM Heisman trophy winner at QB, and NC State makes it to a BCS bowl from the ACC? All very, very SIM in my humble opinion. My SIM has FSU to win the ACC with one loss on the season (probably an ACC game, a letdown at Clemson after thumping OK) and playing in the Orange Bowl. 2013 is the next FSU title year!!

    28. MTVL818

      Clemson at 5-7… SIM

    29. Brad Wheeler

      I think your sim provides a good baseline of evidence on how inaccurate
      the video game is. None of the teams that look strong over the off season
      Are represented in the bowl games. As a Boise State fan I just hope we have a good showing in our new tougher conference.

    30. Stix

      Hey Idomtbelieve….Northwestern went 9-4 in 2008, 8-5 in 2009 and 7-6 in 2010. They were bowling all three years (yes they lost, but they were there). I get that Northwestern isn’t typically seen as a big bowl team, but under Pat Fitzgerald, they’ve been bowling more often than not. And God, I hate them for it….

      It’s a simulation from a fun, but not-at-all accurate video game. It’s good for laughs and that’s about it. Enjoyed the article for the entertainment value.

    31. kc94

      this is all fake hello no one can pedict wat the real outcomes will be in the real season anything can happen!!!!!!!

    32. 7/14/11

      Come on. South Carolina will not beat Alabama two straight years. It does not matter how much talent they have, it won’t happen. If Boise State plays Alabama, it will be a different game because South Carolina don’t really have a vaulted defense.

    33. Dave

      I don’t expect TCU to go undefeated in fact I don’t really expect a good year out of them they only have like 8 total returning starters and now in a post Dalton era.

      Boise State on the other hand is still loaded and returning most all there starters, but Kellen will have a hard time since they lost their two star recievers.

    34. [...] yesterday. I haven’t picked up my copy yet but Adam over at Keggs ‘n Eggs did a virtual simulation providing season predictions based on NCAA ’12. I certainly can’t complain with the national [...]

    35. Brian

      I simmed this 3 times just to give people and idea how accurate this is not.
      Ill just give National Title Games and Heisman. Add one win for the Title winners and 1 loss for the loosers.

      First Sim
      Nebraska (12-1) 37 – Alabama (11-1) (didnt win the SEC) 28
      Heisman HB Tenessee
      Alabama and Nebraska were the only AQ teams with less then 3 losses. MS State Won the SEC, USC Won the Pac-12, Oklahoma won the Big 12, VTech won the ACC, UCon won the Big East.

      Sim 2
      Wisoconson (12-1) 7 – OK State (12-0) 51
      Heisman WR OKST
      NU,OU, and WISC all offer eachother 1 loss in the Big 10. Wisc wins the rematch in the titel game against NU. Wisc and OKST State gets in to title game over unbeaten Vtech and 1 loss Boise. Alabama wins SEC (SC only wins 2 games) OKST wins the big 12, Stanford wins the PAC-10, UConn wins the big east, Vtech wins the ACC.

      Sim 3
      Baylor (12-0) 17 – North Western (13-0) 10
      Heisman RB Alabama
      Northwestern Dominates the Big 10. Baylor is lone unbeaten in the Big 12. Utah wins the pack 12. FSU wins the ACC. Alabama wins the SEC but kept out of title becuase of single loss to Penn State who goes 5-7. Boise goes unbeaten. Uconn yet again wins the Big East.

      I would say the first two match ups are not out of the realm of possibility. If NU can fix its offensive issues they could possibly run the table in the Big 10 and Alabama is my pre season Number 1 and should be a very good team. NU has made a very good showing in the past 2 Big 12 title games, defensivley.

      Wisconson, I would not personally put my stock in, but other then opening Big 10 play against NU they do not really have a tough opponent. Unless OU can put it together with that big mess up there and thats also assuming Wisconsons transfer QB can pull a Cam Newton minus the pay for play. OKST in my opinion is the Second best team in the Big 12 and could upset Oklahoma. OKST was not supposed to be good last year and turned out to be very potent.

      The third match up…. proof that you cant trust a video game sim.
      I also lead TN to a unbeaten National Title season by setting the all time single season sack record with a 3 star Strong Saftey in Road to Glory Mode. More proof not to trust the games predicitions.

    36. eric

      Wrong, wrong, wrong!
      Boise St will have a loss after the first game of the season against UGA!
      Bank on it!

    37. dean parker

      your predictions are way off from the odds makers in las vegas. the sports books in vegas are incredibly accurate. you should look and enlighten yourself.

    38. Jason

      Although I am an avid Boise State fan, I agree with everyone else on here that the chances of BSU making it to a national championship game are almost nill. No, it’s because of their skills, it’s not because they will have a couple of losses this year……………….it is because the voters will NEVER EVER EVER allow a mid-major with a million dollar budget to play for a nation championship.
      UGA will not beat Boise in the first game, and it will UGA’s first out of at least 4 more losses.
      TCU will not beat BSU on the blue turn, not going to happen.
      And regardless if Kellen Moore throws for 15000 yards this year with no interceptions and 500 touchdowns, he will never get the Heisman. Boise is “small potatoes” , and us Boise fans know that. Boise can beat ANYONE on any single saturday.

    39. Ken

      I can’t believe I wasted 3 minutes of my life reading through this article, and another 30 seconds on this email.
      Virtual season??? What an idiotic thing to spend you time doing. I hope it’s just a hobby.

    40. 7/19/11

      USF really will dominate. Mark you calenders.

    41. jman75

      There is a darkhorse not mentioned here, Mountaineers baby! Favorable schedule with LSU at home. Depends on how the players take to the coaching controversy!

    42. 7/19/11

      Adam!! stop it!!! Just stop it!!! You stop smokin’ that dope and writing articles and putting them on the web.

    43. jeff

      Thanks Stix for pointing out Northwesterns record… never finishing above. 500? Where has that dude been? Ken reads an article which clearly states that the “predictions” are based on EA SIM. Though it clearly states so, he reads the article. Criticizes it. Criticizes the author and says he needs a hobby. What kind of hobby, Ken, trolling the internet and criticizing bloggers. It takes about 5 minutes to SIM an entire season on EA Sports games. Personally, I’d like to thank Adam for taking the time to write this. If nothing else, it was entertaining and I for one appreciate the effort.

    44. KingFrog

      As the maxim goes in engineering circles:

      clearly, as too often is the case, in my opinion, the programmers have gone off the reservation with their settings for the various players and teams. Making some better than they’ll ever be; and making others come off worse than they will be. Remember it’s all just a series of zeroes and ones, until the real players take the field in a few weeks….

    45. Wes

      So 3-0, 10 more to go BSU ftw.

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