The Wall Street Journal printed a 'Conversion Bracket' today to illustrate how the madness of this year's men's basketball tournament might've translated to a 64-team college football tournament last season. Darren Everson matched this year's NCAA tournament participants to college football teams using final computer rankings, which resulted in Stanford being matched with perennial postseason underachiever and No. 1 seed Pitt.
"When it comes to college football, there's no end to the constant hollering for a playoff system to replace the BCS. But it might be that college football's postseason—though flawed, detested and possibly corrupt—offers something of value that the NCAA basketball tournament often doesn't: a final slate of games that features the best overall teams playing one another (in bowl games) for all the marbles."
Several commenters dismiss the article as ridiculous, but I thought it was a fun exercise (minus the whole being matched with Pitt part). Your 2010 College Football Final Four? Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech, Air Force, and Northern Illinois.
Stanford (Pitt) survives high-scoring East Carolina (UNC-Asheville) in the first round, setting up a second round matchup with mid-major darling Northern Illinois (Butler). In a battle of two of the nation's top quarterbacks, Chandler Harnish and the Huskies upset Andrew Luck and the Cardinal to advance to the Sweet 16. Harnish leads NIU all the way to the Final Four with subsequent wins against traditional BCS powers LSU and Wisconsin.
No. 1 overall seed Oregon (Kansas) dispatches Florida International, Iowa, and Miami en route to the Elite Eight, by which time LaMichael James and the go-go-Ducks are exhausted. Air Force shocks Chip Kelly and Co. to clinch a spot in the Final Four.
The other half of the bracket features fewer upsets, but No. 1 seeds Auburn and TCU are bounced by Oklahoma State and Mississippi State, respectively. The Cowboys ride all the way into the Final Four, along with Tyrod Taylor and Virginia Tech, which is thankful it didn't have to play Stanford.