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2017 March Madness predictions based entirely on football

For the fifth year in a row, I ask you: Which football team would win a tournament of these schools?

The 2017 March Madness bracket is out. Basketball teams will play it. People who know basketball have predicted what’ll happen.

But what if something super stupid happens? What if their 2016 football teams show up instead of their basketball teams? I don’t care about your objections and concerns. What if?

I’ll tell you exactly what if.

(Previous champions from this pointless, annual exercise: Oklahoma in 2016, Ohio State in 2015, Michigan State in 2014, and Alabama in 2013.)


The toughest football region, with Belk Bowl winner Virginia Tech not even making it out of the gates and accomplished Florida and Troy teams falling in the Sweet 16. The region finale pairs the Rose and Cotton champs, and I’ll go with the team that finished the year hotter and that rated higher on the year in S&P+.

Wisconsin-Florida would be a 6-3 thriller in quintuple overtime.


WHEW, that’s a bad football region, but I still don’t think it’s the worst.

FSU gets only one serious challenge while parading into the Final Four, letting the Noles rest up for tougher opponents. [Spoiler.]

Notre Dame went 4-8 (and wouldn’t be too big of an underdog against 10-3 West Virginia if they actually played, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it).


This region is despicable. Things are so bad, 4-8 Oregon and 3-9 Iowa State reach the Sweet 16. A handful of teams here don’t even have football, including Kansas. That was a joke among friends.

Michigan scrubbing out Louisville in the second round leaves us with only two FBS programs of note from there on out.

Mainly, let’s imagine how roof-spacklingly furious Jim Harbaugh would get at basketball refs. He’d blast into orbit.


Not the worst region, but the region most lacking in top-tier power. Kansas State would be a respectable runner-up, but if that’s the best team you’ve got, you’re not going much further.

I do like how most of K-State’s matchups look like games that’d be over in about 90 minutes of real time, though.

A K-State vs. UCLA postseason reunion might force Jim Mora to reactivate his Twitter account.

Final Four

Michigan over KSU should not be controversial, though that’s another game that’d end in like 59 minutes with a final score of roughly 8-6.

FSU finished the year with better advanced numbers than USC, but the Trojans are good enough to beat anybody here. If you’re mad about this pick, that’s fine.

As for how the championship plays out ... well, we already saw it.