Nebraska Football: Would The Huskers Have Reached A Final Four In 2012?

Streeter Lecka

It's that wonderful time of year when college football fans let go of the misery that is the offseason and dive headfirst into March Madness.

Determined to never let the offseason win, many have comprised a 64-team college football version of the scramble towards college basketball's ultimate prize including SBNation's own Rodger Sherman.

It's high time to show those spotlight-hogging roundball punks how it's done...or at least how it could be done.

Using Sherman's bracket, this "what if" scenario will be appropriately determined by WhatIfSports.com. For ensured impartiality, a cold, calculating, soulless machine (and admittedly partial human input) will be how a champion is properly crowned...you know what? This is happening anyway.

Nebraska draws a No. 4 seed in the West region, not too shabby. They'll be going up against the No. 14 seeded Washington Huskies...again...for the fourth time in three seasons.

Win-loss generation is set up like this. The higher seed will be given home field advantage. January weather will be dictated by the average daily high of the playing site according to The Weather Channel. There will be no precipitation or wind.

Using StatMilk, I'll confirm if teams actually were run heavy, favored the pass, etc. for accuracy. There will only be one roll of the dice.

Now that we've got the rules down, let's light this candle.

No. 14 Washington Huskies vs. No. 4 Nebraska Cornhuskers:

Nebraska 33, Washington 9 [Game Stats]

Nothing too surprising to start things off.

No. 12 Fresno State Bulldogs vs. No. 5 UCLA Bruins

Fresno State 35, UCLA 34 [Game Stats]

There's your 12 over five upset and Nebraska dodges the rematch against the Bruins.

No. 12 Fresno State Bulldogs vs. No. 4 Nebraska Cornhuskers:

Nebraska 27, Fresno State 20 [Game Stats]

A squeaker against the scrappy Bulldogs, but the Huskers advance to the Sweet 16.

No. 1 seed Oregon bests Bethune-Cookman and No. 9 seed BYU knocks off No. 8 Baylor 17-10. Time to see who'll face the Huskers next.

No. 9 BYU Cougars vs. No. 1 Oregon Ducks:

Oregon 14, BYU 13 [Game Stats]

So very close, but the Cougars couldn't get the knockout punch in, and had plenty of time to do so.

It's time for what could be another close battle for the Ducks, an epic blowout or anything in between. The Huskers also face their first road contest of the tournament.

No. 4 Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. No. 1 Oregon Ducks:

Nebraska 17, Oregon 7 [Game Stats]

Bo Pelini clearly gave David Shaw a call as whatever the Cornhuskers did couldn't slow down Kenjon Barner, but kept him out of the end zone far more than anticipated.

The Huskers advance to the Elite Eight. (For all non-Huskers reading this, blame the computer. We're all used to it).

In the other half of the West region, No. 11 seed Arizona beat down sixth-seeded Utah State 44-28 and Georgia Tech earned the No. 14 seed with a 52-31 defeat of Ball State. The Yellow Jackets were promptly plunked by No. 3 seed Stanford 38-0.

Wisconsin eeked out a close win against North Dakota State while Georgia pummeled Eastern Illinois. No. 2 seed Georgia jumped out to an early 21-0 lead before holding off a rally by No. 7 seed Wisconsin in a 27-17 victory.

The Bulldogs then put on an impressive display against No. 3 seed Stanford winning 26-9, which means It's a Capital One Bowl rematch in the Elite Eight, but Nebraska heads to Athens, not Orlando.

No. 4 Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. No. 2 Georgia Bulldogs:

It's deja vu all over again for the Huskers as they hang with the Bulldogs, but come up just short losing 26-24. [Game Stats]

While Nebraska didn't reach the Final Four, a run to the Elite Eight ain't bad considering the up and down season it had. Look on the bright side. Maybe, just maybe, the Huskers can finally avoid Washington for a while.


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