Rant Sports College Football Madness: Midwest Region

Kim Klement – USA TODAY SPORTS

Over the course of the next few weeks, we’ll be bringing you a little different version of the March Madness we’ve all grown to love: College Football Madness. Taking the 68-team NCAA Men’s National Basketball Tournament bracket for 2013, we’re playing off the schools just as those of you are who are following the tourney.

The difference? What if it was each school’s football program instead?

In the early going, the results that we’ll see may be somewhat predictable — but just like March Madness — as the weeks continue on things will get interesting as the upsets unfold and an unpredictable team or two makes its way through the bracket, surprising everyone in the process.

Over the next four days we’ll introduce the first-round results of each of the four brackets, with the second round results being released starting on Saturday the 23rd over the four days following in preparation for the Sweet Sixteen.

Here’s the way we see the first round of the Midwest bracket unfolding, and why:

Louisville
             LOUISVILLE
Liberty / North Carolina A&T
Colorado State
             MISSOURI
Missouri
Oklahoma State
             OREGON
Oregon
Saint Louis
            NEW MEXICO STATE
New Mexico State
Memphis
            MIDDLE TENNESSEE
Middle Tennessee / St. Mary’s
Michigan State
            MICHIGAN STATE
Valparaiso
Creighton
            CINCINNATI
Cincinnati
Duke
            DUKE
Albany (NY)

 

The first round matchups in the Midwest are fairly straight-forward, especially given that a few programs lose by default given they don’t play formalized football at the collegiate level.

This is the case with the Louisville Cardinals, Michigan State Spartans, New Mexico State AggiesCincinnati Bearcats and Duke Blue Devils who are all playing schools without football programs.

Their second-round match-ups, however, won’t be so easy.

The Missouri Tigers / Colorado State Rams match-up in the first round is an intriguing one between two teams that struggled for different reasons in 2012. As a first year SEC member, the Tigers took their lumps but with talented players like Dorial Green-Beckham available, they would be too much for a Colorado State secondary and defensive unit to handle that gave up an average of 405 yards per game last season.

Result: Missouri 34 – Colorado State 13

The most intriguing pairing in the Midwest first-round, however, is between the Oregon Ducks and Oklahoma State Cowboys– featuring two of the highest-octane offenses in college football. As we all know, the Ducks are nearly impossible to slow down and this matchup certainly won’t be any different against a Cowboys defense that has failed to gain any traction over the past few seasons. However, the Cowboys can score with the best of them and trade touchdowns with the Ducks throughout — falling just short.

Result: Oregon 55 – Oklahoma State 47

The Memphis Tigers are arguably the worst program in college football given their 9-39 record over the past four seasons — the best coming in 2012 with a 4-8 record under new head coach Justin Fuente that appears to have things headed in the right direction. The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders have been up and down in recent years, but after an 8-4 finish in 2012 would just be the more talented team, plain and simple.

Result: Middle Tennessee 27 – Memphis 3

Join us later today as we break down the Southeast Region!

Kris Hughes is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. You can follow Kris on TwitterGoogle and Facebook.

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