I spend a lot of time perusing college football message boards and fan groups, usually trying to get a read on how each fan base views its team's chances in the upcoming season. Additionally, I notice plenty of trash talk going on between fans of different teams — which isn't surprising. Many times, the trash talk and arguments are over which program is better, has more history, has more wins in the series, or has "scoreboard" (the last victory in the series).
This gave me an idea. I would create a tournament — much like college basketball's March Madness — where the best programs in college football history were ranked, broken up into four regions, and seeded in a bracket. The teams are ranked and seeded according to all-time wins. I've included the top 32 teams who currently play in Power 5 conferences.
Celebrate, Michigan fans! You got the No. 1 overall seed!
The matchups and results are easy, as they have already taken place. To win and move on, a program simply must have more head-to-head wins all-time than its opponent. In the case of a tie, I would give the win to the team that won the last game (scoreboard). In the event that the two teams have never played, I would give the win to the team with the higher all-time winning percentage.
It's not science, but it works. The best part is, it can change from year to year.
Based on who the top four teams were in all-time wins, I broke the bracket into four geographic regions and gave each of the top four teams a No. 1 seed. I made sure to set up the bracket in a 1 vs. 4, 2 vs. 3 traditional style, leaving us with this:
East vs. West, South vs. Midwest, winners meet in the finals.
Here's how the brackets turned out:
1. Michigan vs. 8. Boston College
4. Georgia Tech vs. 5. Syracuse
3. Georgia vs. 6. Clemson
2. Penn State vs. 7. Michigan State
1. Nebraska vs. 8. California
4. Virginia Tech vs. 5. Washington
3. USC vs. 6. Colorado
2. Oklahoma vs. 7. Wisconsin
1. Texas vs. 8. Ole Miss
4. Auburn vs. 5. Texas A&M
3. Tennessee vs. 6. Florida
2. Alabama vs. 7. North Carolina
1. Notre Dame vs. 8. Missouri
4. West Virginia vs. 5. Pittsburgh
3. LSU vs. 6. Arkansas
2. Ohio State vs. 7. Minnesota
Using Winsipedia.com, I proceeded to fill out the bracket. Head-to-head records are in parentheses, as well as any other tie-breakers.
Michigan over Boston College (4-0)
Georgia Tech over Syracuse (3-0)
Georgia over Clemson (42-18-4)
Michigan State over Penn State (14-14-1, scoreboard)
Nebraska over California (3-0)
Washington over Virginia Tech (all-time winning percentage)
USC over Colorado (9-0)
Oklahoma over Wisconsin (2-0)
Texas over Ole Miss (6-2)
Texas A&M over Auburn (4-1)
Florida over Tennessee (25-19)
Alabama over North Carolina (1-0)
Notre Dame over Missouri (2-2, scoreboard)
Pittsburgh over West Virginia (61-40-3)
LSU over Arkansas (37-21-2)
Ohio State over Minnesota (43-7)
Michigan over Georgia Tech (1-0)
Georgia over Michigan State (2-1)
Nebraska over Washington (5-4-1)
USC over Oklahoma (5-2-1)
Texas over Texas A&M (76-37-5)
Alabama over Florida (23-14)
Notre Dame over Pittsburgh (47-21-1)
LSU over Ohio State (1-1-1, scoreboard)
Georgia over Michigan (1-1, scoreboard)
USC over Nebraska (4-0-1)
Texas over Alabama (7-1-1)
Notre Dame over LSU (6-5)
USC over Georgia (3-0)
Notre Dame over Texas (8-2)
College Football's Tournament of Bragging Rights Championship
Notre Dame over USC (45-35-5)
So there you have it. Again, this is not science, but something to reference or even do on your own someday. As previously mentioned, these results could change literally every year. For now, however, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and their fans can hold their heads up high. In a sport where your history and the results of your last game means so much simultaneously, Notre Dame wins the argument at the water cooler in 2015.