Ultimate Playoff: Peoples' Champ

Here's how SI.com's playoff worked: We took the six BCS-conference champions and the six highest remaining teams from the final BCS rankings. Then we seeded all 12 teams solely according to their final BCS ranking. The top four teams (Oklahoma, Florida, Texas and Alabama) received a first-round bye. Voting took place over the last two weeks.

Throughout most of the regular season, it certainly seemed like the Year of the Big 12. But in the eyes of the public, none of the hyped heartland powers were a match for one SEC team: Florida.

The second-seeded Gators prevailed in SI.com's third annual Ultimate Playoff, following in the footsteps of USC last year and Ohio State in 2006. And they did so by taking down three teams from the vaunted Big 12 South. After receiving a first-round bye, the Gators beat up on Texas Tech in the quarterfinals 28,878 (78 percent) to 8,288 (22 percent). In the semis, Florida topped Texas 32,822 (55 percent) to 26,423 (45 percent). Then in the final, UF took down No. 1 seed Oklahoma 14,743 (57 percent) to 11,213 (43 percent).

This is the second consecutive season the Sooners have ended up as our virtual bridesmaid, but all is not lost. After all, they still have a chance to beat Florida for the real BCS national title on Jan. 8. Although according to the people who took part in this exercise and Vegas oddsmakers, No. 1 Oklahoma will enter that championship bout as the underdog.

The Gators have prevailed in SI.com's Ultimate Playoff and EA Sports' playoff simulation. Will they truly reign supreme on the Dolphin Stadium turf next month?


• No. 2 Florida knocks off No. 1 Oklahoma: 14,743 (57 percent) to 11,213 (43 percent).

• No. 1 Oklahoma defeats No. 5 USC: 33,609 (53 percent) to 30,210 (47 percent).

• No. 2 Florida defeats No. 3 Texas: 32,822 (55 percent) to 26,423 (45 percent).

• No. 1 Oklahoma defeats No. 8 Penn State: 30,887 (78 percent) to 8,515 (22 percent).

• No. 2 Florida defeats No. 7 Texas Tech: 28,878 (78 percent) to 8,288 (22 percent).

• No. 3 Texas defeats No. 6 Utah: 31,268 (86 percent) to 5,223 (14 percent).

• No. 5 USC knocks off No. 4 Alabama: 21,664 (57 percent) to 16,138 (43 percent).

• No. 8 Penn State defeats No. 9 Boise State: 47,521 (76 percent) to 14,826 (24 percent).

• No. 7 Texas Tech defeats No. 10 Ohio State: 43,420 (72 percent) to 16,632 (28 percent).

• No. 6 Utah defeats No. 11 Cincinnati: 40,858 (73 percent) to 15,389 (27 percent).

• No. 5 USC defeats No. 12 Virginia Tech: 53,884 (95 percent) to 3,049 (5 percent).

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