NCAA Football 13 says Tino will improve in 2012 after a poor showing last season. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
I picked up a copy of the new NCAA Football game the other day and before I got really into it, I decided to see how the game thinks Pitt will do in the 2012 season. The results were about what you would expect. For Pitt anyways. The Panthers went 7-6, with losses to Cincinnati, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, Rutgers, USF, and Clemson in the Belk Bowl.
Pitt started off like you would think. They beat both FCS squads, but lose a tight game to Cincinnati where they gave up the game-winning TD with just over a minute left. They then get blown out by Virginia Tech at home before beating their 2nd FCS opponent.
October, however, is much better for the Panthers.
Pitt survives on the road against Syracuse when they recover the onside kick after the Orange brought it within 3 in the final minute. They then rout both Louisville and Buffalo before narrowly beating Temple to close out the month of October.
November, though, is when the season falls apart. Pitt gets blasted by Notre Dame on the road. They do manage to beat Connecticut on the road (surprising, I know), which sets up a de-facto Big East title game at home between Pitt and Rutgers. Pitt does about what you would expect from them in a game of this magnitude. They lose. Big time. To Rutgers. At home. With the Big East title on the line.
The Panthers follow that by losing in the final minute to USF to end the season 7-5, but tied for 2nd in the Big East with Cincinnati. Since Cincy beat them head-to-head, they were selected for the Champs Sports Bowl while Pitt gets sent to Charlotte. Only three Big East teams are invited to bowl games (Pitt, Cincinnati, and Rutgers), although Temple does end the season with six wins. They don't qualify, though, since two of them against from FCS schools.
Pitt is matched up against a 7-5 Clemson team (and they think they're ready for the Big 12...). The game is close throughout and the Panthers even hold three-point lead with just under a minute left. But Clemson manages a last-second field goal to send the game to OT. Pitt does a Utah 2010 where Tino throws a pick, setting Clemson up for the game-winning field goal. Pitt heads to the ACC with a 7-6 record.
The champions for the BCS leagues were:
Big East: Rutgers
ACC: NC State
Big 12: Oklahoma
Big Ten: Iowa
BCS games were:
Orange Bowl: Rutgers vs. NC State
Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma vs. Auburn
Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. Kansas State
Rose Bowl: Wisconsin vs. Utah
BCS Title game: Iowa vs. Notre Dame
Notre Dame goes on to win the BCS Title.
If this ever happened, I would drown myself in tequila. Or bourbon. Or both.
In other news, WVU goes 9-4, PSU goes 7-6. Tino actually played decently, throwing for over 2700 yards, 24 TDs, and just 8 picks. He also had just over a 50% completion percentage (can't win them all I suppose). Ray Graham rushes for over 1100 yards and 9 scores. Devin Street and Mike Shanahan both catch over 700 yards. They for some reason did not use Rushel Shell during the simulation.
Obviously, don't take what this game says seriously. Pitt could have just as easily won 10 games or lost 10 games in the scenario. But I think this is about the result I would expect from Pitt. I think Tino will be better in this offense. Graham probably won't be as good as he was last season since he's returning from an ACL tear. I think that Pitt will likely use Shell more than he was used here.
All in all, Pitt is projected to go bowling this season. Which is what they should do with this kind of schedule. Now we just have to wait to see if Pitt does it in real life.