Ohio State versus Oregon in the National Championship Game is one of the more hard to predict title games in recent memory. With both looking just swell during the first round of the College Football Playoff, either team could conceivably come out on top on Monday. Other highly respected pundits are using meticulous and time proven methods like advanced stats, the eye test and Oregon Trail to figure out who is going to win. But I may have stumbled onto the most scientific and accurate way to predict the game's winner.
WWE 2K15's Royal Rumble mode.
On the surface, this would seem to make less than zero sense. There are only two teams in the title game whereas there are 30 competitors in the Royal Rumble. This is why I'm a genius. I cracked the code of linkage between everyone's favorite WWE match type and the biggest college football game possibly EVER: matching players' numbers with that numbered entrant based on who was the superior player this season (while making executive decisions to make sure that both sides had 15 entrants each).
For example, the eighth entrant would be Marcus Mariota because he was the best #8 between the two teams. The 12th entrant is Cardale Jones because he's the best #12 between the two teams. If there were no contributors with the number or a decision to make between, for example, two defensive backs with 5 tackles each, I chose whichever one needed a representative to make it even. Stuff like that is why you may see some bizarre players you may have never heard of. I also only based it on this year so no Braxton Miller. Sorry, Ian.
Now, the ground rules for how I played. There's no coach mode like in Madden, so I had to control at least one WWE Superstar at all times. However, I did not specifically choose only OSU representatives. I chose the 1st entrant (who happened to be an OSU player) and then once I was eliminated (I'm not good at this game, making it fair and not allowing me to determine who won as you'll see), chose the next entrant no matter who or what side he was on. I did my best and played as I normally would, not trying to attack the other team or certain wrestlers; I just cocked my fist and made it rain in that ring. I did not take out any wrestlers or determine which ones would be entered where. It was all random aside from me choosing to start with Bad News Barrett at number one just because I got his shirt for Christmas (thanks Oafkins).
So, here's a screenshot of all 30 wrestlers who would be in the match:
Sorry, no Stone Cold Steve Austin, guys. But we got The King of Kings, the Cerebral Assassin, The Gaaaaame Triple H! Almost as good, right? RIGHT?
Anyway, here was my list of the entrant numbers and which players I decided based on the 2014 season were the best at that number between the two teams as well as which wrestlers ended up coming in at their numbers:
1. Erick Smith, SAF, OSU - Bad News Barrett
2. Dontre Wilson, H-B, OSU - Rey Mysterio
3. Michael Thomas, WR, OSU - Goldust
4. Erick Dargan, DB, Oregon - Rob Van Dam
5. Devon Allen, WR, Oregon - Jey Uso
6. Charles Nelson, WR, Oregon - Jack Swagger
7. Keanon Lowe, WR, Oregon - Dolph Ziggler
8. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon - Big Show
9. Devin Smith, WR, OSU - Mark Henry
10. Jonathan Loyd, WR, Oregon - Justin Gabriel
11. Vonn Bell, DB, OSU - Fandango
12. Cardale Jones, QB, OSU - MMA/Walking Dead Enthusiast Phil "CM Punk" Brooks
13. Troy Hill, DB, Oregon - R-Truth
14. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, DB, Oregon - Jericho
15. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, OSU - The Miz
16. J.T. Barrett, QB, OSU - Santino Marella
17. Jalin Marshall, H-B, OSU - Damien Mizdow
18. Jimmie Swain, LB, Oregon - Triple H
19. Gareon Conley, CB, OSU - Seth Rollins
20. Ron Tanner, DB, OSU - Titus O’Neil
21. Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon - The Devil’s Favorite Demon, Kane
22. Derrick Malone, Jr., LB, Oregon - ROMAN REIGNS
23. Tyvis Powell, SAF, OSU - Darren Young
24. Thomas Tyner, RB, Oregon - Jimmy Uso
25. Bri’onte Dunn, RB, OSU - Kofi Kingston
26. Armani Reeves, CB, OSU - The Ryback
27. Johnny Ragin III, LB, Oregon - Luke Harper
28. Warren Ball, RB, OSU - Erick Rowan
29. Stephen Amoako, DB, Oregon - Cody Rhodes
30. Ayele Forde, RB, Oregon - Tyson Factdropper Kidd
Some (a lot) of these players aren't exactly superstars but I had to choose someone to be number 29. You do a better job. Jerk.
The match would start with two OSU representatives going at it in BNB and Mysterio, with a third in Goldust joining them. Then there were going to be five straight Oregon wrestlers. This was going to be weird but yet highly predictive, obviously.
OSU reps started eliminating other OSU reps, with Mysterio and Goldust both being eliminated by BNB. But Goldust and BNB did team up to eliminate Jey Uso and Jack Swagger. BNB was clearly the star out of the early group, registering five eliminations total before being eliminated by The Miz, Zeke's video game avatar. So look for Erick Smith to have a big title game for some odd reason.
Marcus Mariota, the Heisman Trophy winning QB for Oregon, was represented by the World's Largest Athlete, The Big Show, but was quickly dispatched by Loyd's avatar, the jobber Justin Gabriel. So apparently Mariota's going to stink up the joint or be sabotaged by Loyd somehow. Or both? Just bank on Erick Smith over the Heisman winner here, folks. It's all I'm saying.
Cardale Jones, the student who doesn't like school, was represented by Walking Dead/MMA enthusiast, Phil "CM Punk" Brooks, the wrestler who doesn't like wrestling. He was in for about two seconds before meeting the combination platter of Erick Smith's BNB and Vonn Bell's Fandango. So Cardale and Mariota could be having an intense battle of mediocrity if this perfectly statistically significant simulation is any harbinger of future events.
Ezekiel Elliott's The Miz lasted for a long time, until the final few, before, from my viewpoint, just disappearing. Someone eliminated him I assume, because he didn't win, but I have no idea who had the strength to throw him out. He did, however, eliminate his onscreen stunt double, Damien Mizdow, who was represented Jalin Marshall. Sad, yet topical.
Royce Freeman was represented by the Devil's Favorite Demon/Libertarian Kane, who proceeded to do absolutely nothing, succumbing to the power and strength of the feared Jimmy Uso, who represented Freeman's backfield partner Thomas Tyner and would eliminate Tyvis Powell's rep as well.
So that tells you how the major players are going to do in this game and it's universal: not well. This seems completely logical. Absolutely nobody is going to play well who has played well before. So who won the whole thing? Would it be an OSU or an Oregon player? And which wrestler would do it? Who needs to look strong?
Enter Roman Reigns. The current Vince McMahon darling who had one of, if not the, highest overall ratings in this match came in to represent Oregon's Derrick Malone, Jr. at #22. In real life, it would be over as he's probably winning the whole thing in two weeks. Him alone would be scary enough for OSU's chances to win this thing, but things would get even worse soon.
The final five were Cody Rhodes, Jimmy Uso, Tyson Kidd and Roman Reigns, representing Oregon, with Erick Rowan being OSU's lone representative.
Things did not look good for the Buckeyes. I lucked into controlling Roman Reigns so I was superman punching and spearing the daylights out of everyone, including Rowan, but since he was by far the biggest wrestler left, he was a load to get out.
Since I was rooting for OSU, I was like:
Rowan got up though and eliminated Kidd by himself after Kidd and Roman eliminated Rhodes. That left a final three of Rowan, Reigns and Uso. Not exactly a sterling group but hey, at least Roman could look strong.
Then this happened:
Big Red was taking control.
He got up and eliminated Uso. It was down to two:
And how did that turn out for the Buckeyes? Well...