...it makes no difference what the actual results of any real games are. If, that is, you are the Kansas City Star, and you've followed the Worldwide Leader's ridiculous "Fantasy Bracket" idea - in which Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso debated the imaginary outcomes of games that never happened on television - using the outdated and arbitrarily-ranked rosters of EA Sports to crown the winner of the 100 percent make-believe "Dream College Football Playoff," the results of which were printed in a generally reputable newspaper in the following, jaw-dropping fashion:
Everyone's a winner when you make up the results.
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The Trojans punted 10 times, didn't score in the second half and still came away with a 21-18 victory over Ohio State in overtime of the Sugar Bowl in the championship game of The Star's simulated playoff.
"I had a long conversation with Chiefs coach Herm Edwards before the game," USC coach Pete Carroll said in an imaginary postgame news conference, "and I saw the wisdom in playing it safe once we had the big lead."
The Trojans led 15-3 at halftime, but in the second half they had seven three-and-outs, lost the ball on downs once, gained just 59 yards and had two first downs.
Ohio State tied the game with four Ryan Pretorius field goals, and the Buckeyes took their first lead of the game in overtime when Pretorius booted a 30-yard field goal. All of their points came on six Pretorius field goals, while Southern Cal had three.
"I have to say I like this idea of a playoff," Carroll said in an imaginary postgame news conference. "I don't care if it was a computer simulation or if we faced another Big Ten patsy in the title game, we're still the champs."
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Actually, the imaginary world seems like the preferred reality for the Trojans For Number One movement, since at least in the world as guided by EA Sports' skill ratings they wouldn't have to deal any more with that very real loss to Stanford. It's a shrewd fairy tale - I wonder if they're available for Ron Paul's campaign?