Somewhere in our staff meetings it was declared that June would be "What If" month, where we would run simulations of various group of five and power five teams that share the same state and see where the teams would align. Since Marshall destroyed the majority of its schedule, I decided that they would be the perfect team to start this fun summer series. The rules were this:
1. Each team had to be simmed to their in-state companions as close as possible.
2. All sims were conducted using What If Sports' Sim-Matchup.
3. You can only use the first sim as the official sim, no matter how silly it may seem.
With that being said, lets take a look at how Marshall did with a Big XII schedule!
If Marshall had West Virginia's Schedule...
|2014 Marshall Thundering Herd||10||3||7||7||7||3||3||8||48|
|2014 Alabama Crimson Tide||0||13||7||7||7||3||3||6||46|
First of all, THIS WENT INTO FOUR OVERTIMES! The only reason why this outcome seems plausible is that Marshall is a damn good underdog team and we know what typically happens to Alabama when they face DAMN GOOD underdog teams.
*Side note: I ran this sim 19 times after the first one, Marshall won exactly once more in a blowout.
FCS - Autowin
You can't simulate the little, little guys, so I'm taking this as an Auto-win over Towson.
|2014 Marshall Thundering Herd||17||0||7||9||33|
|2014 Maryland Terrapins||0||20||3||3||26|
|2014 Oklahoma Sooners||0||3||0||0||3|
|2014 Marshall Thundering Herd||0||16||6||7||29|
Yes I understand that this was a home game for The Herd, but this is still silly...Bob Stoops, when will you ever learn?
|2014 Kansas Jayhawks||7||6||0||0||13|
|2014 Marshall Thundering Herd||7||14||0||10||31|
|2014 Marshall Thundering Herd||14||3||0||0||17|
|2014 Texas Tech Red Raiders||14||7||0||10||31|
WHAT THE? What happened here? Lubbock has some strong sorcery that causes Marshall to fall.
|2014 Baylor Bears||7||14||14||6||41|
|2014 Marshall Thundering Herd||7||7||7||9||30|
|2014 Marshall Thundering Herd||0||28||7||7||42|
|2014 Oklahoma State Cowboys||0||21||10||15||46|
A tough stretch leads to a 3-game losing streak for Marshall. Can the Thundering Herd recover?
|2014 TCU Horned Frogs||7||0||7||3||17|
|2014 Marshall Thundering Herd||0||21||6||10||37|
Another big home win The Herd, but you have to think a 20-point win for Marshall is a tiny bit facetious?
|2014 Marshall Thundering Herd||10||21||7||7||45|
|2014 Texas Longhorns||3||7||3||17||30|
|2014 Kansas State Wildcats||10||6||7||14||37|
|2014 Marshall Thundering Herd||14||17||7||7||45|
|2014 Marshall Thundering Herd||0||7||10||17||7||3||44|
|2014 Iowa State Cyclones||7||6||14||7||7||7||48|
AND THERE'S THE WTF MOMENT IN THIS WHOLE THING! Marshall manages to fall to a meek Iowa State team and Paul Rhoades is just SO PROUD for beating a top mid-major. After counting up the totals, this puts Marshall at 8-4 for the season, which is slightly better than how the Mountaineers fared last season.
If West Virginia had Marshall's Schedule...
Let's look at the West Virginia: if Marshall had SUCH an easy schedule, than the Mountaineers should have no problem going undefeated, right?
|2014 West Virginia Mountaineers||7||24||0||7||38|
|2014 Miami (OH) RedHawks||14||3||0||7||24|
Well, it's a good start, though I'm not too encouraged by the lack of a blowout against a bad RedHawks team.
FCS Autowin - RI Rams
|2014 Ohio Bobcats||7||7||0||7||21|
|2014 West Virginia Mountaineers||0||14||7||17||38|
|2014 West Virginia Mountaineers||10||7||3||11||31|
|2014 Akron Zips||3||0||7||7||17|
|2014 West Virginia Mountaineers||7||0||21||7||35|
|2014 Old Dominion Monarchs||0||14||7||0||21|
|2014 Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders||0||7||3||10||20|
|2014 West Virginia Mountaineers||7||17||14||10||48|
|2014 West Virginia Mountaineers||24||6||7||13||50|
|2014 FIU Golden Panthers||3||3||0||0||6|
Oh FIU...attempting a sad field goal in the first quarter. Can anything be more sad than that?
|2014 Florida Atlantic Owls||7||0||0||10||17|
|2014 West Virginia Mountaineers||0||14||14||7||35|
|2014 West Virginia Mountaineers||14||7||0||7||28|
|2014 Southern Miss Golden Eagles||7||7||10||14||38|
THERE IT IS! THERE'S THE RANDOM CHOKE GAME! The Mountaineers get handled in Hattiesburg and the perfect season is gone.
|2014 Rice Owls||3||13||3||3||22|
|2014 West Virginia Mountaineers||10||0||7||14||31|
|2014 West Virginia Mountaineers||21||13||7||14||55|
|2014 UAB Blazers||7||10||0||7||24|
|2014 Western Kentucky Hilltoppers||0||6||10||0||16|
|2014 West Virginia Mountaineers||21||14||12||14||70|
|2014 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs||7||0||7||0||14|
|2014 West Virginia Mountaineers||10||14||17||14||55|
So West Virginia finished exactly like Marshall, with a respectable 12-1 record. If anything this makes evident that good mid-major schools will be fine by going to a Power 5 conference (see: TCU, Utah) and that weaker Power 5 schools should do spectacular in Group of 5 conferences.
Have any suggestions on which in-state schools we should do next? Leave your thoughts in the comments!