May 24, 2017

Leatherheads National Championship

The Leatherheads National Playoffs are our mythical national championship tournament in which our regular pollsters pick the winners of a bracket consisting of the teams in our regular season final top 16. Each pollster is allocated a fixed number of votes to spread across all the games, thus allowing them to place a heavier weight on the winners they have more confidence in.

This week, our two final surviving teams battle it out for Leatherheads supremacy. In case you missed the opening rounds of our playoff tournament, be sure to check them out first: Round of 16, Round of 8, Semi-Finals.

The LSU defense, namely Tyrann Mathieu, holds Justin Blackmon in check in the first half. Brandon Weeden still uses his other weapons successfully and is able to generate some offense, but three impressive scoring drives result in just three field goals.

The LSU offense is efficient and methodical, if unspectacular, in the first half, providing just enough scoring to keep things comfortable.

Leading 14-9, and on the verge of another score to stretch their lead, Jarrett Lee produces a costly mistake. A forced fumble on first-and-goal from the Oklahoma State 2-yard line with less than a minute to go in the half keeps the Cowboys within a score at the intermission.

After halftime, Weeden is able to get Blackmon back in the  game, and the Tigers’ defense has few answers, as the two connect for two second half scoring plays.

Trailing 24-23 in the 4th quarter, Weeden and Co. drive deep into LSU territory, but the Oklahoma State QB is sacked for a 9-yard loss on a 3rd-and-8 from the 17 with 3:11 to play.

OSU kicker Quinn Sharp lines up for a tough 44-yard field goal. After Les Miles calls timeout in an attempt to ice the youngster, he nails the kick just inside the right upright to put the Cowboys ahead with just over three minutes to play.

The much-maligned Cowboys defense gives up a pair of first downs to LSU on the ensuing drive, but then holds steady and stops the Tigers’ offense on 4th-and-5 from the 50, with 1:24 to play.

Les Miles has only two timeouts left, so the Cowboy offense is able to run out the clock and secure the upset victory and the 1st annual Leatherheads National Championship.

Final: Oklahoma State 26, LSU 24

Participating voters: David Boyce, Bo Carter, Ronnie Foreman, Terry Keshner, Bob Lazzari, Dan McCloskey, Tex Noel, Pete Sonski, Bob Swick, Brandon Williams, Joe Williams.

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