®The coronavirus has taken its toll on the world, the country and every single sporting event from the hard court to the turf, indoors and out. While the world comes to grips with their new short-term reality, we as sports journalists have a difficult task ahead of us: covering your favorite sporting team, event and venue while there is quite literally nothing going on with either.
While the Pac-12 men’s basketball championship was cancelled and subsequently saw every winter postseason tournament follow suit, within a few days of those announcements, the spring sport seasons were also cancelled. With that in mind, the next conceivable thing to look forward to for sports fans alike, is this coming fall when the football season kicks off as it’s been largely unaffected outside of spring practices being caned.
So, if there are no sports for the foreseeable future, what’s a sports writer to do? Well I figured it was time to combine two passions: sports’ written word with the finger-mashing delight of sports video games, specifically the last college football game created, EA Sports’ NCAA Football 14.
Today we will kick off the 2019 NCAA football season in retrospect, allowing for different storylines to appear from our current reality, though we’ll start the year as we did last fall, with every team at 0-0, every team with the same chance to win their conference championships and every team with the same opportunity to take home the national title.
With that in mind, there are a couple of things to note:
1. We’ll start off with updated rosters, up to the last week of the 2019 regular season.
— These rosters will have each player named, adjusted to height, weight, hometown (as best they can), class, etc. and will even adjust to players who sat out or earned a redshirt last year.
— These rosters have been adjusted to the year’s end statistics and level of play as judged by me and from my time from PFF, i.e. Joe Burrow is the only 99 overall quarterback, Penei Sewell is the pinnacle of offensive linemen, Ja’Marr Chase is ridiculously good, and so on, and so forth (if you have questions, or want to see more rosters, just DM me or comment below).
2. We’ll attempt to recreate schedules to as close as possible with the real 2019-20 schedules but will allow default non-conference matchups to take place as scheduling games in NCAA Football 14 is a nightmare.
— In some instances, it would be impossible to create a perfect schedule because we’re still playing with Idaho as one of the 130 FBS schools and as such, will have 12 mismatched games (at minimum).
3. We will be simulating non-conference games and non-Pac-12 games and allowing the results to speak for themselves while also documenting the week’s top players, best games, star moments, etc.
4. We will also be simulating recruiting for all but the Pac-12 as we’ll be attempting to recreate the recruiting classes that have signed on the dotted line for all Pac-12 schools in 2020.
5. The difficulty is set to All-American with some adjustments to the sliders to help make the game play a little bit more realistic (i.e. CPU interceptions lowered a bit so the MLB doesn’t make a random play on the ball 20+ yards downfield away from his coverage zone on a wide-open throw; can you tell that’s happened to me before?!). If you’re interested in these sliders, just ask to see them.
6. Expect to see full detailed game previews, game recaps, Heisman updates, Top 25 reactions, and just about every other weekly, daily piece from this season as you would during a regular season, in real life.
7. This is being played on a Playstation 3, on EA Sports’ NCAA Football 14 and if the popularity deems it appropriate, we will start an online dynasty with up to 11 other people, so get your copies of the game ready to go!
So join along as we relive and recreate the 2019 football season during this sports hiatus. In doing so, we’ll prepare for and discuss all things college football in 2020.
This will be just for fun, comments and the like are encouraged as we all cope with our new reality that virtual reality is the best way to watch sports this spring.