Skip to main content

NCAA '07: Who Do You believe?

It's less and less of a surprise every year that EA Sports chooses not to include Patriot League schools in the only NCAA Football video game title on the market. But I always check: and this year, yet again Patriot League fans are skunked.

Maybe it's been the hopes of too many summers unrealized, but the gleam in my eye when EA Sports used to release a new version of their college football game has been replaced with cold cynicism. In years past I used to race out to the store to try to play-test the game. Finding out the changes in gameplay and possibilities about dynasty mode were something that interested me. I never got what I really wanted, but usually there was something interesting to take the edge off. Maybe dynasty mode was expanded, or more I-AA teams, or a Heisman mode. I'd look at some of the versions and say, "Maybe I could work with this".

As '07 hit store shelves this year, the neglect to I-AA teams in general was pretty apparent. No I-AA playoffs. No I-AA Dynasty mode, to allow for recruiting over multiple seasons. Even the rosters were in many (if not all) cases carbon-copies of last year's rosters. For I-AA fans, it's hard to recommend the game since so little has changed from last year for our teams. Yes, gameplay has changed a little, but you have to ask yourself the question - if EA Sports doesn't want to take care to get my school right, why should I buy the game?

Curiously, if you do a quick Google search you'll find out that the "game review websites" give the game super-high marks -- suspiciously so, in my mind. (Check out metacritic: no other game gets a higher review.) Look at these snippets:

Not surprisingly, NCAA Football 07 is a no-brainer buy for the college football fans and is well worth a look from even the most casual of sports gamers.

By once again capturing that electric atmosphere in NCAA 07, and combining it with an ever-evolving set of control tweaks and gameplay modes, EA Sports has created a game that no fan of football video games--be they college or pro--will want to be without.

Which ad agency wrote these? First of all, if it's a no-brainer buy for college football fans it's because it's the ONLY college football game out there. It could be a repackage of Atari 2600 football, but if you want to play college football, tough - it's the only game in town. Second, it may be an electric atmosphere if you're a fan of a I-A school like Notre Dame or USC, but if you're a Delaware or Montana fan, you're still in Skunk City.

When you talk to real fans, especially I-AA fans, you get a different story than the "ad agencies". It's not a slam-dunk either way - a very mixed bag. Some like the new gameplay, others think they should have done much better. Specific to I-AA, folks are upset that the Big Sky conference is incomplete since someone forgot to notice that Northern Colorado was joining them this year. Also, no new I-AA teams. No I-AA dynasty. No I-AA playoffs.

It's your call as to who you believe, but read the links and judge for yourself. My money's with the I-AA fans.

To be fair, there is a very positive development I'd like to mention before leaving on such a sour note. First, there is hope in the future that I-AA coverage will be expanded, based on this interview of EA programmers Larry Richart and Anthony White. Here's the snippet:

GS: If there's one thing you could add to the NCAA Football series, what would it be and why?

AW: I'd add an I-AA dynasty mode option that allows you to play in the actual conferences, and at the end of the season if your team is good enough, compete in the I-AA playoffs. As for my reasons, I enjoy watching I-AA football, especially when it's playoff time.

Let's hope for '08 Mr. White's suggestion gets implemented - of course, complete with Patriot League teams. In all seriousness, it is very encouraging that folks at EA Sports are finally getting the fact that people want these features.


Anonymous said…
Maybe the combination of football, video games, and a league where the scholar-athletes actually know how to sign their own names is beyond the comprehension of the programmers ;-)

GCW - Lehigh '72

Popular posts from this blog

Remembering Lehigh's Battles With The Late Tubby Raymond

(Photo Credits: Delaware Online)

When I heard the news Tubby Raymond, legendary Delaware head football coach, died last week at the age of 92, two immediate memories came rushing back to me.

One occurred on October 16th, 1999, when Tubby had made a complaint to the local paper or radio in the run-up to Kevin Higgins' Mountain Hawks beating his Blue Hens on Delaware's homecoming, 42-35.

I have no idea if the quote even actually happened, but my recollection is that Tubby said that Lehigh had "St. Bartholomew's" on their schedule, and hadn't played anybody.  It was a verbal jab that many Delaware fans took with them to the stands to heckle the Mountain Hawk fans that made the short trip to Newark.

Up until that point, I had watched a bunch of Lehigh football games over the years.  I experienced their rise in the 1990s.  I enjoyed wins, and championships, and playoff victories.

But never had I felt a win so viscerally vindicating than the one over Tubby Raymond&…

Lehigh Wrestling Gets Superstar Treatment at PPL Center. Lehigh Football Needs The Same At Murray Goodman.

"We knew it would be nice," Lehigh wrestling head coach Pat Santoro said. "But it was even better than we expected."

Pat was talking about the reception his Lehigh wrestling squad experienced at Allentown's PPL Center this weekend, when a sellout crowd over nearly 10,000 people came to watch No. 1 Penn State grapple with No. 5 Lehigh in a collegiate wrestling event.

It was, by all accounts, something special to behold. 

"I thought it was really cool and an exciting place to wrestle," said Penn State wrestler Nick Nevills. "These fans were really into it, a rowdy bunch. It's a lot more fun as an athlete to wrestle in an environment like this. I'd say it was one of the most exciting times I have had in my career."

The sense of spectacle at the PPL center, though, puts a spotlight on what more can be done at Lehigh itself to make their athletic contests into spectacles.  It requires money to be spent and energy to be expended.  But the…

What To Look For On Sunday For the FCS Playoff Pairings

Lehigh are the Patriot League Football Champs, and will be playing in the 1st round of the FCS playoffs.

The FCS Playoff Bracket is going to be revealed on ESPNU at 11:00AM on Sunday on a selection show.  The team will be watching the selections live at the Goosey Gander to find out who they will play, and where.

The chance that Lehigh will host a home playoff game appears to be very slim.  Though record is technically not in consideration for whether a team will host a first-round game, other considerations (the lack of lights, no Noon playoff starts) make it difficult if not impossible to host a playoff game at Murray Goodman unless temporary lights are brought in.

Being that's the case, it seems very likely that Lehigh will be playing somewhere on the road in the 1st round.  Below the flip, I will give the bracket predictions of the experts and three things I think you should watch for during the selection show.