EA Sports dropped a bomb on the gaming world when it announced the return of NCAA Football under its new title – EA College Football. While the return of the game may not be as immediate as the cult, I mean the community wants it’s a return we’ve been waiting for since 2013. And since 2013 the college football world has changed drastically, bringing about huge changes to the game. For starters, the College Football Playoff is a must have when the game makes its return. The latest version, NCAA Football 2014, has users stuck in the BCS era and desperately needs to give users the ability to edit the end of year championship. For starters, a four team playoff with the option for expansion to six, eight or 16 team playoff, just in case things change soon.
Additionally, the transfer portal is a must have for EA College Football. The transfer portal has turned into college football free agency and should play a big role in the College Football offseason. EA should introduce two offseason recruiting periods, one for incoming freshmen and one for JUCO and transfer portal players. Hiding a JUCO gem or transfer portal player in with 500 freshman recruits is no longer realistic, leading to its own recruiting period. In years past EA has allowed players to transfer but an update on which players, upperclassmen, transfer the most is much needed. If your team has a five-star quarterback riding the bench they will most likely transfer and I hope the game reflects this trend.
While we’re on the topic of players leaving – top players don’t stay for four years. Maybe every once in a while, but most players leave after three years. I would like to see this play a role in the upcoming game. If I have the top quarterback in the nation he would most likely leave for the draft but in NCAA Football 14 I was more likely to have my 6th round fullback declare for the draft than my No. 1 pick quarterback. Also, if your big-time running back or receiver has a big year they would most likely leave, even if they are a third or fourth round projection.
With more players transferring and declaring EA should also increase the rosters size. I never understood why the rosters were limited to 70 instead of 85 but it is time to correct the error. With the roster expansion and correcting small errors – why can’t we have duplicate numbers? I want my star quarterback and top defensive back to be able to wear seven and it really should not be an issue. I should also be able to decide how many games my players play. If I want my backup quarterback to play four games and redshirt I should have that option without having to update a depth chart every week or losing him for the entire season.
Here’s another crazy idea, give us the historic teams we missed out on for the past eight years. I want to run 2019 Alabama with Tua, Henry Ruggs, Jerry Jeudy, DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle. Or how about the fact that 2019 LSU was one of the greatest teams of all-time and were never in a game? Or that Lamar Jackson would have been the most dangerous player in NCAA Football history and we missed the chance to use him or Kyler Murray in the game. The fix? All-time rosters for each team featuring star players we missed out on.
My favorite feature of NCAA Football was always taking a small school and turning them into a powerhouse in Dynasty mode and then taking over for Nick Saban at Alabama when he retired. I think I speak for everyone when I say we still need a dynasty mode but how about the ability to actually hire your coaching staff? I want to fill my vacancy at offensive coordinator, not have the computer do it! I want the option to start my coaching career as a quarterback coach and work my way up the ranks to take over a program. When I eventually turn South Alabama into the best program in the nation I should also have the option of making facility updates. When I’ve won my third straight national title I’m going to need to expand Hancock Whitney Stadium to accommodate the 100,000 Jaguar fans in Mobile, AL.
EA also used to give us the option to dictate what our offense would look like and I don’t mean building my own playbook, but we’re going to need that back too. I mean I want control over how much I run the ball, how often my backup running back is used and how often my 3rd and 4th receiver are targeted. If I want to be the 2013 Wisconsin and split carries between three running backs I should have that option. Or if I want my running back to put up Derrick Henry high school stats and carry the ball 400 times that should be my decision.
With the team control I should also be able to build and add teams to my dynasty mode. Not replace. ADD. NBA2K has a great teambuilder mode and EA should bring something similar to College Football. Custom uniforms, stadiums, fields and rosters would be amazing but it’s something EA has never really put much effort into. And with the ever changing landscape of college football we need the option to add these created schools instead of replacing current schools. Maybe, just maybe, be able to add them to a created conference too?
Another great aspect of college football is the different personalities that come with each game. If EA could partner with ESPN/ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX I would be in heaven. Having my game scheduled for ABC at 8 pm with Herbie and Fowler calling the game or 2:30 on CBS for the SEC would be a nice adjustment – but also could be ridiculously expensive for EA to do. But I still think it would be dope to have Gus Johnson yelling at me for the Big Noon Kickoff.
The biggest issue that EA has faced over the years is having real players in the game. This is something that is sure to take care of itself with Name Image Likeness coming before the game is set to launch in two to three years. If all else fails, I’m good with using RB. 22 at Alabama to carry my team and relying on the gamer community to update and share rosters online, like I’ve been doing since the first year the game was available online.