This is maaaaybe premature there, ESPN. Maryland #1 FWIW.
With the World Cup finished, NBA free agency winding down, the second half of baseball underway, and The Open looking like a one-man race, the sports calendar has finally hit a dead spot. Just six weeks from today the college football season begins in earnest, but an old staple of this time of year is missing this year.
For about the past decade, I remember counting the days until mid-July for the release of the year's new EA Sports video game about the sport we love most hear: NCAA Football. Obviously with the O'Bannon lawsuit and pay for players debate raging throughout the country, it's unclear when the series will return. I would expect some wholesale reform in college football that allows for a return of sanctioned video games someday, but for now we are stuck with last year's version. The relief of all this is that we zealots retain $60 rather than buying what's usually a highly similar product with a fresh coat of paint and new rosters. Yet, I will miss popping in the new game all the same.
What does the (for now) death of the series mean to college football and its fans this year? Some may return to past entries, but the appeal of letting EA Sports setting up mostly analagous schedules and rosters will certainly scare many away from this avenue.
Also, I hope to find some fresh roster update on the internet in the coming weeks, but this year that is exceedingly more challenging as it involves not only tracking down the correct players and inputting names, but projecting both improvements and new players. Is anyone crazy enough to do this, probably not for the whole game (yikes) but perhaps just for Michigan or even the Big Ten?
NCAA says it was ok to use real names as long as the jersey numbers were imaginary. I'm starting to think the NCAA are some shady folks....
While this is not necessarily a total death blow (user customized conferences could hypothetically "fix" it), I'd have to imagine this makes another EA college football game even less likely, considering the already poor financial state of the franchise and the momentum against it.
Rather than visiting multiple sites to check out all of the reviews for NCAA football 11, check out metacritic.com. All of the reviews in one place...it looks like it is going to be a must get this year.
Hope this is helpful!
As if we haven't already discussed this, but another set of opinions on how to divide the Big Ten and PAC-Ten into divisions.
Please, please, please let football season start!
The demo for NCAA 2011 dropped this morning for 360 and PS3. Thought I'd share while downloading. There are 8 playable teams in the demo, to give a feel for all the different types of offenses. Match-ups are: Miami vs OSU, Oklahoma vs Texas, Clemson vs Mizzou, and Florida vs Florida State. I think I'm going to play with the U first. Demo includes four two minute quarters. I'll post my impressions after I play. Also, they are allowing everyone to unlock the Nike Pro-Combat uniforms for all the teams included by playing as them and winning in the demo, the uniforms will then be unlocked for you when you play the retail version coming July 13th. Here's to a month of playing the hell out of the demo.