NCAA Football 11 Pre-preview

Submitted by backusduo on April 10th, 2010 at 11:18 AM

It is never too early to begin planning for your NCAA purchase and with the announcement of this year’s cover boy ringing in our ears and the Spring Game one week away I figured the time was right for a pre-preview of the upcoming NCAA Football 11.

Cover Athlete
This year’s cover athlete will be none other than Tim Tebow (Angel choir sings in background at just the mention of his name).  He will be the cover athlete on all systems, unifying the title for the first time since 2008 when undrafted Boise State quarterback Jared Zabransky received that honor.  With this announcement, made this week by EA, Tebow has been making the rounds and this is what he had to say:
Potential NCAA 11 cover

Best part of being cover athlete – “I've been playing this game since I was 6.  But they made so many big changes this year, I needed to find out the secrets before it came out."

Reaction to yourself first time on a video game – “First thing I thought was, I'm faster than that. [laughs] I wanted to call some people and get my speed rating bumped up a little bit.”

Tebow’s burn on the rest of us in answer to how he likes playing himself – “To be honest, I don't actually play as Florida a lot. Even the last four years I haven't played as them too often because they're really good in the game and it's too much of an advantage for whoever is playing as them. Usually we pick lesser teams.”  (I wish I had that same issue playing Michigan, but no one ever complains)

Weirdest combine question – “Whether I'd rather be the quarterback for their team or the governor of Florida”

Video game QB vs. the real thing – “You can always find those plays in every game that work for a touchdown or a big gain all the time and no matter what the defense tries, they can't stop you. Only downfall is sometimes you might cramp up a little on the thumbs.”

Madden 11 designer Donny Moore on Tebow’s upcoming stats – “"Tebow will be the best trucking quarterback in 'Madden' this year, He's not the most elusive, but in terms of breaking tackles and power, he will be able to put down his shoulder and run over a few defenders. A lot of this is fluid, but right now in 'Madden 11,' we have Tebow at 80 speed and 92 acceleration. Trucking, carrying the ball, like I said, he's going to be better than any quarterback coming into the league."

For those whose heart goes paddy pat at the mere mention of Tim Tebow here is the link to the full interview -

New Features 
EA has released few details as of yet, but there is enough information out there to get excited about what we can expect:

Graphic Jump – First screen shots look so good that EA had to come out with a statement confirming that they in no way touched up the pics, and that they were indeed real in-game shots.  You will also notice something that has been glaringly missing in the background.  Pinstripes!  That is right, referees are making a comeback in NCAA ’11.
NCAA 11 screenshot

Improved Realism – Ever complained that this year’s NCAA looks just like last years?  That shouldn’t be the complaint this year.  With linear lighting the feel and look of the fields and players should be a huge upgrade to Madden like quality.  What does it mean?  It means the game will now have shading dynamics based on the time of day.  If it is night the skin, jerseys, and helmets will be shaded appropriately and in the day time have that spring fresh look to them.  It is hard to put into words, but my hope is we get rid of that plastic, shiny, pasty player graphic, and the result is a more believable player look.

Locomotion – Can I get a  Whoo Woooo!  I am ready for this train to leave the station and excited to see its inclusion into the new NCAA.  What it means in short is that 99 Acceleration now means as much as 99 Speed.    If you noticed in years past it was all about running a straight line faster than the defender, (no an occasional zigzag to overcome a faster defender diving does not count).  With the addition of locomotion NCAA will get the power of the burst.  Players with fast acceleration will close on ball carriers and make tackles with their quick acceleration.  Dynamic Short Yardage players ala Forcier against ND -, will be able to make the quick move to fool the over pursuing DE and then turn on the afterburners to outrun safeties. 

Team Playbooks – How frustrating has it been playing NCAA for Michigan fan the last few years?  2 years ago we had a pro-style offense playbook, that didn’t resemble the product on the field in any way, and then last year we had 1 bubble screen and an option playbook that again didn’t resemble anything Michigan was running on the field.  This year is supposed to be improved with Team specific playbooks that closely resemble the on the field product.  Florida has been getting this for years, but finally the rest of us may have it.

Formation Subs – Remember back in the olden days, when the PS on your gaming platform had a 2 that followed it?  There was this little feature that made football just plain better, where you could customize any formation including kick-off teams to maximize your team’s competitive edge.  Well that is finally back after a long hiatus, and no team will benefit more than Michigan.  That means you can set up Denard Robinson to come in automatically anytime you run the Ace-Big formation, or bring in Focier for the Shotgun formation.  It means you can customize your DL to get Campbell and Martin on the field at the same time when you need run stoppage against the dive in a 3-3-5 set.  It means good stuff. 

Release Date
NCAA Football 11 will be hitting the store July 13th.  While it still seems too far away I know, the date has steadily been creeping earlier and earlier in the last few years.  In fact EA has moved the release date earlier in July every year since 2007 when it released on July 18th.  Maybe it only takes 364 days to make a new issue of NCAA hence the change.

In Summary
I know that many of you, like myself, celebrate the release of NCAA like a national holiday.  We work diligently in the months of July and August, while others haven’t even thought of cleaning out their coolers yet, as we put together “The Game Plan.”  I’m not making any guarantees, but if the coaching staff would just glance at “The Game Plan” this year it might just make Michigan a surefire Three-Peat National Championship team.  The plan works, and I can show you my NCAA trophy case if you don’t believe it.  Keep playing, and I’ll see you online.



April 10th, 2010 at 12:15 PM ^

This looks great.

One thing I hope they do is make blocking schemes more realistic. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to run the zone read by reading the DE and realizing he is always blocked. Gaining good yardage off both "QB Wrap" and "Zone Read" is rare and there is nothing to read.
I'd also like it if when you exported players to Madden and draft them, their abilities weren't randomly generated.


April 10th, 2010 at 3:37 PM ^

Yeah, I'm feeling the same - they put all their time into making the game look great, but the blocking schemes in the game are terrible.

EA basically needs to work on improving the play of everything that isn't touching the ball (defensive players tend to stand still if they aren't near the ball, etc).


April 10th, 2010 at 12:59 PM ^

I usually buy a college football preview with roster numbers on the two deep and spend hours in a dark cave entering them to the point of OCD madness. Is there a way I could order a flash drive with the rosters on them from a reliable website? What are some options regarding entering the names in the PS3/Xbox360 era? I have a PS3 if that makes a difference. Help! I don't want to waste my first 10 hours of gameplay debating myself whether I should go ahead and enter the names of backup O linemen for MAC teams.


April 10th, 2010 at 2:18 PM ^

I cannot for the life of me run that offense, I have to go back and use the Boston College(Run heavy/play action) play book to have any chance.

As Tebow said about playing with other teams; even though UM is a B+ team it's an uphill fight when your playing all the cool kids (UF,ALA,LSU,TEX,OSU). At least the game got it right with T.O.'s I'm good for 2 fumbles and a dropped punt a game.

burntorange wi…

April 10th, 2010 at 6:49 PM ^

texas was disappointingly slow compared to other teams. lsu was blazing fast everywhere which made them much more fun to play than texas.

im guessing u dont play online if u cant run the spread =P. speaking of online, ohio state was pathetic as usual against big time schools. pryor was rather realistic and fumbled at least twice a game.


April 11th, 2010 at 6:43 AM ^

I don't play online that much anymore. Most people have the gimick plays figured out (except me damn it!) and I'm sick of playing the same ten teams (see my post above). I do have a first quarter advantage though, they think I'm running the spread but after I run the Iso 6 times and a few play action plays they jiggs up.

burntorange wi…

April 11th, 2010 at 3:32 PM ^

ya i usually pinch dline and crash in with defense on stuff middle if people come out in the I...thats just me tho =P. ya i hate playing against LSU cuz its just roll out with the QB and then either throw or run like hell with rigged speed.

Crime Reporter

April 10th, 2010 at 5:37 PM ^

Otherwise EA isn't getting my money.

But in all seriousness, I have been disappointed with the next gen versions of this game.

While these versions have better options for editing players (one of my favorite aspects of the game) the game itself is clunky.

I went back to my PS2 version from 2007 and it just feels more fluid than any of the Xbox 360 titles I've played. The fact that it took EA this long to reintroduce formation subs and refs on the field is discouraging.

When it comes out, I'm going to read reviews and see what you guys think of it. I will probably get it, but it's a wait and see approach this year.

Thanks for the post.


April 10th, 2010 at 5:29 PM ^

I get more pumped up for this than I do for Madden. I know the game hasn't been the greatest lately, but in July I'll be so hungry for football I'll get it when it comes out and play forever.

burntorange wi…

April 10th, 2010 at 6:54 PM ^

CoJo running away from ohio state defenders haha

IMO, locomotion could be a huge hit or it can ruin the game completely by slowing it down too much. thats my only problem with madden, its too slow.


April 11th, 2010 at 12:56 PM ^

Will they have the luxury boxes on the big house in this years game? I would also like to see the band march the block m across the field before the game, im sick of the "go go go" thing they do.


April 12th, 2010 at 10:43 AM ^

Tebow getting his ass handed to him by the Michigan defense?

Tebow running for his life at the end of the game being chased by a couple of our linemen?

Tebow throwing a hail mary, wounded duck pass out of desperation?

If so - I'm all in!!!!


April 12th, 2010 at 6:17 PM ^

Is this year going to have kickoff return coverage that actually goes where the ball is kicked, rather than running straight down the field? My special teams has given up more points than my defense.