When it comes to video games, EA Sports’ annual installments of NCAA Football is my weakness. Every year, in July, the new NCAA Football game will be released – and I’ll be there at midnight to buy it. That will be the case this year again. This year, however, I decided to start blogging about video games, so you can expect to see a lot of posts from now to July 12 about this game.
From now ’til July 12, I’ll be posting multiple different blogs talking about things such as my favorite features in this year’s game, my favorite teams to potentially play with, and everything in between.
Today, we get started with one of my favorite features (I will be counting these down from the “sort of excited for” to “Wow, I can’t wait another second for”). This feature is custom conferences.
If you’ve played the game in the past, you know that custom conferences have been around for a long time, as an aside before beginning your dynasty. However, you also would know (maybe having experimented with the feature in the past, like I have) that it has been greatly flawed.
These past couple summers of mass conference realignment has cleared things up for me, spelling out how this feature really should work. I’m here to say that at first glance of videos, updates from the creators, and screenshots, I think they’ve gotten it right.
First, let me point out that I have liked every year they’ve done the “minor” conference realignment based on merit within your dynasty. So, if I’m really successful with Notre Dame as an Independent school, then I might get offers from the Big East, Big Ten or ACC to join their conference, while other schools are being demoted if I accept the transfer.
So, for example, I’m in a dynasty with Notre Dame, and the Big Ten comes calling. They want to replace Northwestern with Notre Dame. Northwestern has had some bad seasons, and I’ve had some really good ones. So, obviously, they’d want me. You could accept this invite, and be in the conference the next year, or you could deny and stay where you are. You could also climb up the ranks with lower schools, unlike Notre Dame. So I have SMU in Conference USA, and I’ve been so good that the Big East, or maybe just the Mountain West has come calling.
While I’m sure they’ll keep this feature in the game this year, I am pleased with the additions, pre-set-up dynasty they’ve made. Now, you can create whatever conference you want. (By the way, the real life conference will be updated for this game).
So say you want the old school Big 8 conference, you can make it! Or – much more my style – say you want an ultimate Super-Conference, you can! You want the top 16 teams in the game in the same conference for some reason? Make it happen!
In older versions of the game, you could only use custom conference to swap one-for-one. So if you want TCU in the Pac 10 (where they belong), then you would, in the past, have to swap out a current Pac 10 team for them. For example, TCU would go to the Pac 10, and Washington State would go to the Mountain West.
In this year’s game, however, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. You have total control before you start a dynasty to add teams to any conference, or demote teams to other conference. If you want Conference USA to be the best conference in America, you can make it that way. If you want to see what a Pac 16 or Big 16 would look like, then you can do that.
Like real life league commissioners, you have the power to change the names of divisions in conferences of 12 or more teams. You have a 16 team Big East conference and want 6 teams in the “Tony Dorsett” division and 6 others in the “Doug Flutie” division – do it! That’s one of the best parts of this feature – your ability to use creativity.
But don’t just limit yourself to one conference. You can change all of them. Want Texas to go Independent? Do it. But you also want TCU, Utah and Boise State in the Pac 10? No problem.
Also unique about this feature is your ability to do the really small things that make a conference special. Conference title game? Where? You pick. Want to protect certain rivalries like Ohio State-Michigan although they are in opposing divisions? Do it. Want your conference to have night games in November? Or do you want them to be all day games? You make the decision.
Something that is attached with this feature is the ability to change more in your dynasty set up. You can change automatic qualifiers. So say you want Conference USA to be the best conference in all of college football? You can do that. But you want to make sure those teams get automatic qualifiers to the Rose Bowl Game – you can make that happen.
Even if conferences are left alone, you can make the MAC and WAC meet as automatic qualifiers in the Rose Bowl. Pretty cool right?
And this is only the first feature I’ll be talking to you about. Stay tuned.