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4-Team Playoff? Better Than Nothin’

It isn’t finalized yet, but everything looks good and it looks like college football actually gets to have a playoff.  4 teams may not seem like a lot, but it’s definitely better than having a computer select the national championship.  I didn’t find the LSU-Bama rematch boring because I like seeing defenses go at it, but to others it was a lullaby.  What does this 4-team playoff do?  If it were implemented last year, it would have allowed teams like Oklahoma State, who many thought were snubbed, vie for a spot in that championship game by playing either of those teams in the 1st playoff game.  Oklahoma State’s passing attack would’ve been a good match-up vs the Bama D, but who would have won?  The world may never know *cue Tootsie Pop owl*.

I really like the idea just because it opens possibilities up.  Now being a team with one loss doesn’t necessarily put you out of the National ‘ship, you just really gotta work your ass off to get there, which you’ll have to do regardless.  Maybe the NCAA just wanted the fans to shut up, but it was obviously due for a change.   I think in a few years once the revenue begins to flow in, they’ll expand it to an 8-team format.  Now that we’ve seen a playoff, will we see paid players?

Strategy vs Rating?

Seems to be an age-old question in sports games:  Strategy vs rating?  Some people say that ratings go into developing a strategy, and while this is true, they are still two completely different aspects of how you look at the game.  First just some background as to what strategy and ratings are.

What is strategy?  According to Merriam-Webster, strategy is “the art of devising or employing plans or stratagems toward a goal.”  Why did I give you the definition of strategy?  Because there is more than one strategy you can employ at a time, which is something you should never forget.

What is a rating?  No need for a formal definition here, a rating in NCAA is how the players rank best to worst.  Now there are multiple ratings in NCAA, but we’re going to focus on the overall rating.  Why?  Because the other ratings that go into determining your overall, are the ratings that go into devising a strategy.

In NCAA, the answer is pretty simple: Strategy over ratings any day of the week.  Sorry guys, but ratings just don’t cut it the same way a strategy can.  Now I am in no way saying I could use UL Lafayette(no offense) and beat someone using Bama.  While it could happen against someone with no prior knowledge or use of a gaming controller, I don’t see it happening because Bama is too good.  You need to have a balance of ratings along with strategy, therefore letting certain specific ratings effect how you play.  Having a QB with a good arm along with a tall WR with good CIT(Catch in Traffic) and Catch ratings, you could work on user catching and make plays down field.  A fast QB with decent accuracy and one of those small agile HBs, and you could have yourself a nice option attack mixed with some quick screens to really piss someone off, including me.

Just some quick pointers to think about:

  • If you’re going to be passing, make sure you try to center something around your QB.  Having four tall, fast receivers is great, but when you don’t have a QB who can get the ball to them, what does it matter?
  • Offensive line is important, don’t overlook it.
  • Receivers REALLY need to know how to catch.

What To Look For In NCAA 13

NCAA 13 is only a few months around the corner.  Now, while it isn’t as popular as its EA Sports counterpart, Madden, NCAA is still an awesome game.  What Madden lacks in gameplay and originality, NCAA makes up for.  Now don’t get offended, I like Madden too, but in my opinion, NCAA is just a far better game.  Ever since the Next-gen switch, the NCAA development team has seemed to use their time wisely.  This may be one of the first years I don’t play Madden due to the blunder that was Madden 12.

With that mini rant out of the way, here’s just some of what EA has released about the upcoming NCAA 13:

  • 400+ new catching animations
  • All new passing trajectories.  Possibly one of my favorite new features as more of a passer than a runner.  I always wanted to be able to put it where my receiver could make a play, or no play would be made.  Sadly, that didn’t always happen, resulting in more interceptions than I would have liked, but I chalk it up as learning experience. With the addition of trajectories, now you’re able to put the ball in the best place for your receiver to make a play.
  • New audio from actual team crowds allowing you to experience the gridiron like never before.  24 new school chants added.  Teams include: Florida State, Oregon State, WVU, Boise St., UGA, Pitt, Penn St., and Notre Dame just to name a few.
  •  New Progressive Lighting.  Are you one of those people who notices that even after halftime, the lighting looks no different?  Not anymore, the new progressive lighting allows for actual time lapse after each play.
  • New Defensive AI system, which is probably the best new feature so far.   In previous years, DB’s would basically run stride for stride with your receiver, not look at the QB, know when the ball was thrown, and would easily be able to make a play that was 10-15 yards away.  With the new defensive AI, the NCAA Dev. team hopes to change that with their new Read & React system.  Basically, the defender has to see the ball to make a play on it, giving more significance to defender ratings other than the speedbig hit, and  tackle ratings.  This means that you’ll actually be able to use a playaction pass without worrying about being eaten up on 2nd & 2 by a blitz, and having every blitzer go straight for the QB.  Pump fakes have also been revamped and can prove deadly when used at the right time.
  • Disguised coverage.  Something that was on the PS2/XBOX version of Madden and NCAA was the ability to play zone, but have your DB line up on his corresponding receiver.  That has returned, and for the first time, is on Next-gen.

These are just a few of the features that EA has released so far, but what great features they are.  This makes for a more tactical and strategic game of NCAA, which most of us will like.  As the QB, you’ll actually have to read the defense and make plays depending on what you’re opponent does and how he likes to play.  NCAA seems to step it up every year, and this year is no different.  NCAA 13 is released on July 10th, Pre-Order it NOW