The country is in an unprecedented state during the coronavirus outbreak and the sports world is no different. It seems like just yesterday that the Pac-12 men’s basketball tournament was cancelled and it seems like just hours ago that they announced the winter championships and spring sports seasons have also been cancelled.
As we all come to grips with what that means from a sports watching standpoint but also navigate our new world among school closures, work stoppages and potential lockdowns in our areas, we as sports journalists are arguably more important than ever. And with that in mind, we decided to take a look at the next sport that should be available for us to prepare for, preview, watch and just simply discuss: football.
While spring practices have been cancelled, that is currently the only real blemish on football during this outbreak as the NFL ‘legal tampering period’ went off with a boom on Monday. Football should be back up and running (as well as all other fall sports) when the time comes, but since we’re so far away from August, what better way to discuss football than to relive and recreate the 2019 football season by playing through the year on EA Sports’ NCAA Football 14 as we prepare for 2020.
Today we will kick off the 2019 NCAA football season in retrospect, allowing for different storylines to appear from our current reality and building off those new realities into a new 2020 offseason full of stories. Each team will start the year at 0-0. Each team will have equal chance to win their conference championship while possessing the equal opportunity to win the national title.
This idea, originally crafted over at Pacific Takes, will coincide with weekly, daily posts here on BN. And so, with that in mind, here are the rules, as I laid them out on PT:
1. We’ll start off with updated rosters, up to the last week of the 2019 regular season.
— These rosters will have each player named, adjusted to height, weight, hometown (as best they can), class, etc. and will even adjust to players who sat out or earned a redshirt last year.
— These rosters have been adjusted to the year’s end statistics and level of play as judged by me and from my time from PFF, i.e. Joe Burrow is the only 99 overall quarterback, Penei Sewell is the pinnacle of offensive linemen, Ja’Marr Chase is ridiculously good, and so on, and so forth (if you have questions, or want to see more rosters, just DM me or comment below).
2. We’ll attempt to recreate schedules to as close as possible with the real 2019-20 schedules but will allow default non-conference matchups to take place as scheduling games in NCAA Football 14 is a nightmare.
— In some instances, it would be impossible to create a perfect schedule because we’re still playing with Idaho as one of the 130 FBS schools and as such, will have 12 mismatched games (at minimum).
3. We will be simulating non-conference games and non-Pac-12 games and allowing the results to speak for themselves while also documenting the week’s top players, best games, star moments, etc.
4. We will also be simulating recruiting for all but the Pac-12 as we’ll be attempting to recreate the recruiting classes that have signed on the dotted line for all Pac-12 schools in 2020.
5. The difficulty is set to All-American with some adjustments to the sliders to help make the game play a little bit more realistic but also winnable (i.e. CPU interceptions lowered a bit so the MLB doesn’t make a random play on the ball 20+ yards downfield away from his coverage zone on a wide-open throw; can you tell that’s happened to me before?!). If you’re interested in these sliders, just ask to see them.
6. Expect to see full detailed game previews, game recaps, Heisman updates, Top 25 reactions, and just about every other weekly, daily piece from this season as you would during a regular season, in real life.
7. This is being played on a Playstation 3, on EA Sports’ NCAA Football 14 and if the popularity deems it appropriate, we will start an online dynasty with up to 11 other people, so get your copies of the game ready to go!
So join along as we relive and recreate the 2019 UCLA football season during this sports hiatus. Also, be sure to check out Pacific Takes during this time as we’ll discuss all things Pac-12 in this recreation. In doing so, we’ll prepare for and dissect all things college football in 2020.
This will be just for fun, comments and the like are encouraged as we all cope with our new reality that virtual reality is the best way to watch sports this spring.
Bruins Nation, now is the time that you tell me — who to start and sit, what to avoid from last year and what pitfalls Chip Kelly suffered from last year. Let’s go out there and win this 2019 National Title.