The biggest event of the college football season is drawing near -- the release of NCAA Football 14 -- and EA has released team ratings, via Tradition Sports Online. The Alabama Crimson Tide are predictably good, and the Washington State Cougars are unsurprisingly near the bottom of the conference.
WSU checks in with an 81 overall, which sounds fine because it is out of 99, and that is basically a B-minus. That will totally count towards graduation if this was elective. But this isn't an elective, this is major course, and B-minuses just don't cut it.
That 81 means the Cougs are near the bottom of BCS schools and many solid mid-major programs. That means building WSU up to the a dynasty that wins championships year-after-year will be a difficult task once again.
Offense is the video game strength for WSU. It sneaks in with an 83 and a B in that category. It's barely a B, but it all looks the same on the transcript. As for the defense, well it is roaming dangerously close to C-plus territory with a score of 80.
The rest of the conference has very few surprises.
The Ducks nab a perfect offensive rating (99) and are second with an impressive 92 on defense. That helps them to an easy margin in overall rating (95) over Stanford, USC, and Washington (91). Wonder what it is like to take over a team in a dynasty mode that is already good?
Stanford gets the best defense with a 93 and the Cardinal are among four Pac-12 schools in the defensive nineties.
The Huskies seem to be receiving the most love from EA here, as they are rated higher than the Bruins, despite finishing below them in the standings last season. The folks in charge must have faith that Keith Price will return to form behind a potentially less-injured offensive line (do they actually put that much thought into this)?
Colorado saves the Cougars from being the worst rated team in the Pac-12. Unfortunately, the Buffaloes aren't on the schedule this season. The non-league schedule will offer up the only FBS team with a lower rating than WSU.
Bless you, Vandals. Idaho beats out just two teams on the game, Massachusetts and new-to-FBS Georgia State. UI's atrocious defensive score barely edges GSU to avoid the bottom, almost making its still-bad offensive score look decent. The Vandals would definitely be taking this class again, or switching majors.
Auburn and WSU had the same record last season, but the Tigers get an NCAA 14 score that would put them in the top half of the Pac-12. It's hard to argue, as Auburn continuously brings in recruiting classes near the top 10 and has Gus Mahlzahn back in charge of a previously moribund offense.
WSU will be favored in rating in just two games on the schedule as gamers start their dynasties. Coug fans may feel the need to protest, but there isn't really any other team that should fall below them right now.
Check out the table below to find the best teams to either improve strength of schedule or nab a gimme win.
|North Carolina State||84||84||85|
|San Diego State||84||84||83|
|New Mexico State||65||68||65|