Get in the game: NCAA 12

AddThis

With improvements in run blocking, running backs should have an easier time getting yards on the ground than they did in the past.
With improvements in run blocking, running backs should have an easier time getting yards on the ground than they did in the past.

Ladies and gentlemen, this will be my last column for a few weeks.

I’ve got some NCAA to play.

EA Sports’ college football franchise came out this morning at midnight — yes, I was in line to get it — meaning that today and for the rest of the week, college football junkies worldwide will spend their days doing absolutely nothing but this. I’ve been playing this beautiful game for 10 years and it has simultaneously given me poor grades, a disinteresting social life (unless you’re talking about online play) and no sleep. All in good fun.

Fans will be excited about the retooled tackling system, as well as a coach mode that allows you to start out as an offensive or defensive coordinator and work your way up. You can even give some players Rastafarian dreads. Of course, players come with names such as QB No. 7 and WR No. 1, so if you want to make things more realistic you can download roster updates or, if you can’t wait a week for those to come out, you can do it yourself.

The Longhorns are ranked No. 22 in the game (Oklahoma is No. 1) and I thought it would be interesting to simulate the 2011 season, just to see how folks outside Austin thought the rebuilding year would go.

After setting the depth chart — had to redshirt Marquise Goodwin, move Alex Okafor back to defensive end, and slide Adrian Phillips over to corner, among minor changes — I pressed “sim to year” and held my breath.

In this simulated world, Texas won its first game against Rice 35-0. Garrett Gilbert threw for 280 yards and three touchdowns, Malcolm Brown scored twice on the ground, Mike Davis caught seven balls for 150 yards and two touchdowns, and the defense held Rice’s offense to 222 yards of total offense.

Pretty sure Texas fans will take that come fall.

But they probably wouldn’t like this. The final record turned out to be 7-6 after the Longhorns had lost the Texas Bowl to the old foe Nebraska. Final score of that game? Texas, 16. Nebraska, 63. Ouch.

If this is really starting to get you worried, find solace in the fact that Ohio State’s tattooed (ex) quarterback Terrelle Pryor won the simulated Heisman Trophy — and that’s definitely not happening.