COLUMBIA — It's early July, which means a few things are currently a reality: news is pretty slow, college football season is fast approaching, and, you guessed it, the newest edition of NCAA Football 14 is about to come out.
By TEREZ A. PAYLOR
The Kansas City Star
So, for my video-game playing readers, I decided to fire off an email to Brad Hilderbrand, a communication specialist for EA Sports, to find out the answers to a few Mizzou-related questions regarding this newest edition of one of the gaming giant's most profitable products. Specifically, I figured MU fans would want to know if the new FieldTurf, which was installed before last season, would actually be in the game this year. I also asked for some player ratings and whether the Memorial Stadium renovations would make it in (i.e. the renovated west-side press box and larger north end zone concourse) for this version.
Hilderbrand then got me in touch with NCAA Football 14 producer Ben Haumiller, who answered the above questions email form. Here are his responses.
TP: Is Missouri's new FieldTurf design in the game this year?
BH: Yes, the FieldTurf design in the game has been updated to match what Missouri used last season.
TP: There is currently construction going on at Faurot Field - the Rock M in the end zone is being moved closer to the field and the press box is being expanded. Will those changes be in the game?
BH: Unfortunately the updates to Faurot Field will not be in NCAA Football 14. It's our policy to not create stadium updates in the game until the work on the real-world stadium is complete. We had issues in the past where the final results did not match the creative art we were given, so in order to ensure total accuracy we hold off until the changes are complete and construction has finished.
TP: Is it possible to get a list of the ratings for Missouri's top 20 players or so? I know the top 10 ratings are out there but I was hoping I could expand a little.
BH: There are no real-life players in NCAA Football 14, so on the default rosters generic players are rated in such a way that they reflect the overall identity of a team. So with Mizzou you'll see a lot of speedy backs and receivers who can effectively run the Option and execute in an up-tempo offense.
So yes to the FieldTurf, no to the renovations and no to the list of ratings. Fortunately for gamers, the complete list of uniform options and overall ratings for each team's ten best players are already out there. For those who don't want to click the latter link, there's the list:
HB #20 (Henry Josey): 93
CB #31 (E.J. Gaines): 90
LOLB #48 (Andrew Wilson): 90
WR #85 (Marcus Lucas): 87
WR #2 L'Damian Washington: 87
WR #15 (Dorial Green-Beckham): 87
LE #52 (Michael Sam): 86
WR #8 (Darius White): 86
LT #68 (Justin Britt): 85
FS #9 (Braylon Webb): 84
I found this pretty interesting. Though Haumiller said there are no real-life players in the game (and of course he did, with this hanging out there), I couldn't help but notice some striking similarities between the nameless players and the real-life Tigers. Crazy, I know. But assuming they tried to make the rosters as accurate as possible, I feel compelled to point out that LOLB #48 (Andrew Wilson) should actually be playing in the middle. Also, I suspect Kony Ealy (or, excuse me, RE #47) may prove that he deserves to be rated somewhere in the top 10 come fall. Don't count out James Franklin (QB #1), Matt Hoch (DT #89) or C Evan Boehm (OC #77), either.
I'll also be interested to see if White, who was listed as a third-team player on the pre-spring depth chart, and Webb, who has experience but will be counted on to make more plays this season, can play up to their ratings.
Anyway, NCAA Football comes out on Tuesday, July 9. Happy gaming, folks.
To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to email@example.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/TerezPaylor.