Earlier today EA Sports announced the popular college football series would be returning. The last game came out in 2013 with former Michigan QB Denard Robinson on the cover. Over the last decade, it has been popular for fans to continue to play. Fans have updated rosters over the years to play with current players and some have even figured out how to put a playoff system into the game. I wanted to take a look at some potential features of the upcoming game. EA Sports has said it will not be released for a few years so we can project some ideas.
Let’s start off with an easy one, the transfer portal. No game is going to be complete without a transfer portal. The ability to go into the transfer portal and add players who have left their previous school is going to be a huge addition and great for the players who like starting at small colleges and building them up to be powerhouses. Players would love the opportunity to be the coach at Middle Tennessee State and then add former players from Alabama or Georgia who are not getting playing time or want to be closer to home. There will also be strategy involved for players who are coaching top tier schools because they will have players inevitably enter the transfer portal.
Another obvious one is going to be the College Football Playoffs. Since the last edition of the game, the playoffs have been put into place. A feature that would an interesting add would be the ability to expand the playoffs to a number of your choosing. Even expanding to 8, 12, or 16 would be an excellent feature. EA Sports had a small video when players were selected for the Heisman, so I could see them adding in one for the weekly College Football Playoff rankings show.
With how the landscape of college football has changed, I would like to see a feature with coaching salaries and a budget for coaches. If you have a bad position coach, you can fire him or if he is good, then a bigger school can pick him up or give him a promotion. Your school could also set your budget of how much you can spend on your assistants. 10 years ago, assistant coaches were not making nearly as much as they are now. Some coordinators at power five schools are making more than head coaches in the MAC or Sun Belt.
Past games had slight abilities to do conference realignment, but when the next version of the game is released, a full conference realignment would be an interesting idea. Being able to completely mash up the conferences and put USC, Penn State, and LSU in a conference would create chaos, and everyone loves chaos in college football. Along with rearranging conferences, playing at a group of five school and having sustained success should lead to moving to a larger conference. This would give schools such as UCF and Cincinnati the chance to play in the ACC or Big 12 should one of them come calling.
A feature that would be polarizing, but could make the game much more exciting would be given options in recruiting to break the rules but risk getting caught. Imagine going after a five star recruit who could be an instant impact on your team as a freshman. When you are recruiting him, he asks for $10,000 in a McDonald’s bag. If you say no, you have almost no chance to get him. Should you say yes, there is a chance you get caught and hit with penalties such as scholarship losses, post season ban, or even fired.
One subtle difference between the last version and the future one is the name difference. EA Sports used to call the series NCAA Football, but in their announcement, they called it College Football. It could be a re-branding, but there is also a chance they are changing the game in its entirety. As more information comes out, we will learn which side of the spectrum the game is on.
Now that we have an announcement from EA Sports that their college football series is returning, now is the time for us to day dream about how much time we are going to waste playing the game. Who is the first team you are going to play with in your dynasty mode? What changes do you want to see made in the series? Make sure to leave a comment below!