clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Let’s Try That Again (Virtually)

New, 26 comments

Reliving most of Vanderbilt’s football history is scary, but maybe it can be better in a video game!

Vanderbilt v Mississippi State
Derek Mason probably wishes he had the chance to redo some of his decisions.
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

With all sports cancelled and most people under varying degrees of “shelter-in-place” orders, many teams and fan sites are turning to e-sports to attempt to replace the actual on-field/court/ice product. College sports games have unfortunately been dead since NCAA 14 released in July 2013. For college basketball fans, the last title was NCAA Basketball 10 from November 2009. Oh, and college baseball actually did have its own game for 2 years when MVP Baseball 06 and 07 were released. The point is that we do not have a current version of the game to turn to for any Vanderbilt teams. Thankfully, NCAA 14 still has a very strong following along with the ability to upload roster files for others to use. These were originally used to add real player names and tweak EA’s sometimes-suspect player ratings. This feature now serves as the best way to approximate the current college football climate – assuming the folks uploading the rosters can be remotely fair and accurate.

Having used the feature for years, the community at Operation Sports has been my go-to for updated rosters. They do not have the 2020-21 rosters available for obvious reasons. However, at the suggestion of denverdore (and spurred my own bravado), I am going to undertake playing NCAA 14 through some sort of series. Unfortunately, due to the game not being available on either PS4 or Xbox One, I lack the equipment to stream gameplay, whether live or recorded. Instead, game recaps will be used to relay what happened. You may think that sounds lame to read, but this is going to be a bit of a “Choose Your Own Adventure” mixed with “How hard can you make games for me?” To that end, each post will have poll(s) where decisions will be made collectively AND comments with ideas that get a lot of recs will be considered for use. All 3 polls are at the bottom below the descriptions, and they will be open until 11:59 PM on Friday night. The intention is to set things up and have one more set of polls Saturday and Sunday once I have the roster and schedule set to play the game for the first recap to go up Monday or Tuesday. I will likely do a recap and polls for every game and try to have 2 recaps per week (likely Monday and Thursday) going forward.

The first decision is what season should I try to navigate? Be warned that I am not going through the effort to use a hex editor to alter the conference games in my save file. EA Sports “locked” conference games, and they also have the SEC playing 7 conference games with an enforced game against 2 Big XII opponents (Missourah and aTm). The rosters will be from whichever season is chosen, but the conference schedule will look a lot like 2013. I am going to cut 2013 out and restrict it to only Mason’s seasons.

Next, what should I do with the OOC games? Should the schedule be as true to reality as possible, designed to get 3 rent-a-wins (please do not make me do this because beating an FCS team by 1000 is no fun for me), be as difficult as possible, or be engineered to maximize recruiting (very difficult but lots of home games late in season, which is unrealistic)?

Finally, how should I approach in-game decisions? Should I try to replicate Mason’s decisions (like QB carousels) with the intent of making them work? Should I try to make better decisions within the general approach and schemes of the real-life coaches for that season? Should I try to do a “What would Franklin have done?” scenario? Or do I go full rogue and do whatever the hell I want with the roster I have?

Poll

Which roster should I use?

This poll is closed

  • 19%
    2014 (Mason’s year 1)
    (15 votes)
  • 2%
    2015
    (2 votes)
  • 14%
    2016
    (11 votes)
  • 2%
    2017
    (2 votes)
  • 39%
    2018
    (30 votes)
  • 21%
    2019
    (16 votes)
76 votes total Vote Now

Poll

What does the OOC schedule look like?

This poll is closed

  • 53%
    Close to Reality
    (41 votes)
  • 18%
    3 Rent-A-Wins
    (14 votes)
  • 14%
    Death March
    (11 votes)
  • 13%
    All About the ‘Croots
    (10 votes)
76 votes total Vote Now

Poll

How should I approach decision-making?

This poll is closed

  • 19%
    Repeat and Overcome Mason’s Decisions
    (15 votes)
  • 20%
    Better Decisions but Same Style
    (16 votes)
  • 37%
    What would James Franklin do?
    (29 votes)
  • 22%
    ROGUE!
    (17 votes)
77 votes total Vote Now