Over the weekend we ran a post about a sim of UW's season using NCAA 14. It had the Huskies going 11-3 and winning the Rose Bowl. We've asked UW Dawg Pound's #1 commenter Lear Pilot to discuss that with us a bit.
AC: What's your background with EA games? Have you played this year's version, and what are some quick thoughts on it
LP: I have been playing EA Sports NCAA Football since the 1999 version of the game. I have owned every yearly version of the game, except for NCAA 13, the first time I skipped a year (but I did keep playing NCAA 12).
My wife bought me NCAA 14 for Father's Day, Amazon was kind enough to deliver it on the 9th as expected. I LOVE the game play enhancements, the reworked lighting (finally uniforms don't look faded) and all of the little enhancements (faster load times, more stats graphics).
Unfortunately it also appears the game is filled with the usual quantity of bugs. The Huskies are just one of many teams that have gray facemasks, which completely destroys how the uniforms look. I had no expectation for the New Husky Stadium to be in the game (EA always seems to take longer to get new stadiums in), but did they really have to screw up the endzones? Since when did Husky Stadium ever have all white lettering??
AC: Yeah, I agree that the gameplay is much improved. It feels like the first time they've ever pumped up that aspect and then I put the game in and actually see what they're talking about. It's not just a rehash of the past year with a few tweaks, it's a legitimate update.
Onto the sim: the biggest point of contention seemed to be that the Huskies lost by 22 to the Broncos in the Husky stadium unveiling. Do you see that as a possibility, and what would your reaction be if real life were to play out in a similar fashion?
LP: You got to love college football, because ANYTHING is possible. Given your previous post and the comments about Price having a bad year, I could easily see a few bad turnovers and the game getting out of hand. My reaction? Everybody on the blog knows me well enough by know, I'd be irate, furious, words just can't do it justice. I'd want Sark's head on a platter, probably even Woodward's, unless he grabbed Chris Petersen, took him to the bowels of the new stadium and in Godfather fashion "made him an offer he couldn't refuse". Let's just say, I would probably need a day or two to cool off before checking the blog. I wouldn't actually call for Sark's head after just one game, but his seat would go from hot to hellfire hot.
AC: A lot of the wins in the sim are nail biters. I know you're all about "put up or shut up" but do style points count? Obviously you'd like to win them all by 50, but would winning a bunch of tough games be a little bit annoying?
LP: It would definitely be annoying, but I'd gladly take the wins. I vividly remember the 2000 season and I found most of the games annoying, not because they were close, but because WE let the games be close. It's great to constantly win close games, but it's not a good sign when you constantly make mistakes that let the other team keep it close. Given the scores from the sim, it looks like the defense was doing their job, but it was another year of the offense struggling. If Price were to perform like the sim, I'd be very annoyed. Fortunately, I think that is the one part the sim got wrong. I can't see any way Price doesn't complete 60% or better of his passes.
AC: And the losses: on the one hand they're to three good teams, but on the other some people are calling games like Oregon and Boise State must wins this season, regardless of the rest of the season's results. Where do you come down on this?
LP: As much as I would hate losing to Oregon AGAIN, I like that all three losses are to good teams. A trademark of the Sark Era has been winning a game or two that we shouldn't have, but also losing a game or two we never should have lost. I'd be pretty satisfied to make it through a season with no blow out losses and no losses to crappy teams.
AC: On a scale of 1-10, how happy would you be with this kind of season?
LP: Having not seen the games and just going off of scores, it's a bit hard to pick a number, but I'd probably go with 8-9. I would be thrilled with the overall record, the conference championship and the Rose Bowl win. The loss to Boise State is questionable. If BSU ended the season with 1-2 losses, ok, no big deal. But if they had 4 losses, then it looks like we still have the one game per year we lose to an inferior team. Overall, I would consider it a great season, a great sign that the program was headed in the right direction and Sark would deserve a contract extension.
AC: So overall, how realistic do you see this sim potentially being? Is it something that you could envision happening, or is it a little far fetched?
LP: I think it is a very real possibility. That's why college football is great, we could win 11 games this season, or we could win 6, both are likely scenarios. By the looks of the sim scores, it appears the offense took most of the season to get with the program, but by the end of the season they started playing up to expectations. The defense appears to have done a pretty good job all season long. If Price is able to recover mentally from the abuse he took last season, I see that as a strong possibility. Overall, it's most definitely within the realm of possibility. If I were a betting man, I'd take the under, but not by much.