The changes to NCAA Football '14 have been done so in order to provide a more realistic experience for players. The Huskies will be rated as a 91 overall, a 91 on offense and a 90 on defense, and is that realistic? Based on recent results and compared to what some other teams are rated these numbers seem a bit high (Oregon State and Arizona State, for instance, both go 84/86/83 while Stanford is a 91/91/93), but on further inspection they may not actually be that outlandish.
For one, the Huskies, despite their somewhat underwhelming results of late, have a team that has been recruited well and is very talented at most positions. The 2013 team could start somewhere around 15 or so players who were given 4 stars or better by either Rivals or Scout, and that's not counting any players the incoming freshman class who could crack the lineup.
Second, if you break down the units individually you can kind of get to where EA did in terms of their numerical evaluations. Offensively, the Huskies have the hands-down-nobody-else-is-even-close best tight end in the country, one of the top 2 or 3 wideouts in the conference in Kasen Williams, Bishop Sankey is among the better feature backs in the nation, and Keith Price at quarterback who - at times, though not consistently - has been among college football's elite. If the pieces around those guys can even be average (and healthy), then that is a really potent group. The 91 rating is kind of high, and it's surprising that it's higher than the defense's rating, but it's not a stretch to see how this group could really scare a lot of opponents.
Defensively, it's a little bit easier to defend because the 2012 group very effective and for the most part is still intact in 2013. They've got the most important 6 of their front 7 coming back, including what is probably the top linebacking corps in the country in terms of their youth/talent combination. The defensive line is another position that though it hasn't been consistent, it has had stretches of being very effective. The back 4 has to replace a couple of key contributors, but will do so with guys who have played a lot of downs, and the two guys coming back in Sean Parker and Marcus Peters could play anywhere. In the opposite way that the offense has to play up to its 91 rating, the defense should be expected to overplay its 90 rating. The talent is there, and with the results from last year and growth in Justin Wilcox's system, these guys could be more like a mid-90 rating.
So, Dawg Pound, what do you think of EA's evaluation of the 2013 version of the Huskies? Keep it real in the comments and we'll ask for your help to again use NCAA Football '14 to discuss our Huskies.