It has been six years because the last NCAA Football video game and there’s a chance it might return sooner or later if we’re fortunate. Within the meantime, I used to be excited to be taught that Madden NFL 20‘s Face of the Franchise mode would characteristic the Faculty Soccer Playoff and actual school groups. After enjoying the mode, nonetheless, I’m left scratching my head.
Digital Arts made the NCAA Soccer video games, however it appears as if the writers of Madden NFL 20 forgot what school soccer is definitely like after that series ceased to exist. Face of the Franchise has one of many hokiest and factually inaccurate storylines I’ve performed in a very long time.
Should you’re in any respect apprehensive about spoilers, it’s best to cease studying now.
This simply doesn’t occur
The story goes that you’re a 5-star quarterback recruit. You stroll into a toilet, stare into the mirror, and create your character. You’re nervous since you’re about to make the largest resolution of your life. Your participant then walks out to their press convention and ten hats are sitting on the pristine desk. An viewers awaits your resolution.
It’s a restricted choice, however the packages included are heavy hitters. There’s additionally Texas Tech however that’s clearly solely included as a result of Patrick Mahomes II is the cover athlete of NFL 20. I selected USC, primarily as a result of I detest many of the ten groups obtainable in Face of the Franchise. Regardless, this “Hat Selecting Ceremony” is an correct depiction of Nationwide Signing Day. To this point, so good.
However issues rapidly flip in a path that doesn’t make any sense. After you arrive on campus, you be taught that the primary recruit within the nation, Marcus Washington, has de-committed from his earlier college and determined to enroll at your chosen program. Your head coach tells you the grim information in his workplace as a result of he needed you to be the primary to know. Supposedly, the job was promised to you, the 5-star recruit who might’ve performed anyplace he needed. But now the next rated recruit, additionally a 5-star QB, has jumped forward of you.
Simply to place the star score in perspective right here: 247 Sports, one of many leaders in recruiting evaluation, sometimes solely bestows a 5-star score to 2, perhaps three quarterbacks per yr. It solely gave a 5-star score to one QB in 2019. Normally, 5-star scores are extremely selective. So the possibilities of two 5-star QB recruits selecting the identical college in the identical yr? Let’s simply say it doesn’t occur.
From implausible to unimaginable
On high of that, the logistics right here don’t actually add up in trendy school soccer. The primary recruit within the nation would’ve formally dedicated far earlier than you’ll have arrived on campus. Which means he would’ve needed to switch and subsequently sit out one yr. You might suppose I’m studying into it an excessive amount of right here, however the premise is nuts.
On high of that, if the pinnacle coach had promised a QB recruit the beginning job, that will make an ideal case for a switch waiver, thus letting mentioned recruit switch with out having to take a seat out. As an alternative, your character decides to stay round and struggle for the beginning job. A noble however gutsy resolution.
After you exit the workplace, 4 years move. Right here’s the place issues go from unbelievable to downright unbelievable. Apparently, the previous primary recruit and four-year starter is injured someday between your crew’s final sport and the Faculty Soccer Playoff. Now, it’s as much as you to steer your crew to a Nationwide Championship berth and victory.
Not solely did you stick with a training employees that apparently lied to you for 4 years, however in these 4 seasons, you by no means began a sport. Not solely that however you by no means even noticed the sphere. That’s proper. The backup QB for a significant program by no means took a snap.
At face worth, perhaps that doesn’t sound so ridiculous, however school soccer isn’t the NFL. Backups and even third-string QBs usually come into video games within the second half, particularly if you play for a nationwide powerhouse that sometimes steamrolls over a minimum of a couple of opponents every year.
Of the ten school groups which might be included in Face of the Franchise, precisely zero of them used just one QB throughout the 2018 school soccer season. I’d be stunned if any college throughout the nation solely used one QB all through a full season. And Face of the Franchise tries to promote you on 4 seasons? Then, proper earlier than the CFP, the sturdiest school QB in historical past will get injured. That’s a critically unhealthy break — no pun meant.
Maybe even crazier than that ridiculous stat is that you must consider that you just, a 5-star recruit with NFL aspirations, sat on the bench as an alternative of transferring. What’s even funnier is that whereas competing within the playoffs, the announcers talk about the way you already determined that you just wouldn’t pursue a graduate switch for another yr of eligibility. What would have occurred in the event you hadn’t performed in any respect in school? Kiss the NFL Draft goodbye. Oh properly, I suppose goals don’t matter.
The precise gameplay in Face of the Franchise is okay. It seems like common Madden, besides you solely management your play. Whereas some modifications are made to mirror NCAA guidelines, others simply go along with the NFL rulebook, akin to move interference spot penalties quite than the 15-yard penalty seen in school soccer.
After I received the Nationwide Championship, I went to the Mix to throw alongside different NFL hopefuls. As I’m on the sideline ready for my flip, a person approaches me and asks about my illustration. I apparently don’t have an agent but, after which he virtually tells me that he’s my agent now. I’m additionally his solely consumer. How on the earth did he get on the sphere on the NFL Mix? We’ll by no means actually know.
Your efficiency within the CFP and on the Mix determines your draft inventory. I received the championship after which accomplished about 70% of my passes on the Mix. From a run-down motel room, my faux agent and I obtained a name from Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians to let me know the Bucs had been taking me within the fourth spherical. That is the tip of my school QB (non)enjoying days.
Face of the Franchise seems like a missed alternative. It’s a narrative that disregards logic in favor of sensationalism, and it isn’t even good at doing that. EA might have made your participant a walk-on or a third-string QB just like the Buckeyes’ Cardale Jones (who led his crew to a championship) to create a much more emotionally impactful and coherent premise, however what’s right here is just nonsensical. On the very least, I’m now the beginning QB for the Bucs so, fortuitously, in spite of everything that bench warming, it labored out ultimately.