NCAA Football 23 – What We Know & What We Want
One more summer to go, and NCAA Football will be back. Yes, the video game series every college sports fan has been eagerly waiting for is almost back. There has not been a game release since 2013 because of the absence of name, image and likeness (NIL). Now that NIL is a thing, NCAA Football can come back, making fans super hyped, like myself. Here is what we know so far, and what we want in the new NCAA Football 23 game. What did I miss, and what would you change?
What We Know
1. Release Date
EA Sports has tended to release games around the same time each year — NCAA is no different. Usually, the NCAA game will come out early in mid-July, and EA has confirmed this rumor. While we do not know an exact date, it should be released by then. The expected release date is July 2023.
2. Game Modes
Looking as far back as NCAA 14/CFB Revamped, the core game modes should stay. The core game modes in NCAA Football 23 should be: Online/Offline Dynasty, Road to Glory, Play Now (Online/Offline) and Ultimate Team.
What We Want
1. Updated/Customizable Playoff System
In terms of Dynasty Mode, we should be able to customize the playoff system. It’s going to be 2023, and not all of us have the Nick Saban attitude. Allow us to expand the playoff to 8, 12, and 16 teams. Allow us to customize the sites where we play too, like in custom schedules on NCAA 14. Let me take my created team to the National Championship through a playoff.
2. Custom NIL Deals
Road to Glory is cool, but I would imagine they would revamp the mode to make it somewhat applicable to 2023. Give the recruits some NIL deals with schools, something to make it seem engaging and fun to play. If possible, allow us to choose some reputable companies. Give me the option to get a G-Wagon like CJ Stroud if possible. I think this can be a big grab to consumers, as we haven’t had something like this before (to my knowledge).
I’m not too sure if this will be in the new game, but I hope it will. TeamBuilder essentially allows you to create a school in NCAA Football 23. On the older site, you could customize the uniforms, stadium, school prestige, location, field, and all sorts of things. To summarize, it’s essentially MLB’s Diamond Dynasty Create a team in NCAA. I think this is a great aspect of the game, as it allows tons of user creativity. You could import them into offline and online dynasties as well, allowing you to play with your friends.
4. Historical Teams
I personally love talking college football, and one of the big things that always gets brought up is who would beat who? Some great examples are if the 2001 Miami team could stop the 2019 LSU team led by Joe Burrow. Now, imagine if we could put that game into NCAA Football 23 and hash it out to see who’s better. I think this would be a great addition to the game. It seems to be working for NBA 2K and their historic teams. Some starter teams could be the 2 I mentioned above, 2008 Florida, 2007 Boise State, 2020 Alabama, 2014 Ohio State, 2017 UCF, 1995 Nebraska, and others. However, this seems like a long shot and will likely not be in the game.
On a side note, while talking about adding teams, throw some FCS and Mid-Major schools into the mix. I know most would not like using North Dakota State and facing Bama, but what’s the downside? If you want to get more sales, you need to expand your target audience.
5. Transfer Portal
Sometimes, athletes at certain schools just don’t work out. However, given a change somewhere else, they can. A great example is Joe Burrow. Sat for 2 years behind guys like J.T Barrett and Dwayne Haskins Jr (RIP) and he transferred. A pass happy system run by Joe Brady, tons of crawfish from Coach O, and the keys to the LSU offense were all Burrow needed. Since that decision, he’s won a national championship, Heisman trophy, been the 1st overall pick, and been to the Super Bowl. Point being, let us transfer schools as players if we want to. It will make it more fun as opposed to creating a new player and starting over. EA could also add in NIL deals as part of the process as well.
6. Revamped Playbooks
Next, I want some new playbooks. Make every team have their own identity. Let there be trick plays like we used to draw up in backyard football as kids. For instance, I’m talking about double passes, flea flickers, direct snaps, fun things like that which Madden doesn’t have. Let the players have fun and be creative in how they play the game. Moreover, there were tons of trick plays in college football this past season, innovate the playbooks to have those.
In terms of defense, allow each team to have their own defensive playbook as well. I hated that I was limited to the 5 or 6 generic playbooks which we had to use on defense. EA should undoubtedly allow some real-life concepts in the books of this upcoming game — it’s 2023. For example, I would love to be able to run Nick Saban’s Rip-Liz Cover 3 match style of defense that he has succeeded with at Bama. Another one could be Gary Patterson’s 4-2-5 match coverage scheme that he used to confuse Big XII schools. To summarize, allowing real-life football concepts to be in NCAA would allow a chess match for the user(s) and make it more fun.
7. Authentic Crowd Noise/Creatable Sounds
I think this would be a great add for NCAA Football 23. With actual crowds coming back this past fall, it was electric going to tailgates and games. Let the crowds have authentic chants. Imagine a night game in Happy Valley, Penn State charging out to Zombie Nation, in a white-out, the crowd chanting, “We Are Penn State!”. That would be awesome to see. I’d love it. Allow us to customize chants when we want. For example, when the opposing QB throws an INT, allow us to put a sound effect in. Make it fun. MLB the Show does a good job of it, why not NCAA? Next, when there’s a blowout, allow the crowd to leave and show shots of that, I think it would be pretty funny. Consequently, your team’s play on the field should reflect the crowd size (unless it’s a powerhouse playing a cupcake).
In addition to the crowd noise, allow the teams to use their sideline props. For instance, let me pull out the Turnover Chain if I get an INT in Miami (yes, I know they just removed it for the actual team). While on the topic, let me raise the trophy and get a team picture when I win a rivalry game or National Championship.
8. Authentic Broadcast Packages
I love turning on the TV on Saturday afternoons after College GameDay and watching the Big Noon Kickoff on Fox, or the ABC Primetime Game of the Week. Make the gameday experience feel real. It would make it fun for fans to play. I’m not sure on the leniency of the company in terms of this, but try to get some different packages for different games based on the time of the game. I think it will make it more realistic and be a cool touch for the fans. For example, Texas vs Oklahoma should be on the Big Noon Kickoff, then ESPN for the next year. Also, allow the commentators to go in-depth on the performance of my players. If I had a QB throw for 500 yards the week prior, I want them to mention that, like they do in real life.
On a side note, give the option to have a little segment on College GameDay if we are the most entertaining game that week. Furthermore, show the GameDay pick of Corso in the headgear — it would be a nice touch.
EA has been working on this game for a while, and the opportunities are endless. Give the user the maximum creativity possible, while making a good game, and the sales will skyrocket. This is unquestionably their chance to win the football community back, and they have people talking about it already. NCAA Football 23 has the potential to be the best game on the market, but it’s up to EA to make it happen.