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NCAA 2004 Tidbits

July 25, 2003

Here are some random tidbits from my NCAA Football 2004 experiences... I originally posted this on, but I thought that perhaps some of you might enjoy reading it...

Has anyone heard the line from Kirk Herbstreit saying (and I'm paraphrasing here) "whoever is holding the offense's controller, put it down and pick up a football playbook?" I heard that for the first time tonight against my friend Riley (about him) and nearly laughed beer through my nose. That had us laughing for a long, long time.

Oklahoma Sooners
Oklahoma is one of the best teams in NCAA 2004.

In my 2003 Dynasty, Notre Dame got the shaft, going unbeaten but missing out on the NC behind also-unbeaten Ohio State and Oklahoma. The second time around, my Mississippi State squad had only one loss in the 2004 season (a double OT heartbreaker against Tennessee where we rallied from 21 down in the second half), and we were at #2 in the BCS. But because we only beat a 4-7 Ole Miss team by seven, we fell back behind one-loss Ohio State (who seems destined for a rematch with one-loss Oklahoma) to third in the BCS rankings. #8 Arkansas (who we beat) losing to sub-.500 LSU in the second-to-last week didn't help. Unless we win big against Top 15 Georgia in the SEC Championship, we'll be on the outside looking in and playing Miami in the Sugar Bowl (and not Oklahoma in the 2004 NC game). Bummer.

Reggie Williams
Reggie Williams will likely be a Top 10 NFL draft pick.
Washington WR Reggie Williams won the 2003 Heisman in my Dynasty league; Ohio State RB Maurice Clarett seems destined to win it in 2004. Has anyone seen Texas WR Roy Williams win the Heisman in their Dynasty? He did jack in my Dynasty, never placing or doing anything of note.

Annoying sequences (not in any particular order):

-When Lee Corso does his "the offense had the ball last time?!?" routine (talking about the replay in super-slow motion).

-When you are prodded to go for it ("They've got to go for it here") and then miss, only to be questioned about it ("Did they have to go for it on 4th down at this point in the game?") Though that is true to life with some short-memory college football analysts.

-When they intimate that you should warm up your backup QB due to INTs even when you have the lead.

-Kirk Herbstreit's "you never can tell" line about going for a risky play. For some reason there seems to be a twinge of President Bill Clinton to that one. Not from content, but the way it sounds (as least to me). Moreover, of course you never can tell... why are you telling me this crucial bit of advice?!? KH is worlds better than Corso (or Madden for that matter) on the annoyance factor, but this line has got to go.

-The way Lee Corso gets super-excited about the short passing game. "I like short passes!" I like hitting Start to shut him up on that one.

-When you put a talented HB in one of the FB slots in the Maryland-I, you get a good run out of him, and the guys blabber on about the "fullback's size" (as if MSU's Fred Reid is the second coming of Mike Alstott).

-Those stupid "this game is brought to you by EA Sports" transitions after a possession change. As if I somehow thought that 989 Sports could produce a game 1/10th as good as this one.

-The way Brad Nessler and the PA announcer echo one another a little too closely (I know, I know, I can change that in the settings with the PA volume, but I should've have to, y'know... though this is a minor quibble with such an incredible game).

-When Lee Corso tells an injured player to "rub some dirt on it" when they're playing in a dome (or on turf). While he's doing that, why don't you load up the phonograph on the record player for your intro music there, Lee.

-When you have Cover 3 Dime and get burned deep and then get questioned about your coverage. As if you could've done more as a playcaller to stop the pass.

-When a player runs out of bounds on his own accord but the announcers say he was pushed out.

Tecmo Super Bowl
Any serious discussion of great football video games must include the NES classic Tecmo Super Bowl.
-Any game where the computer goes on "cheat week" mode straight out of Tecmo Super Bowl on the old NES (those who've played that game know what I mean; you newbies who haven't need to hunt it down and play one of the all-time greats). This seems to happen sometimes on All-American mode; I can only imagine how Heisman mode can be. Of course, beating the PS2 when that happens in spite of the cheat week is pretty sweet. In a related note (which is counter-productive to the argument, but whatever), Tecmo Super Bowl for the NES and NCAA Football 2004 for the PS2 are the two best football games I've ever played. Madden '04 might join that list next month.

Sequences that make me laugh (even though they shouldn't):

-Lee Corso talking about his high school prom (that and the "don't be stupid" punting advice from the 2003 game are my all-time Corso favorites).

-When a player scores a TD on the road and then kicks the ball into the crowd. When I was blowing out Michigan with Notre Dame recently, I took entirely too much glee in doing that at the Big House.

Some strange things:

-The double football glitch (which when playing drunken NCAA 2004 is especially funny for some season). "Hey, there's a second ball on the field!"

-The defender literally reaching THROUGH my receiver to intercept a pass. It's hard to hear your QB get knocked by the broadcasters after that... as if he should expect a supernatural occurrence to cause his team to lose the ball.

-Auburn up by 17 decides to pass for every down in the second half... ultimately losing the game in triple overtime. Not the AI's most shining moment.

-Field goal attempt by Santiago Gramatica of USF that hit the crossbar, bounced right, hit the crossbar THREE MORE TIMES and then fell out, no good. When you're playing as USF at FSU (against a human opponent as the 'Noles), you need every break you can get. And while this was a tough one to miss, it was fascinating to see on the replay.

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