NCAA Football 14’s Recruiting & Numbers


Gone are the phone calls. Say they’re unrealistic methods for snagging college prospects – it’s all too simple – yet enriching as opposed to assigned artificial point values inserted into NCAA Football 14.

Admirable goals sighted the ability to land on-field faster, no need to tinker with a recruiting system bogged down in menus. As always, Owen Good runs through NCAA Football 14’s recruiting methodology better than anyone, and enjoyed it for expediency.

Numbers represent phone calls; it’s like playing pretend recruiting. I found it childish and cheapening. Bundled with coach leveling tiers, and NCAA 14 has more in common with Torchlight or Diablo than college football. Sports simulations run the RPG gamut (assigning skill levels, upgraded stats, etc.), yet it typically becomes bunched together in a way that it never appears out the lines of the sport.

Call of Duty does something similar. Selecting guns with different spreads, ammo counts, power, etc., is an all-encompassing level system buried in images which make gun manufacturers giddy. For NCAA, numbers became phone calls, maybe mailed letters or home visits indirectly. Not being a fan of saturated recruiting – even turning options to automatic once deep into a season – NCAA 14’s delivery system should be delightful, but it’s just a number.

Sports video games are bred on competition. College sports, by a wide margin, are often work. Seeking a pro in Madden means getting slapped with a positive draft position, or maybe shredding contracts of opposing teams. College means dealing with finicky kids trying to find themselves, their place in the world, and break away from home. In other words, numbers!

I’m sure there is a method to find level ground. NBA 2K has its way of managing player needs, having them “talk” to the coach about playing time or other surface level concerns. As goofy as it can be presented, it is nonetheless an interesting and grabbing feature. Reducing that to numbers, even go so far as to include “critical hit” bonuses such as personal player interest, is often numbing. I want my phone calls to mean something, my letters to count, and my school of choice to be a winner based on more than crunching simple mathematics.

There’s always NCAA 15.