Usually, when I play the NCAA Football games, I play the Florida I remember from my childhood and early adulthood. I loved the Fun 'n Gun, so I build a Gators program that has a trigger man at quarterback, speed on the outside, and big-play potential on every snap. Defense is fun, and is what I make my calling card in the small-school Dynasty I inevitably run, but it is optional when I am controlling Florida, because the real fun is hanging half a hundred in The Swamp.
I think NCAA Football 14 might change that, and might make keeping it real might mean playing the way Will Muschamp's program does.
As you can see in that gameplay preview video, this year's game has a revamped gameplay engine, one that makes running feel both more complex and natural at the same time. In what I've played of the NCAA 14 demo, the gameplay backs up those claims: You really can cut on a dime, really can blow by people with a burst of speed thanks to the revived acceleration controls — I appreciated taking out what amounted to a turbo button when it first happened, but bringing it back to give greater control makes a ton of sense — and really will feel unstoppable with a top-tier athlete in the open field.
I played the Oregon-Texas A&M game that's included in the demo as Oregon, and getting
De'Anthony Thomas the Ducks' starting running back in space felt like I imagine it does for Oregon fans in real life. On one option, I pitched it to RB No. 6, and had one man to beat, but looked inside before cutting outside, turning on the afterburners, and dusting the Aggies for six. It felt like the highlight you can see here at 3:17. (Side note: If this video doesn't get you excited for college football, you may be dead inside.)
Obviously, Florida doesn't have RB No. 6. But the Gators do have a group of running backs who will be fun to play with, with power and agility up and down the roster, and I really do believe that one-cut downhill running is going to be fun for many, many, many months in this game, too, given the return of what amounts to the Truck Stick.
Matt Jones RB No. 24 is definitely going to run a few defenders over for me this year.
But I'm just one person who is very excited for NCAA Football 14. We want to know how you are going to keep it real — or build your own reality — in NCAA 14, and we're going to be picking one commenter (maybe more than one!) to help out with a follow-up to this post next week. Are you going to play smashmouth Will Muschamp football? Recruit speed like Urban Meyer? Throw it all over the lot like Steve Spurrier's Gators?
Andy Hutchins writes for Deadspin and is Alligator Army's managing editor. Follow Alligator Army on Twitter and Facebook.
This post is sponsored by EA Sports and NCAA Football 14.