And so it resumes. After a several week hiatus, the PS3 BOTC Dynasty is finally back in full swing, complete with new conferences, characters, and plot twists galore. After receiving critical acclaim in season one such as, "better than watching baseball," "keeps me occupied until real football starts," and "could not have possibly ended any better," membership rose an astonishing 25% to set us up for another fabulous fifteen week course of virtual football. The landscape of college football will look entirely different than what it was last year. New faces mean new conferences. However, no need to fret over all the changes, as you will need to look no further than the next 2,551 words to learn all you need to know about the fake 2014-2015 season.
Mass Conference Realignment Part VI
Parts I-V happened at some point, I'm sure.
The more things change, the more they revert to their 1991-2011 form. Well, not exactly. The divisions are slightly different but I don't know how. Schools from the Hospitality State couldn't hack it after one season in the Big 12 and high-tailed it back to their comfy home in the South. User teams: Mississippi State (stark90 (EMAW's brother)), Ole Miss (PB)
Missouri and Texas A&M became tired of listening to their former egotistical conference mates whine about being denied their national title game tie in and fled back to the Big 12. After being relentlessly bullied by the Pac-12 about the boring abyss that is Lubbock, Texas Tech decided they missed their Texan homies and also asked the league for forgiveness. Warden Bowlsby reluctantly admitted the traitors then sent to immediately to solitary confinement. Nebraska having heard about the family reunion excitedly booked a one way flight to Irving, expecting a parade upon arrival. After politely being told to "get the fuck out," they flew back to the
rust Sun Belt of the North, aka Big 10. A legally blind baggage attendant accidentally shipped their luggage to Lichenstien. It could not be recovered due to fine print on the Expedia terms and conditions page. Colorado has no idea what's going on right now. User teams: Texas Tech (Grim Amon(nugget's roommate?)), Baylor (JT)
While day dreaming about another 16 team super-conference, Larry Scott overheard some buzz about BYU and the Big 12. Attempting to make the Big 12 jealous, he welcomed the Cougars into the Pac 12. However, in order to do so he had to kick out Arizona State due to BYU's strict religious principles; They could not be associated with a school that promoted the devil. Not wanting to be abandoned by their in-state companions, Arizona said sayonara, following the Sun Devils to conference realignment limbo. No longer being the only Cougars in the conference, jealousy consumed Washington State. Unable to handle their outrage (they're solitary animals, you know), they decided to look for greener, less cougary pastures and sent in their two week notice. Larry Scott reacted by evicting Washington just to make an example of them. On a vacation to Mexico, Larry realized how counter productive his actions had been. In a fit of panic, he saw a guy dressed as an Aztec riding a horse and immediately called Boise State and San Diego State to invite them to his now depleted conference. They accepted on the condition that Utah State be reunited with Utah. Larry cackled madly and accepted without hesitation. User teams: UCLA (Pervis), Oregon State (EMAW)
After a two week long ski-resort stay, the Athletic Director and President of Notre Dame decided it would be a good idea to split some time shares all over the Rockies. After sleeping on it, they realized they would never be able to visit their time shares enough to make the not-so reasonably priced properties worth the money. That is, unless they scheduled more sporting events in the Rocky Mountains. The next day they struck up a deal with the Mountain West forfeiting nearly $10 million in revenue. Knute Rockney rolled a hole all the way through the Earth and is now buried in China. Everyone rioted. Luckily for their now depleted BCS national title hopes, Arizona, Arizona State, Washington and Washington State also decided to join after their unfortunate but very realistic departure from the Pac-12. Wyoming was sent to purgatory. User teams: Washington State (EMAW 4 Ever), Arizona (ECAW)
Jim Delany and John Swofford were playing a drunken game of poker one night when Jim ran out of chips. Not wanting to back down, he put Northwestern on the table and dared John to go all in. Too proud to risk his $10 in earnings, John instead offered up Maryland to match. When Jim won on a pair of fours, John became so irate that he took Northwestern. Jim, not being in the mood for this shit, headbutted John knocking them both unconscious. Not remembering a thing when they woke up and too hungover to manufacture functional thoughts, they concluded that no one would notice the difference and went about their days. A few days later, UCF politely asked the ACC if they could be a part of their club, and no one came up with a reason as to why they shouldn't. User teams: Northwestern (SwaggyMC32(EMAW's friend?)), UCF (nugget)
This year should be just as interesting, if not more than last year. Every team is solid to stacked with talent on both sides of the ball and new blood is in the water. Below is a brief preview of each user team.
Player to Watch: Adrian Harmon, Jr (RS) HB, 99 overall; After taking a redshirt year to work on his base tan, this speedy back looks to explode back on the scene in 2014 with a potentially huge season. If the O-line can shape into form, Mountain West defenses will be in shreds.
Strength: Wide Receivers; The Wildcats will have plenty of talent and experience to take attention away from Harmon, playing three seniors at this position and the top four all 85 overall or better.
Weakness: Defensive Line; While having two senior defensive ends, inexperience at defensive tackle could create some problems in defending the run.
Game to Watch: Week 4, #9 UCLA; I feel kind of douchey putting myself here, but when you play the defending national champion this early in the year, a victory would be a huge spring board for the rest of the season and a loss is a good measuring stick for what needs to improve.
Player to Watch: Justin Kirkpatrick, Sr (RS) QB, 84 overall; Who else besides the first team All-American quarterback? He looks to follow up his monster statistical year and Davey O'Brien trophy with a post season run and even more ridiculous numbers.
Strength: Run game; With a 96 overall RB and all of their offensive lineman rated 88 or above, Kirkpatrick certainly won't need to do it all by himself this year. He might anyway.
Weakness: Safety; Nothing glaring, but the back end is the closest thing to a weakness. Not an exorbitant amount of talent and little depth at both positions.
Game to Watch: Week 7, #15 Mississippi State; A rematch of Baylor's only regular season loss last year should be an offensive orgy. Though the game no longer decides either's conference championship hopes, it will be an intriguing matchup of two highly offensive teams.
Player to Watch: Tyler Huff, Sr TE, 86 overall; A year after coming up with basically every reception his team had, the first team All-American will have a larger load to carry with the departure of Heisman runner-up Richard Wheeler.
Strength: D-Line; A senior dominated group will look to provide the foundation for the defense behind them and blah-blah-blah leadership blah-blah-blah.
Weakness: Quarterback; The departure of whoever-that-guy-was-last-year made way for an unproven junior in Alexis Cooper. He should be fine, but first year starters can take a few games to get their feet under them.
Game to Watch: Week 14, at Ole Miss; PB may have been put on the hot seat at the end of last year, but that didn't stop her from pulling a major upset during a less than satisfactory season. The Bulldogs should have this game circled on the calendar looking for revenge.
Player to Watch: Terry Carpenter, Sr (RS) QB, 91 overall; With a new coach in a new conference, it helps to have a QB with plenty of game experience, which is exactly what Carpenter brings to the table (har, har). Turns out he's not incompetent either.
Strength: Secondary; A 96 overall strong safety anchors this solid unit. Plenty of depth with a good amount of talent.
Weakness: D-Line; The ends in particular are a bit...raw...but three solid freshmen are wearing their redshirts, waiting patiently for their turn.
Game to Watch: Week 8, at #15 Mississippi State; A trip to Starksville midway through the season will be Swaggy's true initiation to BOTC dynasty play. Because computer games don't count.
Player to Watch: Jack Herron, Sr (RS) QB, 99 overall; Where did this guy come from? I didn't know that throwing a bagillion picks awards you excellent marks in improvement. Hopefully he got his eyes checked or something this offseason.
Strength: Wide Receiver; With the top two being rated 92 and 93, Herron will have two excellent ball grabbers to throw to. As long as he sends it to the right colored jerseys, Ole Miss could be poised for a good year.
Weakness: Running game; Jay McDonald's departure and an inexperienced line could spell trouble for hopes of a balanced attack this year.
Game to Watch: Week 2, Washington State; The very first game of the year will show how far the Rebels have come under their new head coach. Either last year was a fluke or it's going to be another rough year in Oxford. We will get our first look at EMAW 4 Ever as well.
Player to Watch: James Bradford, Jr (RS) HB, 90 overall; The preseason first team All-American and Heisman candidate will try to carry Oregon State to another National Title berth. He has more than enough talent around him to accomplish the feat.
Strength: Offensive skill; The Beavers are stuffed with talent at skill positions. See for yourself: QB - 96 overall; RB - 90 overall; top three WR's - 91, 90, and 89 overall, and the TE isn't too shabby either at 87.
Weakness: Offensive line; Despite the ridiculous talent around them, only two O-lineman are better than 80 overall. It's hard to move the ball when the defense is moving you.
Game to Watch: Week 9, #9 UCLA; In what could shape up to be a bi-annual matchup and rematch of last years' National Championship game, Oregon State will look to crack the Omari Lawrence code.
Player to Watch: William Rankin, So (RS) LE, 83 overall; Only a sophomore, the preseason All-American led the nation in sacks last year and looks to do so again this year, blockers beware.
Strength: Offensive Line; An experienced group will propel their high-flying Big 12 offense after a one year hiatus from the homeland.
Weakness: Secondary; Inability is a hard thing to hide in the Big 12. Hopefully for the Red Raiders, they will be able to hold on long enough to let their defensive ends get to the QB.
Game to Watch: Week 14, at #11 Baylor; An abysmal performance by Tech QB's in last year's rivalry edition can't be repeated if they want a shot against the high-powered Bears. On the positive side, going to Waco for the second year in a row will be a nice break from the panhandle.
Player to Watch: Sheldon Horton, Sr (RS) QB, 96 overall; UCF seemed to live and die by Horton last year, but with an extra offseason to perfect his throwing skills, draft stock will be on his mind.
Strength: Passing game; A couple talented receivers should be enough to keep Horton occupied. And if not, he has an All-American RB to hand the ball to.
Weakness: Right side of the Offensive Line; I'm getting specific here. The left and middle are decent-to-good, but the 72 overall RG and 76 RT is a bit ugly...
Game to Watch: Week 2, at #11 Baylor; The first game of the year should be an interesting one. Last year's matchup went down to the wire, and this contest between two high-powered offenses should be no different.
Player to Watch: Matt Cassel, Jr (RS) QB, 92 overall; The prodigal Heisman winner returns. A depleted WR corps should hinder his numbers, but his high expectations for another Natty are reachable.
Strength: Secondary; Every one returns from last years' group and the cohesiveness should get more... cohesive.
Weakness: Wide receiver; Not talentless, but paper thin. One injury could be a major snag in the quest for a repeat.
Game to Watch: Week 9, at #16 Oregon State; Once again, a rematch of the National Title game and a potential top ten matchup. The Bruins hope to put the breaks on what should be an explosive Oregon State offense.
Player to Watch: Carl Brown, Sr (RS) QB, 90 overall; With a brand new coach, it is somewhat of a mystery as to exactly what style offense the Cougars will be running, but the pieces are already in place for lots of air.
Strength: Passing game; When your three best players are a QB and two WRs, there isn't much doubt as to what will carry the team. Throw in the fact that three of the top five starting lineman are pass protectors, Mike Leach had this team set up exactly how he liked, until he mysteriously disappeared that fateful night. Is it a coincidence that it happened immediately after cutting players? Actually it is.
Weakness: Secondary; First team scrimmages are going to be entirely one sided. Hopefully for Mr. (iphone), the D will learn from the O.
Game to Watch: Week 6, at #16 Oregon State; A rivalry game on the road against the national runner-up. Yup.
And now the week one preview from our very own Commissioner (EMAW).
Not much happening this week as most of the teams are focused solely on recruiting. However, defending Big 12 Champion Baylor begins the season with new Pac-12 member Boise St. Mississippi State opens week one with an early conference match up facing South Carolina, while newly minted ACC member Northwestern opens their new conference season against Miami.
Baylor (JT) vs Boise State: Baylor begins their season by taking on the visiting Boise State Broncos. QB Justin Kirkpatrick looks for a fast start as he is a favorite for the Heisman Trophy. Can Boise start their first season as a big boy school off with a win? I highly doubt it, as I’m predicting a blowout victory for the Bears.
Mississippi State (Stark90) vs South Carolina: A huge conference opener for Miss. St. and South Carolina. Fresh off returning back to the SEC the Bulldogs need a huge game to upend South Carolina and start their SEC conference season off on the right foot. The Gamecocks look to teach the Bulldogs a lesson for running to the Big 12 last season. Will the Gamecocks trap the Bulldogs? Highly doubtful as Miss. St. is motivated to prove they belong with the "vaunted" SEC.
Northwestern (SwaggyMC32) vs Miami: One of our new dynasty members opens with a nice test in their new conference, opening the season with a battle against Miami. Perennially one of the worst teams, the Wildcats are looking forward to getting out of the tired old B1G and into the new, vibrant ACC. Who better to welcome them than Miami, home to some of the cockiest players and coaches the NCAA has ever seen. Can the Hurricanes blow away the Wildcats? Doubtful, as I predict Northwestern to pull out a nail biter against new conference mates Miami.