In an effort to improve the recruiting module in their NCAA '14 game and "Keep It Real," we already know that EA Sports has employed the brain trust at the WVU football program. But what about the team roster itself and the abilities of the players? Do the team ratings keep it real?
Our Mountaineers have been given the following ratings of a possible 99 (last year's ratings in parenthesis):
- Offense - 83 (91)
- Defense - 87 (76)
- Overall - 84 (87)
Given the amount of sheer productivity from the offensive side of the ball that was lost to the NFL in Geno Smith, Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey, it's no surprise that the offensive unit took a hit in their abilities. Given that there are no proven commodities returning, save Andrew Buie and Dustin Garrison, at first glance these ratings seem reasonable. What they likely don't account for are the recent transfers of Charles Sims and Clint Trickett. Even though neither has established themselves as starters, much less leaders, they have shown the ability to be solid contributors to this season's version of the Mountaineers.
What also isn't taken into account is Coach Holgorsen and his system's track record of taking virtual unknowns and turning them into extremely productive players, if not offensive superstars. As long as the kids put in the work, there's no reason to believe that there can't be another Justin Blackmon or Brandon Weeden on this team hiding in the shadows.
While it seems they hit the nail on the head with last season's defense, let's hope the improvement in the rating also holds true. The change over to a proven defensive coordinator this season, for me, at least, gives hope. The untested players thrown to the fire last season are now a year older in experience and development. Although the rating isn't a great one, EA Sports seems to think we'll be better on that side of the ball.
Now it's your turn. Let us know in the comments if you think EA Sports were fair in their assessments for this year's game regarding our Mountaineers. We'll be looking for at least one (maybe more) of you to help out with a follow up post discussing these ratings and our Mountaineers. Just remember to "Keep It Real."