A big, big thanks to @RicEllis85 for taking time out to answer these questions.
[It also helps that he has a copy of the game, which, being a broke recent graduate, I cannot yet afford.]
Nam: Well, having owned the game for a week now, Ric, are there any players on the Cal roster who you think are overrated? Underrated?
Ric: When I play D I like to choose a man on the line off the snap, and I can't get penetration with any of the D-line. I specifically use Moala and can barely get a push. I haven't used Coleman yet, but I haven't seen him do much under CPU control.
Chris Harper is flat out amazing. So much so that I don't even have time to find Treggs. I know he raised some eyebrows last season, but he's AA level.
To be honest, I feel like this entire season is a crap shoot. I follow this team as close as I can from OK and I can't tell you anyone I'm certain will be a star on D. On the flip side, I feel like we have multiple people who could explode on offense.
Cal plays a lot like I'd expect this season to go: fast paced, high scoring offense and a D that's going to give up the yards. We will live and die by our turnover ratio.
Ric: My sim has Cal finishing with a record of 5-7 (4-5).
We start with a 3 pt win over Northwestern, which seems believable, though I'll be expecting a little wider margin, and immediately lose to a directional school the next week by 3.There's not an ice cube's chance in hell this happens.
Ohio St blows us out 45-10, there's a whopping in Oregon by the score of 31-10, and then some TDs at WSU as we win 45-20 (Sonny is king of the Air Raid). UCLA beats us in a "rivalry game" 28-21, followed by a loss to a #13 Oregon State team 40-21.
We do behead the evil DL coach and his #14 Huskies, beating UW 30-27 in OT on the road, then get smacked by AZ 41-10 at home. A loss to USC at home 31-17 followed by a 30-27 win in Boulder lead us to The Big Game where we beat an underwhelming Stanford squad 38-24.
Washington and OSU are surprising leaders in the P12N at 10-2, with USC leading the P12 overall at 11-1 (#10).
None of our players ranked in the top statistical categories, especially on offense. I feel that in reality, we won't get shut out or kept to low totals much.
I prefer to keep on the positive side, and anything less than 6-6 would be disappointing to me. We have a quality group of talented players and I expect the new coach and a chip on their shoulders to push them.
I see wins vs NW, our directional school, WSU, and CU, while UCLA, Oregon State, UW, Arizona and USC are tossups. tOSU, Oregon, and Stanford should be losses. If we can stick to that and win more than half the tossups, we will be looking great.
Well, CGB readers - how are your experiences with NCAA 14 going? Do you think they kept it real enough? Would you be happy with a scenario like the one Ric simulated? Hit the comments.