A Lighter Shade of Garnet: NCAA College Football 2013 Exclusive Preview!

Today's video game football garners nearly as much excitement as the real thing. Because of the heightened realism factor of the modern virtual football experience, we can indulge in year-round college football action that puts us in the front row, or on the sideline, or under center, or even in the decaying La-Z-Boy in your prized recruit's living room. (It's in a double wide, so technically it's also a dining room, den, kitchen, playroom, and doglair. But, hey, you're giving this kid a chance at a better life! And don't worry, your king sized canopy bed awaits--after slumming it in this hellhole, you'll feel every one of those 1500 threads tonight, coach!)

Uh, so football video games. The gamer/sports nut overlap is sizable, which may seem incongruous but is in fact wholly understandable. For every prized recruit, there are 40 of us who couldn't make the JV cut and instead spent our adolescence carving out a custom loveseat buttgroove in front of our parents' 32" Zenith. But the flame of sports passion dies hard; therefore, our dreams are manifested through annual sports game rollouts. We spill our subconscious into Create-A-Player modes, which are now so advanced that one can customize anklebone roundness and areola hue. Indeed, the virtual 6'1", 230 lb. running back version of me may have a few inches/pounds/innate talent units on the real version, but it's my name on the jersey, damn it. And soon, it will be carved into that Heisman trophy base. And then I'll get a sandwich.

The release of NCAA 2013 is imminent, folks. We're under two months until the drop-date, so I'm happy to provide you all with a completely bogus EXCLUSIVE preview of what the newest version of the celebrated college football game has to offer. It seems the good folks at Electronic Arts took note of the Gamecocks' big season, and spent some time customizing our program's role in the game.

Let's check out the new features, after the jump.

DECISION TIME: The past few versions of NCAAFB have beefed up the coaching experience, because the only thing that could create a more vivid football gaming experience is to make it text-based. Added layers of complexity to the recruiting process, coordinator positions, playcalling duties--it's all there, and it has all the excitement of a choose-your-own-ending novel! The trend continues this year, as NCAA 13's DECISION TIME™ feature will confront gamers with a coach's day-to-day mental rigamarole. Do you have what it takes to sweat the small stuff?

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CLOWNEY REALISM: The unprecedented media attention for Jadeveon's recruiting process and his impressive freshman campaign led developers to invite the big defensive end to the production studio for some motion-capture work. While EA always prides itself on seamless player design, Clowney's character is heavy on verisimilitude, a precise visual clone of the freshman All-American.

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"What can I tell you. He brought a granite sword to the shoot." -- EA Motion Capture Technician

GOD MODE: Back in the 90s, game developers realized that all 13-year-olds are sniveling little cheaters, so the GOD MODE cheat code was born, which grants invulnerability to the main character. In a nod to classic games like DOOM and Goldeneye, game developers included a GOD MODE facsimile special to the Gamecocks: entering a complex button sequence will change every player and the ball itself into the screaming head of new Gamecocks basketball coach Frank Martin.

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Be sure to play through a high-end audio system, as Frank Martin screams in Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound dramatically enhance the NCAA 2013 experience and will also shatter whiskey bottles.

MINIGAMES: The mid-2000s versions included various drill-based mini-games, like pass skeleton and option attack. My pals and I would stage option-attack tournaments so intense and entertaining that they ultimately marginalized the main play mode. So, of course, these genuinely enjoyable diversions were scrapped in favor of the aforementioned recruiting complexities. Thanks, EA! Thankfully, NCAA 2013 revisits the mini-game concept, albeit in a slightly different manner. No more are the drill-based games. Enter, EA's new Head Coach Mini-Games Series.

Angry Dooleys:

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Destroying Tennessee football isn't easy--not when Peyton Manning and Phil Fulmer are holding rank. But Derek Dooley is a one-man wrecking crew, and he's ready to rock and topple Rocky Top...Talk about using your head!

Road Rash: The Petrino Diaries

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In a reboot of the famed 1990s bike-racing franchise, former Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino is out on the open road. Use chains, tire irons, lies, and crowbars to fend off prying media. And whatever you do, don't take sharp westerly turns at sunset!

COVER: We wrap this preview with the single most visible element: the hardcase cover. You might have read that Robert Griffin III is the 2013 cover star. Untrue! It was a false lead. I bet you feel ridiculous. We're proud to announce that EA Sports offered Garnet and Black Attack the privilege of revealing the true cover star. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you, for the first time, the NCAA Football 2013 cover:

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