Our Digital Season 2.0

DigiClowney comin'. - Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The digiCocks return.

Welcome, one and all, to the second instillation of Our Digital Season! It's a weekly feature wherein we simulate that week's game on EA Sports NCAA Football and report the results to you, the reader!

Last year's run was a smashing success fun for everyone at times interesting so, hell, why not roll it out again? This year I'm going to change things up a bit. These changes are outlined in a handy FAQ, found below.

Hey, you never finished last year's ODS.

That...is correct.

Why not?

A combination of things really. The week before the Clemson game, my laptop crashed and died, which made it tremendously difficult for me to take game notes. A week after that I moved into a new house and was without internet for a week, which threw a wrench in my schedule. By then the wheels were off. I must also admit to Blogger Fatigue, which was a result of how I architected the feature. This year's revamped version should avoid that trapping.

Your excuses make me wretch. So what's different this year?

You'll remember last year's ODS existed in a vacuum. Real life injuries and other personnel changes had no effect on the course of ODS, which was simulated within NCAA 2013's dynasty mode. I thought it'd be fun to see how stats synced up with the real thing come January. But as the season wore on, real life depth charts didn't exactly resemble those of ODS, which dulled the effects of the simulation since fans, for some reason, were more interested in actual football than this virtual joyride that had abandoned all verisimilitude and instead saw DL Moore earn the Biletnikoff award.

This year, each game stands on its own. I'm going to do my darnedest to get the depth charts as close to the real thing as possible prior to the simulation. If Bruce Ellington is injured that week, he won't play. If Spurrier announces Jadeveon Clowney will be the place kicker, then I'll slot him in. Same goes for the opponent.

Of course, it will still be imperfect and, at times, downright ridiculous. I run the simulation on Tuesday (or so) of game weeks, so we'll have to just accept that any late shakeups or scratches will be unaccounted for. As with last year, I'll provide any eerie overlaps between the sim and the real thing, as well as any laughable inconsistencies.

I'm also going to attempt to streamline the write-ups, because last year they tended to get a bit lengthy. I am also considering adding a video highlight component, if I can find a crude method by which to do it.

Will you be taking any sort of license?

Yes! Since a digital 15-minute quarter equates to roughly five hours of real gametime, I'll simulate using 8 minute quarters. After a few test runs, I've found that minute quarters yield a similar play count to that of actual games. Barring any major protests, that'll be the standard. I also adjusted a few of positional substitution parameters so that we might see more running back and wide receiver variation.

And why are you doing this, exactly?

I don't know.


Strap in folks! Our Digital Season begins next week as your Gamecocks square off against the digiTar Heels, which should go up tomorrow. If anyone has any recommendations/suggestions, leave a comment and it will be considered.

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