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Relive and recreate the 2019 Trojan football season while we prepare for 2020 with NCAA Football ‘14

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Thanks to coronavirus, all we’re left with for sports right now comes from the virtual world.

NCAA Football: Oregon at Southern California Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Look, you’ll be hard-pressed to find some sports news and/or coverage that doesn’t mention the winter and spring college sports being cancelled thanks in part to the coronavirus outbreak. So, with that in mind (and our mention already out of the way), we take a look at what else we can discuss here at Conquest Chronicles.

The Pac-12 cancelled all winter championships and followed that up by canning the spring seasons as well. While we wait to see what will happen with seniors gaining eligibility and so forth, we as sports journalists were put in a difficult spot: create, report and cultivate sports news in a sports-less world.

So we hit the reset buttons in our own minds, changed discs in our system and came up with a new idea — let’s relive and recreate the 2019 football season in preparation for the 2020 season the only way we know how: take it to the simulators. The best simulator for college football we know came out over six years ago in EA Sports’ NCAA Football 14 as it was the last mass-produced college football video game that still brings an A+ college football product.

Today we will kick off the 2019 NCAA football season in retrospect, allowing for different storylines to appear from our current reality and building off those new realities into a new 2020 offseason full of stories. We’ll start at the same point as every team did last year, at 0-0, with equal chances to win their conference title, the same opportunity to bring in a national championship as well as some hardware at season’s end.

This idea, originally crafted over at Pacific Takes, will coincide with weekly, daily posts here on CC. And so, with that in mind, here are the rules, as I laid them out on PT:

1. We’ll start off with updated rosters, up to the last week of the 2019 regular season.
— These rosters will have each player named, adjusted to height, weight, hometown (as best they can), class, etc. and will even adjust to players who sat out or earned a redshirt last year.
— These rosters have been adjusted to the year’s end statistics and level of play as judged by me and from my time from PFF, i.e. Joe Burrow is the only 99 overall quarterback, Penei Sewell is the pinnacle of offensive linemen, Ja’Marr Chase is ridiculously good, and so on, and so forth (if you have questions, or want to see more rosters, just DM me or comment below).

2. We’ll attempt to recreate schedules to as close as possible with the real 2019-20 schedules but will allow default non-conference matchups to take place as scheduling games in NCAA Football 14 is a nightmare.
— In some instances, it would be impossible to create a perfect schedule because we’re still playing with Idaho as one of the 130 FBS schools and as such, will have 12 mismatched games (at minimum).

3. We will be simulating non-conference games and non-Pac-12 games and allowing the results to speak for themselves while also documenting the week’s top players, best games, star moments, etc.

4. We will also be simulating recruiting for all but the Pac-12 as we’ll be attempting to recreate the recruiting classes that have signed on the dotted line for all Pac-12 schools in 2020.

5. The difficulty is set to All-American with some adjustments to the sliders to help make the game play a little bit more realistic but also winnable (i.e. CPU interceptions lowered a bit so the MLB doesn’t make a random play on the ball 20+ yards downfield away from his coverage zone on a wide-open throw; can you tell that’s happened to me before?!). If you’re interested in these sliders, just ask to see them.

6. Expect to see full detailed game previews, game recaps, Heisman updates, Top 25 reactions, and just about every other weekly, daily piece from this season as you would during a regular season, in real life.

7. This is being played on a Playstation 3, on EA Sports’ NCAA Football 14 and if the popularity deems it appropriate, we will start an online dynasty with up to 11 other people, so get your copies of the game ready to go!

So join along as we relive and recreate the 2019 Trojan football season during this sports hiatus. Also, be sure to check out Pacific Takes during this time as we’ll discuss all things Pac-12 in this recreation. In doing so, we’ll prepare for and discuss all things college football in 2020.

This will be just for fun, comments and the like are encouraged as we all cope with our new reality that virtual reality is the best way to watch sports this spring.