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With NCAA Football 13 from EA Sports about to be released, there’s a new twist being promoted with some humorous advertisements. College football fans are fiercely loyal and the new commercials, including one starring LSU’s mascot, Mike the Tiger, and coach, Les Miles, play on the fact that you can forget team rivalries and put any of the 16 included Heisman winners on any team.
This may not seem like a big deal; one gamer I spoke to wondered why this hadn’t been done already. Many other professional sports games already allow you to play with any player on any team. For example, in NHL ’12, also by EA Sports, you can put a player on any team, including legends like Gordie Howe or Wayne Gretzky on modern-day teams. Perhaps this is such a big development because college football teams don’t trade players like NHL teams do. Gretzky played for four different teams during his NHL career. To change teams in NCAA college football, a student would have to transfer schools. There are Heisman winners who have transferred schools, but it is rare enough that this video game is one of the few ways in which one could imagine these football stars spending their college years outside of their alma mater.
Only the 16 Heisman winners can be taken through a season on any team through the Heisman Challenge, a spin on the game’s Road to Glory mode. Ten of the Heisman winners are available with the game (including cover boys Robert Griffin III and Barry Sanders), three are available through the demo download (like Archie Griffin), and another three (including Tim Tebow) are only available when you pre-order with Game Stop.
It’s an interesting concept if you’ve always wondered if your favorite team could win a championship with Doug Flutie as the quarterback. As seen in the television commercials, fans may take Heisman-winning rivals for their teams just to increase wins, no matter how shameful it is. In one ad, LSU coach Les Miles strips Mike the Tiger of his jersey when he sees the mascot using RGIII on his LSU team. In another, two friends weigh whether they can live with themselves if they decide to let Tim Tebow lead Georgia to victory in the game. Rivalries run deep in college football. Just look at the Auburn-Georgia rivalry. Now imagine 1982 Heisman winner Herschel Walker on the Auburn Tigers instead of the Georgia Bulldogs. Scandalous! Rivalry trophies will be included in NCAA Football 13, like the LSU-Arkansas Golden Boot and Iowa-Minnesota’s Floyd of Rosedale (you know, the pig trophy).
If you love your rivalries and are ready to take it up a notch by putting a Heisman winner on your favorite team, it might be worth checking out the demo so you can score a few extra Heisman winners, or pre-ordering the game through GameStop to get three more champs. If the Heisman Challenge doesn’t interest you, the perks to downloading the demo or pre-ordering aren’t as great, except that you will be among the first to try out the anticipated game.