NCAA Football ’14 Preview Now With More Jaguars

April 23, 2013 · Filed Under Football, News · Comment 
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We covered the controversy last year when EA Sports failed to include South Alabama in the 2013 edition of their yearly NCAA Football franchise. Many Jaguar fans were annoyed and mad about being overlooked and they took to social media and email to let EA know about their displeasure.

EA responded with an initial, “oops, sorry we’ll get you next time.” But that was not enough for the fans. They continued to contact EA and they finally relented and gave the school their “first class treatment.”

Last season EA sent a crew to do detailed stadium scans, fan and tailgating photos and audio recordings to be included in the 2014 edition. They spent the week leading up to the game to collect data on the stadium and information about the team’s playbook. They also experienced gameday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium and have been using it to digitially recreate it “in the game,” as they say. This oversight may have worked out in South Alabama’s favor after all.

This was posted by EA Sports on their website previewing the 2014 game. “This year, South Alabama makes its long-awaited debut in NCAA Football along with Old Dominion and Georgia State. The Jaguars stadium has been accurately recreated, as has Texas State’s. That’s right, Jim Wacker Field at Bobcat Stadium will be in the game. Both big and small schools received attention, with TCU’s stadium updated to reflect their recent renovations. Horned Frogs fans should feel right at home.”

You can read the entire EA article here.

Our previous articles covering this topic can be viewed below:


EA Sports Is Making Good On Their Promise

September 8, 2012 · Filed Under Football, News · Comment 

Earlier this year, it came to fans attention that South Alabama was not “in the game” as EA Sports commercials suggest. When a preview was released, fans scoured through and could not find South Alabama. That’s when Jaguar Nation started making waves and their pleas did not fall on deaf ears.

At first EA ignored the fans and simply said that they didn’t know in time to include them in the game. An answer us fans refused to simply accept. Then EA announced that, due to the oversight, they were going to give the Jags the first class treatment usually reserved for the top tier teams.

Fast forward to this week. EA Sports has been in Mobile at Ladd-Peebles Stadium since Thursday collecting data, photographic and video scans and interviewing the coaching staff for inclusion in the 2014 edition of the game due out next summer.

According to Ben Haumiller, EA Sports site producer, South Alabama was not included in the 2013 game that came out earlier this year. They were the only team of the 124 FBS Schools that was not included. Last weeks opponent, Texas-San Antonio, is included even though they started football after South Alabama. So is Texas State. But EA Sports offered to make it up to the school and Jaguar Nation by providing extras for the Jags when they are included in the game next year.

EA Sports sent a four-person crew for a three day information gathering trip in preparation for their addition to the game. They have performed a stadium scan that will duplicate Ladd-Peebles Stadium exactly. Also crowd noise and fan chants during the game will be use “In the game”. Interviews with members of the coaching staff will help the developers make the play-calling and offensive and defensive formations as accurate as possible. South Paw was also filmed on Thursday for inclusion in the “Mascot Mash-Up” option in the game.

The crew will film the cheerleaders and the football team as they run-out of the entrance onto the field today. They will recreate that in game.

“It’s neat because a lot of the players are fans of the game and a lot of coaches may have played (similar) games when they were younger but have probably gotten away from it. But they understand the significance of it and for their team it can be a great team-building exercise,” said Haumiller of their reception in town this week. “The (players) will get together on a Friday night and play the game all night long. … Kids are learning about the sport. They’re learning what a cover 2 defense is at a younger age because they learn it playing the game. They love the fact that we are here to promote their school because it’s a big recruiting tool as well. To be able to say that EA was at South Alabama, hey we weren’t anywhere else this weekend.”

Haumiller said he was disheartened when they realized South Alabama had been omitted from the game. Their next step was to make sure South Alabama were “taken care of” for the next version of the game. “We could not have been any more embarrassed and saddened that it happen,” Haumiller said. “So that was one of the things where we wanted to make it right and how this trip became involved, getting everything we possibly can get to represent South Alabama so when they do make their debut it’s the right debut. It’s not just, yes, we added them, it’s yeah, here they are, and this is everything about them.”

Thursday, two EA Sports representatives met with coaches about their playbook, which the team is going to put together a DVD of some of its plays for them to use in the game. They also filmed South Paw and talked with other school officials as well.

Meanwhile, environmental artist Gregory Palinkas and Dan Goodman worked 12 hours at Ladd-Peebles Stadum to collect photographs, scan the stadium’s interior and exterior all to painstakingly recreate the look of South Alabama football in the game.

“We’re doing scans and photograph references, capturing material information, so we can get everything down to the gravel so that we can capture everything as true to life as we can,” Palinkas said.

The main work was doing the scans. “That scan is amazing,” Palinkas continued. “… We’re capturing 44 million points per scan. We’ll be able to pick up every nut and bolt that makes up this place. It’s insane. It’s fantastic. It not only will scan the points but it will take color photographs and when you put it into the software (in process of building the stadium for the game) you can overlay the color into those points and you get an accurate representation of the colorization of the lights during the day, what the different materials look like. It’s really outstanding.”

This is what Palinkas referred to as the “Big Tour” which is work normally reserved for the upper-tier teams. And now, South Alabama. All because we were omitted.

“We’ll be here Saturday for game day to capture what the crowd sounds like, get some crowd audio in, get more photograph references of the crowd itself. Because this is going to be South Alabama’s first time in the game we want to make sure that we absolutely nail it and get everything as close as we can to perfection so when you guys buy the game they’ll see the stadium just as it is,” Palinkas stated.

When they finish collecting data today, they will head back to their offices in Orlando, Florida and begin the process of putting all that information together for the Jags inclusion in the game. While this process will take about four to five weeks to complete, it will not stop there. After the stadium is recreated, the crowd noise is added and the plays and formations are added there will be continual updates and tweaks  make until the last moment before the game is shipped off for disc pressing. Then the Jags will be included with all of the other 123 FBS schools “In the game”.

While the fans may be sad that they were left out from the beginning. In hindsight it was a blessing in disguise. Now South Alabama will be included the same way as Alabama, Michigan, USC and other “top-tier teams”.

May we suggest a limited edition cover while we are at it?

Alternate cover for NCAA Football 13

Mock-up of Kendall Houston on the cover of NCAA Football 13. But it would be just as good if it were NCAA Football 14.


USA NCAA Football 13

C.J. Bennett as the alternate cover for NCAA Football 13.

Go Jags!

South Alabama Gets Lots Of Press Over EA Fumble

June 14, 2012 · Filed Under Football, News · Comment 
Alternate cover for NCAA Football 13

Kendall Houston as an alternate cover of NCAA Football 13

Several writers around the nation who cover College Football have written posts about NCAA Football ’13 set to release next month by EA Sports and how South Alabama is missing while UTSA, Texas State and UMass are all three included. South Alabama trustees voted on December 6, 2007 to add football and then hired Joey Jones to be the first coach on February 15, 2008 and played their first game in 2009.

However in 2009, they announced they were taking the most expedient route available under NCAA rules to become a full member of the FBS division of football. The three other schools only recently announced their intentions of moving up to the FBS level and will be classified the same as South Alabama.

An EA Sports communication manager Julie Foster said, “South Alabama was a provisional member of FBS last year and did not play a full FBS schedule. We did not receive confirmation that they were changing to a full FBS schedule this year until it was too late for inclusion in NCAA Football 13. South Alabama will be included in NCAA Football 14.” Further clarification was not made, however.

But this has left a sour taste in the mouth of many South Alabama fans. Many, like myself, have looked forward for over three and a half years to see our school among the storied programs of Alabama, Michigan, Ohio State, USC and Oklahoma in a video game. Unfortunately, we have to wait yet another year and it was not the fault of our school. It was a complete blunder by EA Sports.

Among those who have written about this are Kevin McGuire, Sports Video Game Examiner; Jason Kirk, College Football Editor and co-host of Shutdown Fullback at SBNation (first and second articles); Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday a Yahoo! Sports Blog and one of my favorite writers, Holly Anderson with Sports Illustrated put it in her Weekend Whimsy. (By the way, it wasn’t a paperwork issue either).

But fans have not stopped there, they are attempting to get EA’s attention by tweeting with the hashtag #FreeSouthAlabama. While I don’t work in the game development world, I do work in the field of software and studied game development (a little). I doubt they can add us to the game that will be shipped out next month, but us in Jag Nation hope that we will be included with an online update at least. But the last thing I want is a half-hearted attempt to stuff us in the game.

EA highly disappointed me and they disappointed all of us in the South Alabama family. I hope this will be rectified in the next edition, a very long year from now. But there are seniors on this years squad who will not get to see their number out on the field wearing the Jaguar Red, White and Blue. It’s those guys who I feel for. Some of them came to South when there wasn’t a football field house. They came on a vision and will be leaving a program that is well on it’s way to great heights. It’s already something special.

USA NCAA Football 13

C.J. Bennett as the alternate cover for NCAA Football 13. Image created by J.T. Crabtree.

South Alabama Being Left Out Of EA’s NCAA Football ’13

June 6, 2012 · Filed Under Football, News · 4 Comments 

South Alabama alum and avid support like myself Jon Garcia posted the following on Facebook this evening.

“So, it was found out today that South is not included in the coming release of the NCAA 13 football video game that is extremely popular (, but UTSA, Texas St, and UMASS are. All 4 of us are new to FBS this year, yet South is the only one that was left out. There is apparently some confusion as to why. With someone supposedly in the know stating that South “did not get its paperwork in on time” whatever that means. South announced FBS plans before any of those schools mentioned above.

Tweet @jdewiel and click the “submit feedback” button at the top of the page via to demand answers.”

I don’t know if they have enough time to add South Alabama and do a good job. But hopefully they will pay very close attention to us for next year’s release or maybe add us with an online update later.

Go Jags!

UPDATE 2012-06-08: Apparently the supposed person “in the know” is not really in the know. So I struck out the information included from said person.