I have returned from Florida, and while I was pretty much out of the loop the last three days, one of the things I did manage to learn about were the team rankings in this year's NCAA 14 video game. And even though it's been a couple of days since they were released, I still want to write about them because, well, the ratings for the Illini seem a bit extreme to me.
The Illini are rated as an 83 overall, an 86 on offense and an 80 on defense.
Which is just a bit optimistic because, statistically, the Illini were one of the worst schools in the country on both sides of the ball last season. But while those numbers seem high just seeing them on their own, let's compare them to other school's ratings.
Look at the Big Ten overall ratings in order of best to worst.
1. Ohio State - 95
2. Michigan - 91
2. Michigan State - 91
4. Iowa - 88
4. Nebraska - 88
4. Wisconsin -- 88
7. Northwestern - 86
8. Penn State - 84
8. Purdue - 84
10. Illinois - 83
11. Indiana - 81
12. Minnesota - 79
Where to even begin looking at those? Iowa is rated as an 88, which is the same as Nebraska and Wisconsin -- THE TWO TEAMS WHO PLAYED IN THE BIG TEN TITLE GAME LAST SEASON -- and the Hawkeyes were 4-8. Iowa is also ranked higher than Northwestern and Penn State.
Or how about Michigan State? That's right, the same Spartans that went 7-6 are just as good as the Wolverines. And that Michigan State offense that scored an average of 20 points per game last season? Yeah, that's rated as a 90, which is better than every other school in the conference not named Ohio State, Michigan or Nebraska. Yes, that's right. The Spartans -- who lost just roughly 80% of their offensive production to the NFL and graduation -- are ranked as a better offensive team than Northwestern (31.7 ppg), Wisconsin (29.6 ppg), Penn State (29.1 ppg) and Indiana (30.8 ppg). Just to name a few.
Iowa's offense is rated as the fifth-best in the conference.
On defense, while things aren't right, when compared to overall and offensive ratings you want to give the folks at EA Sports a round of applause.
Still, at the end of the day, while EA's motto may be "if it's in the game, it's in the game" I'm seriously wondering if EA was watching the game before putting it in the game.