"Keeping It Real" With A Fellow SOTU Contributor

USA TODAY Sports

After the first post about the Hurricanes' ratings on NCAA Football 2014, I decided to catch up with a commenter on that post, and it happened to be one of our own contributors.

The following is an email conversation that I had with our own writer, Richard Paolillo (Cane49p), and we talk about some of the ratings on the new NCAA Football 14 video game and how they match up with the real ‘Canes team. My words will be in bold, while Richard's will be in normal font.

The first thing that many people look at, including myself, is ratings. Whenever a sports game is released, fans immediately look at their respective teams' ratings and compare them to last season.

The first thing I noticed was that the Hurricanes' offense has a 91 overall rating. The ‘Canes received a three-point boost from the 88 overall they got in 2013. I think the boost is fair, but I also think that they should have gotten a 93 or maybe a 94 on this side of the ball since the offense has a good chance at being elite. What do you think about some of the offensive ratings?

I agree with you that 91 is probably a low figure, but as for myself, I believe it has to do with the game's annual low ratings of the WR and O-Line positions. Many of us fans can agree the offensive line is destined to be a force this year and it's a hard case to make otherwise. As for the Wide Receivers, last year the ratings were quite low, but that would be due to the shortage of proven threats before the 2012 season. However, when it comes to 2013, this should be a very lethal group. Their speed ratings should be among the top and overall ratings definitely deserve a bump. There's also the offense as a whole that may bring the higher rated guys down a peg when it relates to overall.

Example: Running Backs.

While Duke has a high rating for a sophomore (damn right) in regards to the remaining backs (Clements aside) they lack the ratings a good team for the game would have for most back ups, which is most likely caused by their inexperience. This applies even more so for the Tight Ends.

My trend for NCAA 13-14:

QB: Improved (Morris)

RB: Improved (Duke)

WR: Improved (Overall)

TE: Improved (Overall, and BEAU)

OL: Improved (Overall)

OVERALL: Game 91, Myself 94

I definitely agree with you that the lack of a proven backup running back hurt the team in it's ratings, ditto for the tight ends, but I still think this year's offense should have gotten a little bit more of a bump considering we have a senior QB, a heisman-hopeful at running back and a plethora of good wide receivers.

Now, let's touch up on our defense.

There's absolutely no secret on what most if not all Canes fans think about our defense. The game rated the defense as an 88 overall, which is only a one-point dropoff to the 89 rating they receive in the 2013 version of the game.

I personally think that even an 88 is a bit high for this defense considering the fact that they aren't proven, at all. Why do you think the defense didn't have much of a dropoff despite a really sub-par season?

Still a low rating as it pertains to the game itself, I believe. We could even argue that the defense deserved a slight bump.

Slight bump: 89-90. I am speaking on behalf of the game in this example, this year is said to be if anything an improvement from last year's squad. Last year 88, next year with 10 starters returned a bump or so higher. It could be that the '13 version slanted these ratings and they were concentrated on the loss of Brandon McGee and Vaughn Telemaque (received good rankings in '13, Telemaque was a starter). While those two would mean major losses for other teams our Miami squad is of a different breed. This argument being that the defense as a whole has improved. Please remember as this view applies to the game, a rating of 89 still makes for a mediocre team. The average-good offenses will still take advantage of low 90's defenses.

All the "we have no DT's" people are shaking their heads right now. What's your argument?

My argument will be the same as next year when they start ranting nonsense about the safeties. The DT situation for myself is a waiting game. You can preach all you want, but unless your words are compelling enough to shake a 300 pound NCAA student-athlete into any resemblance of Warren Sapp or Vince Wilfork, you're wasting your breath. If you think those same rants will draw in top name recruits, you're only hindering the effort. Bottom line is you have no choice but to move forward with the guys who will fill the 2013 roster.

I am confident in our guys improving and whether that results in an all-around better defense remains to be seen.

Prediction: the statistics around the defensive line will improve, but the bundles of yards given up? That may still be a frequent against the better offenses the Hurricanes face. My lean for the statistical category is turnovers. That will be our greatest turn around and will result in a sounder defense for the Hurricanes. Batted balls at the line, more INT's, forced fumbles, and all those other pleasures that make a fan forget his defense allowed a 70-yard run by Logan Thomas during their defeat of Virginia Tech.

As for the DT's in the game - OVERRATED EVERY LAST ONE OF ‘EM!

But seriously, I think they're good to go. The same people who act hysterical about the DT's generally don't move up from the Freshman/Varsity levels so it'll be smooth sailing for them. Other than DT's, have fun running picks back with Tracy Howard and hit sticking with the likenesses of Denzel Perryman and Deon Bush. My personal favorite to use along the defense is Anthony Chickillo and with a good overall and speed for the game, I'll be abusing plenty of opposing QB's with CHICK.

My trend for NCAA 13-14:

DE: Improved (Green, Chick, along with more appearances from our 3rd down specialists)

DT: Slightly improved (Overall)

LB: Same (Loss of Eddie Johnson, gain of Alexander Figueroa, improvement of the rest)

CB: Average (Loss of Brandon Mcgee, improvement of younger guys)

Safety: Improved (Deon Bush, Rayshawn Jenkins)

Overall: Game 88, Myself 89

I think we now know how Richard feels about the entire Defensive Tackles dilemma, and I'm sure many of you disagree with some of the things he said, and that's okay. There's no need to have any DT fights on the comments, but if you really want to do that, you're more than welcomed to.

I want to thank Richard for a good discussion and if you haven't already, you should buy the game because it's really good, and if you have it for XBOX, you should probably play me. But most importantly, Go Canes!

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