I've been playing Madden 04 along with NCAA 04 with rosters from those years and it's great! I found a new copy of Madden w/o the draft class bug. It's very cool to see the big NFL superstars in college and then come up through the draft. I used Fairdale Kings NCAA rosters, so guys like Rothlesburger and Clarrett had their real names in the game. I played a season of NCAA, then had the draft. I saw Kevin Jones, Mewelde Moore, Mike Williams, Eli Manning, and Philip Rivers to name a few. Other players like Stephen Jackson, Matt Leinart, and Reggie Bush are still in college the second season.
Even though the actual games are two years old, it still feels current because a lot of the same real life players are represented in both games. It's also fun because you don't really know what college players will make it in the NFL. So when you see their name in NCAA, you want to get them in Madden. Like Michael Turner of the Chargers. I'm a Pac-10 guy, specifically Oregon St, so it's neat playing with Derek Anderson of the Beavers, anticipating where he'll go in the NFL. In real life, he's the 3rd string QB for the Ravens. It makes it all more immersive.