In the NCAA series, not all poorly rated teams are created equal. In an article from last month, I talked about some teams that are set up well for a building or rebuilding project. These are not those teams. Instead, the teams on this list feature an often shocking lack of talent and a tremendous uphill battle for relevance ahead. Looking for a challenge? Take one of these teams for a spin.
I love using Idaho, who have probably the coolest stadium in this game in the Kibbie Dome. But wow, that roster is rough. Don’t be fooled by the 75 overall rating. Your highest-rated player is only an 82 overall, and the depth chart is incredibly shallow and features an uncomfortably high number of players rated in the 50s. Plus, of your 23 players who are rated 70 or above, eight are juniors, and the other 15 are seniors. Better hit the recruiting trail hard.
If you slap a redshirt on junior QB Dominique Blackman (QB No. 10 – should be No. 3 - 69 overall), you’ll have a fun signal caller to use in years two and three with his 80 speed rating. Freshman WR Marquan Major (WR No. 84, 68 overall) and freshman HB Todd Handley (HB No. 26, 68 overall, 93 speed) look like your future weapons, but this roster is devoid of the signature talents that really stick out in this game.
Gross. Eastern Michigan has had a horrible time on the football field lately, and their 63 overall roster brings that out. This team is just disgusting. They’re incredibly slow, and what limited talent there is on this roster is senior-heavy. Only seven players sit at or above 70 overall, and unless you bring in an influx of serious talent during your first year of recruiting despite your terrible available pitches, your team will be even worse in year two. Hey, at least your new recruits should all get playing time!
If you can win with Eastern, things can get a lot better, as three of your pipeline states (Michigan, Ohio, Florida) are talent-rich. Your first two games in year one are against FCS schools, and the MAC isn’t exactly known for its football powers. But it’s going to be an uphill battle, and maybe the most difficult one in the game. Good luck. Pray for transfers.
The good news: the Golden Flashes feature sophomore DE Roosevelt Nix, last season’s MAC defensive player of the year. He’s rated 82 overall and has enough speed to chase down mobile quarterbacks. The bad news: pretty much every other aspect of the roster. There’s very little talent on this team, and of your 17 players rated 70 overall or above, 10 graduate after year one. There are only 12 freshmen on the roster, 10 of whom are rated 61 or below.
Recruiting will be tough, as only one of your pitches is above a C+. To shake things up, try freshman FB Trayion Durham at HB (69 OVR at FB, 67 OVR at HB, 85 speed). Enjoy the week one matchup against Alabama! Try to see the humor in Trent Richardson playing pinball with your defenders – if you can still see the screen through your tears.
New Mexico State
Those of you with heart conditions or weak constitutions should avoid looking directly at this roster- only eight players rated 70 or above. A terrible offensive line that becomes even worse when four of your five starters graduate after year one. Only 12 freshmen, six of whom are rated 50 or below. You’ve got an easy schedule in year one, but it’s hard to find much else to be happy about.
Freshman WR Austin Franklin (No. 81, 66 OVR) is your skill position player to build around. Otherwise, you’ll need to recruit, which will be painful given your available pitches. Just hope that C+ in program stability is enough to convince some poor recruit that the Aggies are his dream team.
It’s not that Washington State’s roster is among the worst in the game – it isn’t. The team’s rated 77 overall with some legitimate talent to play with, but the fact that Washington State starts as a one-star program means that you’re going to have an awfully tough time recruiting. In the new PAC-12, you’re a clear outlier at the low end.
The key to your offense will be the connection between junior QB Jeff Tuel (81 OVR) and sophomore WR Marquess Wilson (86 OVR, 91 speed, 92 acceleration). Sophomore SS Marcus Richmond (81 OVR) can anchor your defense for a few years. But those three are your only players rated above 80 overall, and in a conference where you’re competing with the likes of Oregon and USC, that’s just not going to produce wins. Your recruiting pitches are bad, too, so mine your pipelines in California and Florida for all they’re worth.
These teams offer a challenge for even the most seasoned dynasty mode player. But with patience, effort and skill, every one of these programs can become a power. It’s a nice change of pace to play with a program for which a three-star recruit isn’t a backup plan, but the jewel of the class. The building process won’t be easy, but once you start pulling in top recruits and beating up on traditional powers, it’s worth it.
What are your picks for the toughest teams to use in Dynasty Mode?