I wasn’t ready for the heat when I stepped outside this morning. Slapped me in the face; reminded me how hot it was for last season’s Clemson game, how hot it’s likely to be on September 2nd. Strictly guessing—we’ll probably kick off at 11:00. Just as well to melt watching the game as waiting on it, I suppose.
So today is perfect weather for playing football, the kind you play in whatever temperature you’re willing to expense. It’s a kind of football that’s always been married to Auburn—the Rev. Bo Jackson, officiating—more closely than any other. We call it Tecmo Bowl.
Now, just in case this means nothing to you . . . Tecmo Bowl was a 1980s football arcade game. The Nintendo version was—and still is—extremely popular; so much so that folks more tech savvy than I know how to alter the code and produce updated versions of Tecmo that reflect about any set of teams and players you could hope to play.
The 2016 Auburn Tigers are no exception. They’re included in a version titled NCAA 2017, named for the year of its release (with the teams actually based on the previous year’s season).
So I decided to test out NCAA 2017, to see whether Auburn gets a fair shake. Let’s take a look.
Who’s On The Field
Firstly, here’s the personnel.
Where do those stats come from? The game’s title screen says the rosters were made Sept 13, 2016. So I think those numbers are somewhat based on the first two games (Clemson and Arkansas State). Obviously, Pettway’s are not right.
The players not labeled (but named elsewhere on the game) are offensive linemen SMITH, DAMPEER, KOZAN and GOLSON. There is no right tackle because that spot is taken by “WR” STEVENS, lined up at tight end (Tecmo uses only nine players per side).
Here’s how the defense looks:
118 tackles by Rudy Ford. Looks about right.
The run between the tackles is Pettway. The sweep is Kerryon, and both receivers out-of-the-backfiled are Kerryon.
Who Are We Up Against?
For our experiment I chose to play Clemson. I’ll explain below why I didn’t choose Alabama. I also considered playing a team that we beat, but didn’t dominate—someone like Ole Miss. I knew from other Tecmo ROMs that the best team—depending on the programmer’s intent—could be juiced up all to heck, and nearly impossible to beat. Was that the case with Clemson?
We’ll see. But first, here’s the rundown on how our guys played.
Sean White has a good, but not great release (in terms of quickness). That’s fair. This Tecmo Sean White is good enough to lead the conference in every passing category when healthy.
Kerryon has appropriate speed and quickness. Pettway runs with about the same speed and lack of power. This inaccuracy matches up with the stats above. For whatever reason, the programmer just doesn’t know him.
Daniel Carlson kicked one field goal. Here are the before-and-after screenshots.
Can you see the blue X between the second and third rows of fans? That’s where the ball (above the near upright in the picture) is going to land. So Carlson was long enough by that much from 55. Could he hit from 57 or so? Maybe I’ll test that later.
Our defense is fine; nothing spectacular. I was able to move around well enough with most of the guys. Davidson is slow. I made three interceptions with Matthews, which basically determined the outcome. Speaking of which . . .
We beat Clemson 31–10. It would’ve been worse had I not spent the first few series focused on screen capping the different players’ stats.
The Bottom Line
So, does Auburn get a fair shake? The final verdict is . . . the jury is still out.
Why? Well, Clemson was good. Watson’s release was quick, and he often scrambled to move the chains on third down. Whether the programmer intended this expressly, I don’t know. I know that one time on third-and-long he sure enough pop-passed me. That was entertaining.
But, though Clemson played well, they were not so juiced as to make it challenging. To really test these Tigers we need a human opponent. And that brings us to why I didn’t play Alabama.
You might not believe this, but I do associate with a few humans who happen to be Alabama fans. A couple of them even play Tecmo. So I’m hoping to arrange a Tecmo NCAA 2017 Iron Bowl.
That game won’t be as easy, and it will tell us everything we could want to know about our Tecmo NCAA 2017 team. I don’t know exactly when this clash will take place, but I’ll let you know how it turns out. I know you can’t wait!
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