Back when EA made the surprise announcement that it would be reviving the NCAA Football series, I published a list of features we’d love to see back. I had considered writing a partner article filled with features that shouldn’t return. At the time, however, I couldn’t think of any features that shouldn’t be given a second shot. Then, a tweet from February reminded me of the worst feature from the NCAA Football series: your transforming girlfriend.
Do you guys remember when NCAA Football ‘06 gave us a dorm room, made us study, and then as a reward for playing better, made our girlfriends more attractive???? pic.twitter.com/TkTOv37gF5
— Hunter Wise (@HunterBadger87) February 3, 2021
In NCAA Football 06’s Race For The Heisman mode, your athlete lived in a modest dorm room, which served as your main menu. For example, selecting your computer lets you look at various stats, including the Heisman watch. Race for the Heisman added some non-gameplay features in your dorm, as well. A folder on the wall contained fan mail. Your campus’ weekly newsletter showed highlights of your performance in games. A single photo taped to your computer monitor showed your girlfriend.
Only, you weren’t just dating one girl. In NCAA Football 06, your girlfriend’s photo changed based on your performance. The more wins your team put on the board, the more “conventionally attractive” your girlfriend became. An image from a 2013 Kotaku article shows a number of different girlfriends your athlete could be dating at the game, depending on your success.
This specific part of the NCAA franchise only lasted one year, and I personally think that’s for the best. However, if any EA developers are reading this article and decided, against better judgement, that this feature needs to make a return, please don’t stop reading. I have created three ideas for how EA could handle the return of this vestigial feature.
Redeeming the Worst Feature in NCAA Football 06
Suggestion 1: Add Dogs
This is probably the best solution. In NCAA Football 07, your athlete still has a photo in their dorm, encouraging them to play their hardest. This time, though, the girlfriend is replaced by Man’s Best Friend. Family is a powerful motivator, so by extension, the family dog must be the ultimate Heisman driver. Maybe let us choose from a variety of different dogs. For bonus points, add Create-a-Dog mode.
Suggestion 2: Add Hunks
Hear me out: what better motivation is there to become a hunk than pictures of other hunks? The aspect of dating progressively hotter girls is novel, sure, but what if instead your player displayed progressively hotter himbos around their dorm room. Icons of masculinity to aspire to, maybe even hold tightly. What’s better than this? Guys being dudes.
Suggestion 3: Add RPG Elements
Ok, so you aren’t impressed by the ideas of replacing the girlfriend, fine. Why not make it mean something? In NCAA Football 06, the photo was just for show. In EA Sports College Football, dating could be part of the story. Imagine this: your athlete has an excellent date the night before the Big Game. On gameday, they wake up happy and gain a huge confidence boost. The reverse should be true, too.
If you break up with your partner on a Thursday, your vibes in the first quarter should be abysmal, causing huge stat losses that have to be overcome as your athlete learns to move on. If you want your fake college experience to include upgrading girlfriends, fine, but you should have to manage it.