EA Sports is tearing the ceiling off of the cover vote concept with NCAA Football 14. This year it's not about a specific athlete, it's about an entire school.
Previously, the cover has always been occupied by a recent, high-profile graduate from a selected school. Last season's version featured a cover vote with a select group of former Heisman winners vying to share the cover with Robert Griffin III.
Ultimately, Barry Sanders won that vote, but this year the entire process is changing.
Per the EA Sports official NCAA Football page, nearly every form of social media actions will count as a vote for the school featured in the communication. The standard poll system will still be in effect, but in addition to that: tweets, instagrams, Facebook likes and more will all count as votes.
The aforementioned page states:
Throughout the month we’ll be showcasing specific rivalries, conferences, traditions, and college football legends, and every single fan interaction counts as a vote.
Liking posts, sharing stories with friends, voting on rivalries and leaving comments all count as supporting your school; so be loud, be proud and make yourself heard. We'll also be providing regular updates throughout the process so you’ll know exactly where your team stands and what you need to do to make sure they advance into the next round.
This is a smart approach to marketing the game, and also a way to get the attention of a program's fan base that may not produce a cover-worthy athlete. It always felt a little weird to have a guy on the cover that was already in the NFL.
It may be a cool departure to see an entire program represented on the cover. You have to wonder how this will affect the hearts of fans of the winning schools' rivals. For example, if Michigan wins the cover vote, how will Ohio State fans deal with a cover that s emblazoned with the maize and blue.
Though it'll definitely elicit some grumbles, if the game itself is solid enough, I think even the most diehard fan will grin and bear it for a fun virtual football experience.
People are nuts for their favorite schools. If you need any proof of that, visit any one of our college football team pages and read the comments. On the strength of that passion, it'll be fun to see what fans create to represent their schools.
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