When you order the latest copy of NCAA 14, you will either see Ryan Swope or Denard Robinson on the cover. EA Sports has been running a contest over the last several weeks where you, the fan, can vote for your favorite baller or school and help put them on the cover of the popular video game.
Texas A&M and Michigan either have an overwhelming fan base that has computers, or you guys just didn't like the rest of the choices available. Both Swope and Robinson have beaten out guys such as Kenjon Barner of the Oregon Ducks, Eddie Lacy of the Alabama Crimson Tide and EJ Manuel of Florida State, just to name a few.
So who ends up on the cover? Well, that's up to you. You can make your voice heard by visiting the EA Sports Facebook page and voting for who you think deserves it most. You can also check out the updates on the EA Sports Twitter page to see how your favorite player is doing in the polls. Voting ends March 8, so this isn't something you can put off any longer.
Let's now take a look at the two athletes who are going head-to-head for the cover vote, and throw out a prediction for who will walk away victorious.
Making a Case for Denard Robinson
When I think of sport video games, I think of the guys who were unstoppable. The players you wouldn't want to compete against, no matter what.
If somebody was going to use Bo Jackson in Tecmo Bowl, there was absolutely no hope for you. You would call folks a "cheater" if they played with the Atlanta Falcons in Madden 2004 because of what Michael Vick could do to your defense. Even Jeremy Roenick could do everything in NHL 1994, likely creating a little bit of distance between you and your friends.
Those guys instantly remind you of Robinson and what he did for the Michigan Wolverines. There is no quarterback in college football history that has more rushing yards. He is also the first player who has rushed for at least 1,500 yards and thrown for at least 1,500 in a single season. (Jordan Lynch is the only other player to do so)
Robinson has broken numerous school, NCAA and Big Ten records throughout his career, often putting his team on his back and leading it to victory. There is the game against the Connecticut Huskies when Robinson racked up 383 total yards and scored two touchdowns. There was also this incredible run against the Irish that ended up being the longest run in Notre Dame Stadium history.
Robinson was pretty much a video game player out there on the field with all of the things he was able to do.
It's only right that he graces the cover.
Making a Case for Ryan Swope
Chances are, unless you are a Texas A&M fan, or just a religious college football fanatic, you haven't heard of Swope until recently. This is somebody who didn't receive a lot of media attention. He wasn't thrown down your throat after a big game on Saturday, and he certainly wasn't somebody who was going to let the world know he just caught yet another football.
Swope handled his business in College Station for four years and let his numbers do the talking.
Who will win?
Not the flashiest player in the world, but one of the more productive and underrated players over the last several seasons. He hauled in at least 72 passes in each of the last three years, racked up more than 3,000 receiving yards in his career and finished with 24 touchdown receptions. Keep in mind, all of this was done against defenses that knew he was the go-to guy within the Aggies offense.
Last season many questioned how Swope would fair against SEC competition. He shut those critics up quickly, as he averaged nearly 13 yards a reception, scored eight touchdowns and finished fifth in the conference in receptions. With 72 catches under his belt his senior season, 36 of them picked up first downs and 12 of them went for 25 yards or more. Easily the most productive receiver in school history.
Swope doesn't have an interesting story to tell. He wasn't a household name for much of his career and he wasn't in any Heisman discussions at any time. However, if you want to reward production and a class act on and off the field, this former Texas A&M Aggie is your guy.
Who Is Going to Grace the Cover?
As you can see, you can make a solid argument for both of these players. They both had tremendous college football careers and got the job done week in and week out. But video games are all about being flashy and hip to today's market. You are never going to see a kicker on the cover of Madden no matter how many game-winning field goals he makes. People want the big name and the guy that provides the swagger to appear on the cover.
This is why Robinson is going to have his face plastered on NCAA 14.
Pretty much a video game character already, Robinson was an in-your-face type of player and was by far more known than many of the other candidates for this award. He fits the mold perfectly for this type of game and falls in line with many of the other terrific players who have received this honor.
Texas A&M has a remarkable fan base and will keep it close, but due to overall popularity and the household name, Robinson should have enough to put himself on the cover of NCAA 14.