Comparing SEC Team Ratings in NCAA Football 14

Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE

How do the Vols stack up against their video game counterparts?

The theme for this year's edition of EA Sports' NCAA Football franchise is "Keep It Real". Reality appears to be a bit harsher for Tennessee on the field this fall, but how do the Vols stack up on your Xbox and Playstation? Let's take a look at the team ratings for each of the 14 SEC schools overall:

  • Alabama: don't ask
  • LSU: 93
  • Georgia: 91
  • Texas A&M: 91
  • Florida: 90
  • Ole Miss: 90
  • South Carolina: 90
  • Arkansas: 88
  • Auburn: 88
  • Mississippi State: 88
  • Missouri: 88
  • Tennessee: 86
  • Kentucky: 84
  • Vanderbilt: 83
So, you know, we're biased and all, but how far from the truth is this list? If you use last year's standings, Tennessee is appropriately placed. Kentucky and Vanderbilt have their traditional position, but the Vols are alone in 12th place, just better than the cellar dwellers but just below that Arkansas/Auburn "we know last year was really bad but here's our new coach!" group. If the Vols used to get any kind of traditional powerhouse bump in the game because they were, in fact, the Vols, that certainly appears to have vanished this season.

How about on offense?

  • Alabama: cheat codes
  • Georgia: 95
  • Texas A&M: 95
  • LSU: 93
  • Ole Miss: 91
  • Florida: 90
  • Mississippi State: 90
  • Missouri: 90
  • Arkansas: 88
  • Auburn: 88
  • South Carolina: 88
  • Kentucky: 84
  • Tennessee: 84
  • Vanderbilt: 84
Ouch. In a video game world, this makes sense because the Vols lost all the pieces from their video game offense in 2012. Having one of the best offensive lines in the nation is apparently not enough to make the pixels align in your favor. But again we find ourselves in the uncomfortable company of Kentucky and Vanderbilt. Will the Vols really be in the conversation for the worst offense in the SEC?

On defense, where the Vols gave up video game numbers last year? Here's how the SEC stacks up on NCAA 14:

  • Alabama: 99 (except when playing Texas A&M?)
  • Florida: 92
  • LSU: 92
  • Auburn: 90
  • South Carolina: 90
  • Georgia: 88
  • Ole Miss: 88
  • Tennessee: 88
  • Texas A&M: 88
  • Arkansas: 87
  • Missouri: 87
  • Mississippi State: 85
  • Kentucky: 83
  • Vanderbilt: 82
Hey now! Hope arises on the defensive side of the ball, where the Vols are tied for the sixth best defense in theSEC, at least in the video game. Obviously the Vols have nowhere to go but up, but how much will Tennessee actually improve compared to the rest of the conference?

One of the questions we've asked before is, "If you were selling jerseys for this year's Tennessee team, which three or four numbers would you keep in stock?" And since offensive linemen tend not to sell, I'd imagine most of the answers are going to fall on the defensive side of the ball. And you'll find the same thing for Tennessee's highest rated players in NCAA Football 14.

Again, we know it won't be as bad as 2012, but if Tennessee can get anything that even comes close to resembling a strength from what is a veteran defense, it will greatly help their young offensive woes.

Will these ratings closely resemble the real product on the field this fall for Tennessee? The game comes out on July 9 - join the conversation in the comments and you could be selected for another promotional post on NCAA Football 14 coming soon.

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