Throughout the last century and a half, college football has been alive and well. Although not much else has withstood the test of time as vigilantly, video games are here to stay. Ever since Pong hit the scene decades ago, our society’s fascination with gaming has experienced a meteoric rise that may see no end. I love college football. I love video games. With these shocking revelations off my chest, it is time to reveal my list that compares video game systems to college football programs. As always, chime in with your own insight.
The Cadets are one of the original collegiate football powerhouses. Like Atari, they experienced lots of success in the golden years, but have been irrelevant for so much time now, the mediums these two helped create don’t even recognize them anymore. The game of college football, and the landscape of video games, have progressed so much since the duo’s respective primes, a return to glory for either is virtually impossible. Atari systems and Army pennants are both collecting dust in attics all over the nation.
SH’s favorite Atari game: Raiders of the Lost Ark
Coleco Vision—–> Navy
Like Army and Atari, the Middies and Colecovision had their time in the spotlight, and those days are long gone. Navy replaced the Cadets as the premier college football team many years ago, and Colecovision did the same to Atari in the early 80’s. Both show signs of life once a decade (Navy’s Bowl appearances, Donkey Kong’s sporadic resurgence here and there), but you can’t look at either and say, “They are ready to take on the big boys.”
SH’s favorite Colecovision game: Zaxxon
Q-Bert rocked too…..
Nintendo (NES)—–>Notre Dame
Easily the biggest and most recognizable names in the world of college football and video games. The Irish, like the NES, had a great run that helped build a very large and loyal fan base. The NES has been replaced many times over throughout the years, and the Irish haven’t competed for a National Championship in that time frame, but sentimental folks everywhere still play the NES or root for Notre Dame because they both embody what nostalgia is all about.
SH’s favorite NES game: Tecmo Super Bowl (No question)
Click here for the 12 most underrated players in Tecmo Super Bowl
The Gameboy exploded onto the video game scene and was instantly a smashing success. The Tide, led by legendary coach Bear Bryant, exploded onto the SEC scene and had a dominant stretch that captured numerous National Titles. The Gameboy and Alabama faded away in the 90’s and early 00’s, but re-emerged as power players recently with Bama’s hiring of Nick Saban, and the release of Nintendo DS (I don’t care, it’s a freakin’ Gameboy).
SH’s favorite Gameboy game: Tetris
That Tetris song is now lodged in my brain, with no signs of escape…
Both were the new kids on the block in a highly competitive racket, and both blew away the competition. The Canes had a monster decade that spanned the late 80’s and early 90’s, and so did the Genesis. Nintendo and Notre Dame were shitting in their pants when these two fresher, hipper bullies pointed their fingers at the (then) top dogs, and this era signified what was to come.
SH’s favorite Genesis game: NHL ’95
Gotta admit, like the “U,” it does look pretty badass….
Super Nintendo—–> Nebraska
Nintendo is all about tradition, and so is Nebraska. The SNES was a faster, prettier version of it’s predecessor, and Nebraska replaced Notre Dame as college football’s traditional powerhouse that could compete with the new regime during this period. The Huskers re-established themselves as one of college football’s elite, and Nintendo experienced a similar renaissance.
SH’s favorite SNES game: Shadowrun
Welcome back Nintendo, we missed you…
Turbo Grafx 16—–>Washington/Georgia Tech
The TG16 was hailed as the “next big game system,” and nobody bought it, because they lacked household name qualities. Washington and Georgia Tech split a National title in 1990 (GT) and 1991 (UW), and nobody bought it, because they lacked household name qualities. See where I’m going here? (For the record, those two teams were exceptional, and it’s a shame they don’t get more credit)
SH’s favorite TG16 game: Splatterhouse
Yup, that’s what it looked like….
Neo-Geo—–> Boise State
Both are innovative, ahead of their time, and swindled many people over the years by their smoke and mirrors routine. BSU actually beat Oklahoma in a BCS game, but the inability to get top notch recruits and play a credible schedule have hindered the Broncos. The Neo-Geo blew away competition at many video game conventions with it’s 32 bit processor, but it’s absurd price (even for today’s standards), and inability to get the average gamer involved hindered the system.
SH’s favorite Neo-Geo game: King of Fighters (Only one I think I’ve ever played, so it wins by default)
Like the NES Advantage type controller….
Nintendo 64—–> Michigan
Nintendo pumps out another system targeted at traditional gamers, and old-school powerhouse Michigan wins a title during N64’s run. Both have the clout and reputation to produce greatness, but fell short when it really mattered (UM in 2005 against Ohio St., and N64 in 1997 against Playstation). Technology can be attributed to each sad demise:
1. The N64 used cartridges, the PS discs
2. Michigan used the schemes created by a senile Lloyd Carr, Ohio St. the lucid Jim Tressel
SH’s favortie N64 game: NwO vs The World
Nintendo officially jumped the shark with N64
Playstation—–> Florida State
Relative nobodies for a long time, both reached star status gradually. Sony was known for producing home electronics, and FSU was known for producing Burt Reynolds and his manstache. Lucky us (sigh), they both reached out. The release of PS vaulted Sony to the top of the video game world, and the paying of thousands of dollars to Seminole football players vaulted FSU to the top of college football. The PS is dead, and it’s all about Playstation 3 nowadays. Florida State is dead, and it’s all about Florida nowadays.
SH’s favorite Playstation game: NCAA ’99
Kinda miss playing the PS, and shitting all over FSU….
Nintendo Gamecube—–> Ohio State
Nintendo had to answer the success of Playstation, and it’s counter punch was the Gamecube, which by most, is a joke on all accords. Similarly Ohio State, as we all know, is a joke on all accords. The GC was Nintendo’s worst selling console, people hate it with a passion, and delusional die-hards will defend it to the death, talking shit to anyone that will listen. Ohio State has been embarrassed recently, people hate them with a passion, and delusional die-hards still prefer to talk rivers of shit to anyone that will listen. We have a perfect match.
SH’s favorite Gamecube game: Honestly never played it, but did actually root for OSU in their last 3 bowl games (kinda had to)
Paint it Scarlet and Grey and we’ll hear wedding bells…….
Playstation 2—–> Oklahoma
Not too much to say here. With Nintendo fading, Sony takes their traditional concepts and re-defines them. Oklahoma, being a tradional team, bursts back onto the college football scene, and establishes themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the late 90’s. The PS2 racks up the sales tally, and the Sooners rack up years of top 5 rankings. Both had no idea what was lurking in the shadows.
SH’s favorite Playstation 2 game: NCAA ’09
It ain’t NES, but it does play damn good…
Whoa, a video game system by Microsoft? Nobody saw it coming, but all had to deal with it. The X-Box came out, and stole the spotlight from PS and Nintendo. Household names in CFB took a back seat to the up-and-coming Bayou Bengals, who claimed two BCS titles in 5 years, and the balance of power in college football & video games shifted when these two emerged as contenders.
SH’s favorite X-Box game: Never played it (hate the controllers)
Like Bill Gates wasn’t rich enough…..
Playstation 3—–> USC
The PS3 is a great system, but it’s horrendous opening price, and numerous problems, have kept it from legitimately competing with the X-Box 360. USC is a great team, but it’s horrendous conference, and numerous recruiting scandals (that will go unpunished as usual) have kept it from legitimately competing in the BCS rankings with Florida, and the likes of Texas or Oklahoma. Both are considered an utter waste of talent, considering each should easily be number one every year.
SH’s favorite Playstation 3 game: NCAA ’08 (only one I’ve ever played)
Shoulda been the best…..
X-Box 360—–> Texas
The Longhorns proved that things are bigger in Texas when they went to the Rose Bowl and beat USC in a glorified Trojan home game, and Microsoft did the same by beating PS3 in what should have been a wipeout for Sony. Every time people write off Texas or the 360, they manage to pull off great things. UT was expected to finish 8-4 or worse in ’08, and almost went to the BCS Championship, its counterpart, the 360, was expected to cease after the Nintendo Wii hit shelves. Both have persevered behind a strong and loyal fanbase, and both will be back next year.
SH’s favorite X-Box 360 game: Never played it (read X-Box above)
Cool looking I guess, but not my cup of Beam….
Nintendo Wii—–> Florida
Nintendo released the Wii with a “forget everything you know about Nintendo” attitude, and it literally sells thousands of units a month. The Gators under coach Urban Meyer have a similar demeanor, and have also experienced a recent windfall of success. Both are the “it” thing in their respective forums right now, and people all over swoon in Tim Tebow or a Wii’s mere presence.
SH’s favorite Wii game: Bowling (I can play that shit all day)
How the times have changed….
So there you have it. If you feel that I snubbed someone (i.e. Auburn should be Atari Jaguar or Penn State should be Sega CD), please pipe up
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