This is a Guest Post submitted by Porter Olson
Who Should Join RG3 on the EA Sports ’13 NCAA Football Cover?
EA Sports named one of two cover athletes for EA Sports’ NCAA Football 13, Robert Griffin III. Griffin is the recent winner of the Heisman and fans will vote on the NCAA Football Facebook fanpage on what legendary Heisman winner will join him. Candidates include:
- Marcus Allen
- Doug Flutie
- Eddie George
- Desmon Howard
- Barry Sanders
- Herschel Walker
- Charlie Ward
- Andre Ware
The “Easy” Choice
After looking at that list of impressive options, maybe the decision isn’t so easy. However, when you consider the sheer dominant season that Barry Sanders had in 1988, things begin to clear up.
In his junior season, Barry Sanders backed up Thurman Thomas and was an All-American kickoff returner. What followed is a matter of college football legendry: 2,628 rushing yards, 3,249 all-purpose yards, and 39 touchdowns. He averaged 7.6 yards per carry and broke the 300-yard rushing mark in four games that season.
As Pete Fiutak notes, he would have finished 14th in rushing among all 2010 teams, all by himself. His record puts him at the top spot among all other Heisman winners for best individual college football seasons.
But it’s not just about the stats. Barry Sanders remains one of the most elusive football players to play the game, on any level. And when you consider the elusive Baylor quarterback that looks poised to carve out a nice career, the choice is simple: it’s the 17th best NFL player of all-time.
Consider the success of Michael Jordan (and now Larry and Magic, this past year) and the NBA 2k franchise the past couple of years. It was more than a marketing stunt to give the game a great player. It allowed today’s video game and sports generation to learn more about the historical basis of basketball. With Barry Sanders, a player deserving of such a spotlight, young players could spark their interest in the player who had the most dominant Heisman season. His NFL career bridges the gap between some other lesser-known choices.
Another Strong Choice
It would be great to have a player that offers a strong parallel to Robert Griffin III. And while Barry Sanders brings a vague sense of “elusiveness” to that argument, a parallel isn’t really there. Thus, we arrive at the next most obvious choice with Andre Ware.
Ware was the first African American quarterback to win the Heisman, with RG3 being the 5th on that list. Behind the run and shoot offense, Ware was an offensive juggernaut in his Heisman year. The fast-paced offense at the University of Houston certainly draws its healthy share of comparisons to the Baylor Bears in their respective years.
The Final Decision
Overall, there are two logical answers. Barry Sanders is one player that could immediately draw excitement due to his dominance in his Heisman season, giving an “epic” feel that parallels what NBA 2k did with their gaming franchise. But if you want someone who is matched well with Robert Griffin III, then maybe it’s time to look at the force at the University of Houston, Andre Ware.
In the meantime, we wait in anticipation for the Facebook results. Who do you believe deserves to be on the new NCAA EA Sports cover? Tweet us your picks or leave them in the comments section below!