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Top 20 Tuesdays: NCAA Dynasty Mode

By Sam Jessee | June 28
via @EASPORTS on Twitter

We're 12 months away...

After years of pettiness and ineptitude from the bowels of the NCAA, EA Sports has officially announced that the NCAA College Football video game will make a return. The release date is set for July of 2023.

Many sports gamers claim that NCAA 2014 is the greatest sports video game of all time. With multiple career game modes, elite custimization options, and perfect gameplay physics, the game is still played heavily today and holds up better than most games from a decade ago.

The pride and joy of any player, however, is taking over a school of their choice and turning them into a powerhouse. Whether it be your favorite team or a random one, turning a loser into a winner in NCAA football is the virtual American Dream.

Which schools are the best to start with? Our panel of Sons of Saturday contributors and friends ranked their top 20 schools to start a Dynasty Mode with. Uniforms, stadium, and location were all considered, but of course everyone loves a challenge.

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graphic by Al Jones (@Jones_VT)

#20 - BYU

"The stadium is gorgeous and the crowd is always rocking." - Sam

#19 - Duke

"No Duke fans actually attended Duke so this would be chaotic." - Adam

#18 - Troy

"Troy seems like the most random school in college football. I love it. Their mascot is the Trojans. Is that a reference to soldiers from Ancient Troy or just people from Troy, Alabama? Either way, I'm in." - Robert

#17 - Oregon

"It seems chalky as one of the higher-profile programs, but Oregon is actually one of the most fun. You can bring the program its first national championship as you wear a different uniform combination for every game." - Robert

"Cool uniforms and stadium." - Justin

#16 - Colorado State

"Great colors and a fun challenge to move them to the PAC 12 and face rival Colorado in Denver every season. Another school whose new stadium will look great in the new game." - Sam

"One of my first dynasty teams in NCAA Football...'99" - Justin

#15 - Buffalo

"#MACtion with hot sauce." - Justin

#14 - USC

"Before I was a Tech fan I was a USC fan b/c of my dad. Is there anything better than being a college kid and having the most famous people in the world come to your practices? No one in LA cares about football unless it's the Trojans" - Adam

#13 - East Carolina

"Ahoy! Is there a better mascot in all of sports than a Pirate? Imagine implementing the scurvy, care-free attitude into your offense. Not to mention, purple is a cash money color. If you're trying to take a non-Power 5 program to the promised land, this may be the best team to start with." - Robert

#12 - Tulane

"Any excuse I have to go back to New Orleans I will take it." - Adam

"Maybe the best uniforms and color combination in the sport. You also get to play in the Super Dome in the old games which is pretty cool once it starts to sell out." - Sam

#11 - Navy

"Though it is an absolutely abhorrent offense in real life, the Triple Option is a blast to run in NCAA 14. And yes, I know you can choose to run it with any team. But Navy IS the Triple Option. Plus, it's fun to bring success to one of the Service Academies." - Robert

#10 - Oregon State

"The giant slayers! It's almost worth it just to stay bad and upset one or two teams every year. The colors really pop on the old graphics and how can you not love beavers?! Also, the new stadium will look great on NCAA 23." - Sam

#9 - Idaho

"The ultimate challenge, but lacks the flare of other tough schools. Lot of work for a little reward. The Kibbie Dome should be considered a sacred place." - Sam

"They have a hilarious dome." - Justin

"Potatoes!!" - Robert

"Who doesn't like potatoes?" - Adam

#8 - Colorado

"Stadium graphics are fire and the uniforms are clean. You have a bit of an easier start in the PAC 12 but still at the bottom of the conference. Also you get to see Ralphie run before every game. If the site of a full grown American Bison stampeding onto a football field doesn't get you fired up, I can't help you." - Sam

#7 - UConn

"Connecticut is an okay place." - Justin

"For the memes." - Robert

"Successfully building UConn into a national power brings a sense of accomplishment that will make you laugh and cry all at once. Downside is boring uniforms and stadium, but the upside is worth it. Also, in NCAA 13 they refer to Hartford as 'the insurance capital of the world'. Talk about city pride." - Sam

#6 - Boise State

"Nothing like some blue turf to make your parents think the TV is broken when they walk in on you playing." - Robert

"Love it or hate it, the blue turf is the the quirky side of college football come to life. You also get to play in great uniforms and already have some established credibility as a program." - Sam

"Nothing hurts my eyes more than their blue home turf and I would like the rest of the nation to endure that suffering as well." - Adam

#5 - Virginia Tech

"I always start the first one with the alma mater." - Justin

"Not sorry about it." - Robert

"Live vicariously through a video game. It's totally great for your mental health." - Sam

"It's fun because as an alumni I know they'll just choke when the lights get bright so can just pretend they're a dynasty for once." - Adam

#4 - Air Force

"Incredible stadium in the game with the mountainous scenery. Also great uniforms, as people forget that Air Force was one of the first schools to bring out multiple alternate uniforms every season." - Sam

"Service Academy with cool helmets." - Justin

#3 - Wyoming

"Mountain West teams are electric, and there is no better program to play with than Wyoming. The stadium backdrop is gorgeous, the color scheme is beautifully hideous, it's just a great time" - Robert

"Sneaky great stadium in the game with awesome field paint. It's also one of the more challenging schools to recruit to in the game. You also now have another excuse to sing Wyoming's drinking song 'Beer Song' which is the best college football tradition you've never heard of." - Sam

"Simply put, Josh Allen looks good in shorts." - Adam

#2 - Marshall

"Matthew Mcconaughey gives one of his most underrated performances in a movie that's more about tragedy (as it should be) than actual football." - Adam

"Great colors, great mascot, awesome fan support, and a tough challenge. It's everything the game was meant to be." - Sam

"Nothing like a beautiful green color scheme and a little bit of history to make you want to take the Thundering Herd to the top. WE ARE!!" - Robert

"Big fan of them and their Hokie connections." - Justin

#1 - Hawaii

"Just so much fun in all aspects." - Robert

"The only mild recruiting challenge in the game (outside of self-imposed limits)." - Justin

"The rainbow warriors needs some shine." - Adam

"Everything about them is the best. Awesome uniforms. Great nickname. Aloha Stadium (RIP) looks awesome in the games. PAC12 stadiums are the coolest looking overall if you move to that conference. And it presents a unique challenge that no other school does. It's the perfect way to play the game. Go Bows!" - Sam

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I'm a born and raised Hokie. My first game in Lane Stadium was in September of 1997 when Tech stomped Big East rival Syracuse 31-3. 

I was born and raised in Richmond, VA, where I developed a passion for local cooking, scenic nature, and everything Orange and Maroon. I graduated from Tech with a degree in Finance in 2019 and received my Master's in Data Analytics in 2021. I'm a certified analytics nerd with a passion for data visualization and modeling, which fuels much of my work.

I joined the Sons team in 2020, and now act as the Website Content Manager overseeing all online content and mentoring our talented tea of writers. I also co-host the Two Deep podcast with Pete B.

I currently work in Virginia Beach, VA, as a data and financial analyst for LifeNet Health, a biotech and organ transplant non-profit.

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