2012-2013 Bowl Blitz Invitational: Top 10 Players in 33 Statistical Categories

With this entry, we come to the end of the 2012-2013 Bowl Blitz Invitational.  As with the Top 10 Team article, this entry is short on words but gives you the Top 10 Player results in 33 different statistical categories which were tracked over the course of this year’s project.  Read on to see which players performed at the highest (and lowest, in terms of statistics like turnovers) level over this year’s 35 Bowl Games!


Continue reading 2012-2013 Bowl Blitz Invitational: Top 10 Players in 33 Statistical Categories

2012-2013 Bowl Blitz Invitational: Top 10 Teams in 30 Statistical Categories

On this, the final day of entries for the 2012-2013 Bowl Blitz Invitational, we’re going out with few words but plenty of statistical reporting to consume.  This entry gives you the Top 10 Team results in 30 different statistical categories which were tracked over the course of this year’s project.  Read on to see which teams performed at the highest (and lowest, in terms of statistics like turnovers) level over this year’s 35 Bowl Games!


Continue reading 2012-2013 Bowl Blitz Invitational: Top 10 Teams in 30 Statistical Categories

2012-2013 Bowl Blitz Invitational Final Results & Bowl Blitz Invitational Champion

With the conclusion of Bowl Season last night and the Alabama Crimson Tide’s victory over Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship Game, the game article portion of the 2012-2013 Bowl Blitz Invitational has finally come to a close.  That said, the project continues on this week, and we will be sharing multiple articles recounting all of the statistical data that has been collected over the 35 Bowl Games played over the past month.

The first matter of business, however, is to analyze the “game within a game” here at the Bowl Blitz Invitational; each game is given a “Game Score” based on how close the NCAA Football 13 playthrough score came to the actual real-life result.  The person responsible for playing the game with the lowest “Game Score”—the lower the score, the closer the game came to matching the real-life final—is crowned “Bowl Blitz Invitational Champion,” a largely ceremonial title to recognize whoever managed to most closely replicate reality in the wholly unscientific process of playing a video game.

Last year, Eric Veneziano became the inaugural “Bowl Blitz Invitational Champion” with a Gator Bowl result that earned a “Game Score” of 2; read on to find out who emerged victorious this year!


Continue reading 2012-2013 Bowl Blitz Invitational Final Results & Bowl Blitz Invitational Champion

2013 Discover BCS National Championship: Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

The 2012-2013 Bowl Blitz Invitational presented by STAT BOX STORIES comes to a conclusion with the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship Game, which matches up the #2 Alabama Crimson Tide (12-1, 7-1 SEC) and the #1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (12-0).  STAT BOX STORIES owner Brian Parker opted to play as the underdog Irish in their quest to dethrone the reigning champion Tide and bring the crystal football trophy to South Bend.


Continue reading 2013 Discover BCS National Championship: Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Welcome to the 2012-2013 Bowl Blitz Invitational


Almost exactly one year ago, a wild idea was hatched here at STAT BOX STORIES to get people to volunteer to play EA SPORTS NCAA Football 12 and report on every match-up of the college Bowl Season.  When that project started, there were no guarantees that it would be successful; when the BCS National Championship Game was played on January 9th, 2012 between Alabama and LSU and all 35 Bowl Games had been successfully completed, it was an unexpected achievement.  The efforts of so many people who had nothing to gain from their participation but to say that they were part of something helped the Bowl Blitz Invitational become a project worth repeating, and it is now just about time for the sophomore year to start.

This year, the core goals remain the same: volunteers have been gathered, Bowl Games have been claimed, and gaming consoles around the country are booting up NCAA Football 13 to play the games and report the results.  Game statistics are being tracked in real-time, and as the real-life games are contested every play-through on the site will be matched up against those results to see which participant was able to most closely mirror reality.

One difference readers will notice is an emphasis on reporting each game as though it were an actual football game being contested; not just a video game played on an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3.  Volunteers have been encouraged to report even more statistical tidbits than last year, building from the editorial template of ESPN.com’s college football game summaries to bring about a more consistent theme in the writing across this year’s 35 entries.  Along with this new format, the familiar box scores, scoring summaries, team statistics, and player statistics will be present, along with screenshot and video highlights captured both using the in-game tools offered by NCAA Football 13 as well as through more sophisticated avenues such as HD video recorders.

With increased development in the ability to track statistics as the games are played this year, readers can look forward to an even more robust series of entries after the BCS National Championship Game is played between Alabama and Notre Dame on January 7th, 2013.  With statistics and statistical analysis such a large part of what inspired the creation of STAT BOX STORIES in the first place, the goal for the 2012-2013 Bowl Blitz Invitational is to improve upon every aspect of the statistical breakdowns offered in last year’s project.  For the next month and a half (and beyond), you won’t want to miss a single day of content as we celebrate college football and the 70 teams which have been invited to play a part in writing the story of the 2012-2013 Bowl Season.

The games begin this Saturday, December 15th, with the Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Nevada versus Arizona) and the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Toledo versus Utah State).  Our coverage here at STAT BOX STORIES for the Bowl Blitz Invitational begins Friday morning, December 14th, with the posting of the write-up for the 2012 Gildan New Mexico Bowl.  Here is the rest of the content schedule (all entries will be uploaded by 8:00AM ET on the date specified):

Saturday, December 15th

  • Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Toledo versus Utah State)

Thursday, December 20th

  • San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl (BYU versus San Diego State)

Friday, December 21st

  • Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl (UCF versus Ball State)

Saturday, December 22nd

  • R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl (East Carolina versus Louisiana-Lafayette)
  • MAACO Bowl Las Vegas (Washington versus Boise State)

Monday, December 24th

  • Sheraton Hawai’I Bowl (Fresno State versus SMU)

Wednesday, December 26th

  • Little Caesars Pizza Bowl (Western Kentucky versus Central Michigan)

Thursday, December 27th

  • Military Bowl (San Jose State versus Bowling Green)
  • Belk Bowl (Cincinnati versus Duke)
  • Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl (Baylor versus UCLA)

Friday, December 28th

  • Advocare V100 Independence Bowl (Ohio versus Louisiana-Monroe)
  • Russell Athletic Bowl (Rutgers versus Virginia Tech)
  • Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas (Minnesota versus Texas Tech)

Saturday, December 29th

  • Armed Forces Bowl (Rice versus Air Force)
  • Pinstripe Bowl (West Virginia versus Syracuse)
  • Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (Navy versus Arizona State)
  • Valero Alamo Bowl (Texas versus Oregon State)
  • Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl (TCU versus Michigan State)

Monday, December 31st

  • Music City Bowl (NC State versus Vanderbilt)
  • Hyundai Sun Bowl (USC versus Georgia Tech)
  • AutoZone Liberty Bowl (Iowa State versus Tulsa)
  • Chick-fil-A Bowl (LSU versus Clemson)

Tuesday, January 1st

  • TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl (Mississippi State versus Northwestern)
  • Heart of Dallas Bowl (Purdue versus Oklahoma State)
  • Outback Bowl (South Carolina versus Michigan)
  • Capital One Bowl (Georgia versus Nebraska)
  • Rose Bowl (Wisconsin versus Stanford)
  • Discover Orange Bowl (Northern Illinois versus Florida State)

Wednesday, January 2nd

  • Allstate Sugar Bowl (Louisville versus Florida)

Thursday, January 3rd

  • Tostitos Fiesta Bowl (Oregon versus Kansas State)

Friday, January 4th

  • AT&T Cotton Bowl (Texas A&M versus Oklahoma)

Saturday, January 5th

  • BBVA Compass Bowl (Pittsburgh versus Ole Miss)

Sunday, January 6th

  • GoDaddy.com Bowl (Kent State versus Arkansas State)

Monday, January 7th

  • Discover BCS National Championship Game (Alabama versus Notre Dame)

We sincerely hope that you are as excited as we are here at STAT BOX STORIES for the start of Bowl Season and the 2012-2013 Bowl Blitz Invitational; be sure to visit the “official” discussion thread at The Gaming Tailgate (http://www.thegamingtailgate.com/forums/showthread.php?6217-Introducing-the-2012-2013-Bowl-Blitz-Invitational) to follow along with the results as they are made available, and be sure to keep coming back to STAT BOX STORIES as the games get played!

An Update: The Status of STAT BOX STORIES

With three weeks of “blog silence” here at STAT BOX STORIES, I am certain that more than a few of you still coming to the website and waiting for content are close to giving up on me and this project at this point.  I return to the site tonight to state that the blog idea has not come to an end here; it’s merely fallen prey to the grip that “real life” can place on things at times.

When I last posted to the site–the entry for the 2012 BCS National Championship Game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and LSU Tigers using NCAA Football 12 for the Bowl Blitz Invitational–I was actually on my way to Orlando, Florida to visit EA SPORTS Tiburon as an invitee to the first NCAA Football 13 Community Event.  For the week of January 9th through 13th, I spent my days listening to presentations on the feature set for the coming year’s game as well as getting some very early hands-on time with a build of the game which will eventually blossom into a retail game to be released in July of 2012.  It was also an opportunity to share feedback and ideas from the NCAA Football community face-to-face with the developers responsible for the game, allowing myself–and the other invited guests at the studio–to try to live up to the Game Changers program name.

In the weeks since then, getting back to work at my daily job required a significant investment of time after missing a full week; my wife and I also finalized the process of purchasing our first home, with the final closing documents signed on Friday, January 27th.  Over the next month, significant time will be spent moving all of our possessions from our apartment to the house, as well as making the necessary home improvements for us to safely and comfortably live in a 101-year-old home.

Unfortunately, time spent playing video games will be hard to come by in the weeks to come; the amount of time necessary to put together a full entry for STAT BOX STORIES will be even harder to come by.  With that being said, the site will not be simply shutting down or sitting idle; indeed, later this week I’ll be featuring an entry using Madden NFL 12 for Super Bowl XLVI between the New York Giants and my New England Patriots.  After that entry goes live, the hope is for a new–and more streamlined–schedule to be introduced for the near future so that new features can be posted here on the site while still spending the time taking care of “real life” needs.  Perhaps a call for guest contributions will prove fruitful as well as the plan for more content is put into place.

For those of you who have been continuing to frequent the site, hoping for new content, thank you for the commitment.  As we go forward, I hope to get things back on a manageable schedule and return STAT BOX STORIES to the solid start we had up to a few weeks ago.

#43: 2012 BCS National Championship Game — Alabama @ LSU in NCAA Football 12

Thirty-four Bowl Games have now been chronicled for the BOWL BLITZ INVITATIONAL here at STAT BOX STORIES; the seasons of both the Alabama Crimson Tide and the LSU Tigers have been re-enacted in EA SPORTS NCAA Football 12, and their showdown in the 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship Game is the only game left to be played.  To all of those people who contributed work to this project–Eric Veneziano, Jeremy Etters, Quantrell Toval, Owen Good, Jeremy Bennett, David Searles, Jason Burt, Chris Jacobs, Tommy Gscwhend, and Matthew Lee–I am indebted to you all for the time and effort you have given towards the success of this project.

It makes sense, in a way, that it should come down to a rematch between the Crimson Tide and the Tigers; the very first entry here at STAT BOX STORIES previewed their regular season match-up.  In that game, I played as LSU and took home a victory, 28-10.  For this season-ending game, I have decided to take control of Alabama at the end of the season described in Eric Veneziano’s season write-ups from yesterday (Alabama here, LSU here) to decide which of these SEC powerhouses will taste victory in the Superdome tonight.

Since that season allowed for injuries, rosters will not exactly match the players who will be playing on the field tonight.  This will also be my first time playing the game using Matthew Lee’s–steelerfan–slider set, as those were the sliders set up for the season.  Finally, the quarter lengths were set to 6 minutes–instead of the customary 7 minute quarters I’ve been using–but it didn’t seem to have much of an effect on the action overall.

Roll Tide! Geaux Tigers!  It all comes down to one game…

Continue reading #43: 2012 BCS National Championship Game — Alabama @ LSU in NCAA Football 12

Bowl Blitz Invitational Special: Alabama’s Road to the BCS National Championship

One of the more rewarding things about starting up STAT BOX STORIES and the BOWL BLITZ INVITATIONAL has been the incredible response from guest contributors who had no true motivation–outside of playing the games and donating time to the cause–to participate.  Eric Veneziano has taken this dedication to a whole new level, not only contributing the most guest entries of any outside contributor, but also setting up an Online Dynasty running through the 2011-2012 college football season to see if he could find a way to set up the Alabama Crimson Tide and LSU Tigers in the BCS National Championship game; even though the SEC rivals would find it extra difficult to end up in the title game.  Believe it or not, they did.  Here’s the first part of how that ended up being so, chronicling the season of Alabama:

Coming into the season Alabama was a little bit of a mystery.  They carried a high preseason ranking but had to replace a number of key positions on the offense and 3 leaders at quarterback, halfback and wide receiver.  Can the defense that returned a number of starters carry them early on until the offense found it’s rhythm,  and can the new starting half back continue where he showed glimpses of being great last season?

Continue reading Bowl Blitz Invitational Special: Alabama’s Road to the BCS National Championship

#1: LSU @ Alabama in NCAA Football 12

For the inaugural entry of STAT BOX STORIES, one of the biggest games of the upcoming college football weekend is being tackled head-on in NCAA Football 12.  Number 1-ranked LSU makes the trip to Bryant-Denny Stadium to take on the #2 Alabama Crimson Tide, and for the sake of this game I took control of the Tigers in a very hostile road environment.  The game was played on All-American difficulty with 7-minute quarter lengths, resulting in 28 minutes of game time.  All gameplay sliders were left at default settings, though penalty settings have been tweaked to result in a more balanced game.

Continue reading #1: LSU @ Alabama in NCAA Football 12

Introducing: Stat Box Stories

As a sports fan, video gamer, and member of the EA SPORTS Game Changers program, I think about sports more often than just about anything else in a given day.  One aspect of sports that I’ve always loved–since I was old enough to get my hands on the local newspaper’s Sports page as a kid–has been the statistical breakdown and analysis of a box score.  Though I will reveal some level of quirkiness in my personality by saying this, I fondly remember clipping particularly meaningful box scores and keeping them in three-ring binders along with plastic sheets housing trading cards for the MLB, NHL, and NFL.

This love of statistics has continued on with me to adulthood, and I am excited to announce a new blog project which will hopefully allow me to accomplish a few goals I’ve overlooked for too long now:

  1. Get back to writing, everyday if possible.
  2. Start getting my video gaming skills honed in multiple sports games instead of focusing too intently on just one.
  3. Get more practice saving image and video highlights, as well as creating statistical images.

This project will be known as STAT BOX STORIES, mainly because the preferred title–Box Scores–has already been utilized in an ingenious series of sports gaming blogs on Kotaku.com written by Owen Good; indeed, that series of blog entries in many ways was a necessity in terms of inspiration for my own blog plans to come to fruition.

Every Monday through Thursday, I will share the game statistics–as well as the story beyond the stats–for games played in NCAA Football 12, Madden NFL 12, NHL 12, and FIFA 12.  On Fridays, a vote will be posted where anybody following along with the progress of the blog can make their voice heard for an upcoming match-up in one of those titles.

In the interest of getting the blog series started off on the right foot, I’ve tried to hit on some of the bigger rivalries or important upcoming games in each sport for the first week of planned installments.  Here’s what we’re looking at for the week beginning Monday, October 31st:

Monday, October 31st

LSU Tigers at Alabama Crimson Tide

Tuesday, November 1st

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers

Wednesday, November 2nd

Boston Bruins at Montreal Canadiens

Thursday, November 3rd

Manchester City hosts Manchester United

I hope that you’ll join me this Monday for the Halloween start to STAT BOX STORIES, and see how I do when I take control of the virtual LSU Tigers heading into Bryant-Denny Stadium for a prime-time SEC match-up against the Crimson Tide of Alabama!