Wisconsin @ Oregon in NCAA Football 13

Back at the beginning of the year here at STAT BOX STORIES, the BOWL BLITZ INVITATIONAL used NCAA Football 12 to stage every game of the Bowl Season, including the 2012 Rose Bowl between the Wisconsin Badgers and the Oregon Ducks.  In that playthrough, I elected to take control of the lower-rated Badgers and ran my way to a 38-20 victory, though the real-life result proved much less successful for the Big Ten Conference Champions.

On this day of the retail launch for NCAA Football 13, a Rose Bowl Rematch is being played.  With each team seeing the departure of key players after last college football season came to a close, the Badgers are now the higher-rated team; as a result, I’ve taken control of the Ducks—in their shiny chrome helmets that they used in the real-life 2012 Rose Bowl game—setting out to see how the game will play out this time around.  Click the link below to find out!

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TCU @ West Virginia in NCAA Football 13

Perhaps no conference exemplified the ever-changing face of college football quite like the Big XII Conference over the past few years.  The conference—in just over a year’s time—went from nearly being dissolved completely to where it is now, bidding farewell to Texas A&M and Missouri as they move on to the SEC and welcoming TCU from the Mountain West Conference and West Virginia from the Big East Conference to return the conference to ten members.  It is this most recent realignment which sets up today’s game here at STAT BOX STORIES; a showdown between the Horned Frogs and the Mountaineers, new conference rivals.

After perhaps the craziest game I’ve ever played in any NCAA Football title yesterday between Miami of Ohio and Ohio, the hope was for today’s game to feature much more defense and strategy.  Would these two schools be up to that task?  Click below to read on and find out!

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Miami (OH) @ Ohio in NCAA Football 13

When it comes to conferences in the college football landscape, the Mid-American Conference or MAC often receives little respect as a result of the size of its member schools and the comparative quality of its football programs compared to the likes of the Big 10, Big XII, Pac-12, and SEC.  For today’s NCAA Football 13 entry at STAT BOX STORIES, however, we are embracing the “MACtion” for a rivalry showdown known as the “Battle of the Bricks” between the Miami University Redhawks and the Ohio Bobcats.

It’s safe to say, however, that I had no idea exactly what I was getting into when I booted up this rivalry game in this year’s edition of the college football franchise.  The MAC has become known in recent years for having wild shootouts, but I’d never seen anything happen in a video game to approach what can happen in real life.  That is not the case anymore, after this game; click the link to read on and find out exactly how the game played out!

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NC State @ ECU in NCAA Football 13

After yesterday’s incredible come-from-behind victory here at STAT BOX STORIES, the pressure was on for today’s game to be equally as memorable.  Sticking to the rivalry theme, the decision was made to stage a match-up between the North Carolina State Wolfpack of the Atlantic Coast Conference and the East Carolina University Pirates of Conference-USA.  While the two schools do not meet each other every year due to their schedules and different conferences, it remains an important in-state rivalry.

The last match-up between these schools came on October 16th, 2010 at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium in Greenville, NC; the Pirates emerged victorious 33-27 in OT to avenge the previous loss 30-24 in OT at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, NC.  ECU is one of those schools in college football that I have no personal connection to but enjoy playing as in the game thanks to their unique field art, the “Boneyard” student section, and their uniforms; especially with their updated “Jolly Roger” helmets in NCAA Football 13.  With that in mind—and at the risk of angering Wolfpack fan and friend of the site, Owen Good (of Kotaku fame)—I suited up in the purple and gold of ECU for this home game using NCAA Football 13; click the link to find out what happened!

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Texas State @ UTSA in NCAA Football 13

Today is a very special day here at STAT BOX STORIES, as we celebrate the 100th entry in just under a year of the site being online; we’re also celebrating the last few days before the official launch of NCAA Football 13, and here at STAT BOX STORIES games have already been played to kick off the football video gaming season this weekend and clear through the end of next week!

To begin the festivities and celebrate the release of the early digital copy of NCAA Football 13 to EA SPORTS Season Ticket holders today, the decision was made to pit two of the new teams added to this year’s game against one another.  The Texas State Bobcats and University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Roadrunners are both transitioning to the Western Athletic Conference for the 2012 college football season, and they bring with them a new rivalry to the game: the I-35 Rivalry between the Maroon of Texas State and the Orange of UTSA.

As new members of the Football Bowl Subdivision, both Texas State and UTSA are rated near the bottom of the 123 teams available on-disc in this year’s game.  With many of the games here at STAT BOX STORIES contested between highly-rated teams, this would be a fitting new challenge for me using NCAA Football 13 to see if I could lead UTSA to a home victory at the Alamodome.  Read on to learn how the game played out!

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UEFA Euro 2012 Final: Spain versus Italy

On the first day of July 2012, Europeans—and much of the world—will be tuned into a match being held at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine; a simple match between two sides which will determine the UEFA Euro 2012 Champion!  Spain’s nail-biting semi-final win—via penalties—over Portugal saw them through against Italy, who managed a rather significant upset victory 2-1 over tournament favorite Germany.  Here at STAT BOX STORIES, we got Spain correct but missed on Italy; will today’s result in the UEFA Euro 2012 game mode of EA SPORTS FIFA 12 prove correct?  Read on to find out!

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UEFA Euro 2012 Semi-final #2: Germany versus Italy

In the first semifinal of UEFA Euro 2012 yesterday, a 0-0 draw for 120 minutes between Portugal and Spain turned into heartbreak for Cristiano Ronaldo as his side fell 4-2 in penalties and the Real Madrid star did not get to take a kick of his own to factor into the result.  Though the final scoreline did not match the result we shared here from our UEFA Euro 2012 playthrough at STAT BOX STORIES, the victorious side was correct.  Can today’s STAT BOX STORIES match-up for the second semifinal follow suit?

Today, Germany and Italy clash for the second spot on the July 1st final at Kiev, Ukraine.  The National Stadium in Warsaw, Poland will be the stage for a showdown between a tournament favorite and a squad who entered the Euro 2012 with significant off-field issues.

Germany earned the most points in the Group Stage coming out of Group B, taking victories of 1-0 over Portugal, 2-1 over the Netherlands, and 2-1 over Denmark on their way to the Quarterfinal round.  In the knockout stage, Germany earned a decisive 4-2 result over Greece, taking their spot in the Semifinals.

Italy came out of Group C in second place with a tournament opening 1-1 draw against Spain, another 1-1 draw against Croatia, and then a 2-0 victory over Ireland to scrape their way into the Quarterfinals.  Italy took on England in a battle leading to a 0-0 draw after 120 minutes of play, and advanced on a penalties victory 4-2 after Ashley Young and Ashley Cole could not convert for the English.

With some French ancestry—and still sore after 6 years about the 2006 FIFA World Cup Final in Germany—I again decided to take control of the higher-rated side rather than take the field as the Italian side.  Would I be able to help the German side to victory and get them one step closer to the UEFA Euro 2012 Final?  Or would the Italians turn a complete 180° in fortune and leave behind the rough start to their time in Poland and Ukraine?  Read on to find out!

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UEFA Euro 2012 Semi-final #1: Portugal versus Spain

For nearly three weeks now, the UEFA Euro 2012 has been playing out across various pitches in the host countries of Poland and Ukraine, with 16 national teams battling for the right to be known as champions of Europe.  The group stages whittled the participants down to 8 nations, and the Quarter-final knockout round has produced the final 4 squads: Portugal, Spain, Germany, and Italy.

Here at STAT BOX STORIES, we’re picking up the action in the Semi-finals as these teams meet to decide who will be playing July 1st in Kiev, Ukraine, with the championship on the line.  Today’s match is set to take place at Donbass Arena in Donetsk, Ukraine, between Portugal and the defending UEFA Euro Champions (as well as 2010 FIFA World Cup Champions) Spain.

Portugal emerged from Group B of the tournament draw in second place behind Germany, losing 1-0 to the Germans in their first match before picking up a 3-2 win over Denmark and a 2-1 win over the Netherlands.  In the Quarter-finals, Cristiano Ronaldo’s 79th-minute strike was all the Portuguese needed to secure a 1-0 victory over Group A winner Czech Republic and earn their chance to topple the defending champions.

Spain took the top spot in Group C, opening the tournament with a 1-1 draw against Italy before piling on for a 4-0 win over Ireland and securing a 1-0 victory over Croatia.  In the Quarter-finals, Spain faced Group D runner-up France, earning a 2-0 victory on two goals from Xabi Alonso to keep their quest for more national team glory alive.

Although Spain is the higher-rated side in the UEFA Euro 2012 expansion pack for EA SPORTS FIFA 12, I elected to use them for selfish reasons; with FC Barcelona earning my support in La Liga, I could not bring myself to use Portugal and Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo.  Would Cristiano be able to spark the computer AI in an upset bid against my still-shaky skills on the pitch?  Read on to find out!

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Stanley Cup Final in NHL 12 — Los Angeles Kings @ New Jersey Devils, Game 5

The hopes of Los Angeles Kings fans in the Staples Center were dashed yesterday here at STAT BOX STORIES, as the New Jersey Devils—down 3-0 in the Stanley Cup Finals—scraped together a gritty 2-0 victory in Game 4 to force a fifth game back in Newark.  Today’s Game 5 sees a similar storyline for each team: a Kings win ends the 2011-2012 NHL season and awards the Stanley Cup to Los Angeles for the first time in franchise history; a Devils win means more hockey and a return to West Coast for Game 6.  Again, we ask: will the Cup be skated tonight?  The only way to find out is to read on!

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Stanley Cup Final in NHL 12 — New Jersey Devils @ Los Angeles Kings, Game 4

With a 3-0 lead in the Stanley Cup Finals here at STAT BOX STORIES, the Los Angeles Kings know that the Stanley Cup is in the building as they prepare for Game 4 at home against the New Jersey Devils.  The youth movement in Los Angeles is looking to achieve their goal of bringing home the Kings’ first-ever Stanley Cup; meanwhile, the Devils know that every game is now a must-win in order for them to bring the series back home to Newark and complete the unenviable task of winning 4 games in a row at the highest stage of competition.  Will the Cup be skated tonight?  Read on to find out!

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