College Football Playoffs and Bowl Games

EA Sports inexplicably makes Colorado the 16th-best team in ‘College Football 25’

EA Sports inexplicably makes Colorado the 16th-best team in 'College Football 25'

Colorado is a bit overrated in EA Sports’ new college football game.

The team ratings for the top 25 schools in the game were released on Friday as EA builds hype for the first college football video game in 11 years. “College Football 25” is the first game since “NCAA Football 14.”

Over 10 years ago, users had to manually add the names of players to each team roster. This year, players had the chance to opt into the game thanks to the NCAA’s current name and image rules, and the vast majority of players across the country will be in the game — though Texas’ Arch Manning is a notable exception.

The long break between games has led to a ton of anticipation for “College Football 25.” And it’s a bit bizarre how EA Sports doesn’t appear to grasp who is and isn’t set to be excellent this upcoming season.

Colorado went 4-8 a season ago and 1-8 in the Pac-12. Yet the Buffaloes are apparently the 16th-best team in the game and ahead of schools like Oklahoma, Missouri, Tennessee and Kansas State.

Per the top 25 overall team ratings released Friday, Colorado is an 87 overall and is the top team among at least nine other teams that share that overall ranking. Every team ranked Nos. 17 through 25 is at 87 overall, and it’s not like Colorado is at the top of the group because of the alphabet. Arizona checks in at No. 23 with the same overall rating.

Video game rankings don’t matter at all in reality. But EA’s rankings have been head-scratching as they’ve been released all week. The Buffaloes’ defense is ranked at No. 20 despite allowing 6.3 yards per play in 2023, and the offense ranks No. 8 and ahead of Ole Miss and Kansas despite a rushing attack that averaged 2.3 yards per carry a season ago.

Yes, Colorado returns star QB Shedeur Sanders and star CB/WR Travis Hunter along with a remade roster through the transfer portal. But there’s no guarantee the offensive line issues that plagued the Buffaloes in 2023 will disappear, and a vast improvement on defense is no sure thing either.

If you want to look at it another way, Colorado is the No. 16 team in the video game despite having a projected win total of 5.5 at BetMGM and +2000 odds to make the 12-team College Football Playoff. Those CFP odds are probably inflated too; the Buffs have been one of the most-bet teams since Deion Sanders arrived in Boulder ahead of the 2023 season.

The inclusion of Colorado in the top 25 looks and feels a lot like a tool designed to drive attention toward the video game. Nowhere in the top 25 is Missouri or Tennessee, two programs that had far better seasons in 2023 and harbor legitimate hopes of making the playoff. Both the Tigers and Volunteers are at +180 to make the 12-team field. Ole Miss, the team one spot ahead of Colorado in EA's rankings, is better than even money to make the playoff at -130.

But using Colorado to create hype also doesn’t make sense. The long break between iterations of college football video games has made “College Football 25” one of the most anticipated sports games in years. EA Sports didn’t need to overrate Colorado (and other units like USC’s No. 16 defense or Clemson’s No. 10 offense) to get people to buy the game. If anything, it could swing sentiment the other way. You don’t have to look hard to find a college football fan who thinks there are dozens of teams with a better roster than the Buffaloes.

Perhaps EA Sports will have a dynamic ratings system that will adjust for real-world performance when the season starts. Otherwise, there’s a real risk Colorado will be simply working to get bowl-eligible in real life while dominating the Big 12 on your console.

1. Georgia (95 overall)

2. Ohio State (93)

3. Oregon (93)

4. Alabama (92)

5. Texas (92)

6. Clemson (90)

7. Notre Dame (90)

8. LSU (90)

9. Penn State (88)

10. Utah (88)

11. Michigan (88)

12. Florida State (88)

13. Miami (88)

14. Texas A&M (88)

15. Ole Miss (88)

16. Colorado (87)

17. Oklahoma (87)

18. Wisconsin (87)

19. USC (87)

20. Virginia Tech (87)

21. NC State (87)

22. Kansas (87)

23. Arizona (87)

24. Oklahoma State (87)

25. Iowa (87)

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