I bought NCAA Football 99 used from a Blockbuster in Glendale. On the cover, a Michigan Blue and Maized Charles Woodson, the same Charles Woodson I'd wish'd the Bears would've drafted (I don't think they had the opportunity to), the same Charles Woodson that I'd seen do a monster 1-handed interception.
I forgot why exactly I got this game. I'd always heard that NCAA Football games were just watered-down Madden games. They didn't even have players I knew.
But no matter.
Once I sunk in, what I enjoyed most was the Dynasty Mode, quite a distinction from the other sports video games with professional sports teams. With the Dynasty mode came the ability to see improvement in and recruit players. That in itself, seeing improvement, recruiting player, was the reason to keep playing and what sold me on the NCAA football series.
I took the worst team in the game, Northern Illinois University (NIU), located in De Kalb, Illinois, or in other words, not-Chicago, Illinois, and took them to a #1 ranking and won numerous bowls with them. I know that NIU has had recent success, but they weren't successful at the time. I know that they had Ryan Diem and cheered on his drafting way back when. I know that now as a UCLA alumni, that NIU probably has switched football situations with us now.
Though, I could take comfort in the fact that at least were still in LA.
At the heart of the NIU wolfpack attack were my created players the 5'9, 174 QB Steve Maris, who wore number 9, a name I randomly generated perhaps because of Roger Maris and his 61 home runs and the context of the home run chase going on in baseball in 1998-1999. Steve was like my answer to Rudy, though at quarterback.
On defense I had 6'1, 249, Bo Simmons, hard-hitting Free Safety who I made unable to run, but had the ability to hit very hard. I imagined Bo to be a shaved headed black guy.
Those two I made some NCAA heroes that would make Tommy Frazier shake in his shoes.