Saturday, December 19, 2009

University Of Utah Student Replays Utah's 2008 Unbeaten NCAA College Football Season Using Strat-O-Matic

Many sports fans are not satisfied merely by watching their favorite teams play on the field. Some actually fantasize about actually coaching their favorite teams to see if they can improve on their performance.

The way they indulge their fantasies is through the use of various sports simulation games available on the market. This goes beyond the standard "video games" available via X-Box, etc. There are statistically-based sports simulation games available which use player cards and dice, to include computerized versions.

One such person is using Strat-O-Matic's computerized college football simulation game. He's replaying the University of Utah's 2008 unbeaten NCAA season, and is posting the results on this thread on the StratFanForum. Note that unlike most online forums, StratFanForum requires you to provide a paid e-mail address to register; they don't accept registrations using free e-mail services like Yahoo or Hotmail (see Item #9 HERE).

As you review the thread, you will find that the gamer has not succeeded in duplicating Utah's real-life unbeaten finish. In week 6, Oregon State defeated Utah 24-10 in his replay, so now it's a matter of pride, as well as the conference championship.

You can access the Strat-O-Matic (SOM) website HERE. The college football page is HERE. Unlike Strat-O-Matic's other sports games, the college football game is a computer version only; no player cards are manufactured. The latest version of the game is available on CD, and includes the 2008 college football rosters for all the NCAA teams. Additional season rosters are sold separately. The price of the latest version of the game is currently $52.00; additional seasons are $22.00 each. A complete list of all SOM products, to include prices, is accessible HERE.

SOM's computer games use copyright protection, requiring Internet access for a successful installation. Ideally, you open up your Internet connection, begin installing the game, then get the authorization online from SOM to complete the installation. You can install the game only on one computer at a time, but an alternative is to install it on a portable flash drive which permits you to migrate the game between different computers. Installing season rosters also requires a similar installation process.

SOM prefers you order online, but will accept snail mail. However, they calculate precise shipping & handling, which differs for each order. So if you want to order their products using snail mail, you can e-mail the company HERE to get a shipping & handling quote before you send in your order. Just specify in the e-mail the products desired and the shipping address, and they'll send you back a shipping quote which you add to the price of the product.

I have personally played SOM's sports simulations for years, primarily their baseball game, and I can attest to the realism. I've replayed the 1969, 1970, 1972, 1981, and 1994 baseball seasons. I use an earlier computer version which does not have such intrusive copy protection. It provided me the opportunity to replay both 1981 and 1994 as if there had been no strike. The illustration above shows that results are obtained either from a batter's card or a pitcher's card. You roll one die to determine which column (and card) to consult. Then you roll two dice of a different color to determine which row. So if you were to roll at 3-8, using the illustration above, you would get the result from the 3-column on Cleon Jones card, and the 8 total indicates a single (the two asterisks indicate that anyone on base would advance two bases). You can probably just imagine what Barry Bonds' 2001 card must look like, can't you? One can play solitaire as well as against another player. SOM is a good way to put a Family Home Evening to use, after one has concluded the religious part of it.

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