In 2010, Madden NFL 11 put its cover up to a popularity contest, giving fans three candidates for the honour of regressing to the mean in the coming season. Begun, the cover vote craze had.
Two years later, the escalation in cover contests has reached five-blade razor proportions. Madden went from 32 to 64 nominees this past year. To that, its American football sibling NCAA Football sibling says, "F**k everything, we're going to 126 candidates."
That's the entire population of
Division I-A the Football Bowl Subdivision -- yes, you too, South Alabama -- for next year. All 126 will be voted on in a series of Facebook polls, though there's a chance for you to interfere with the process if you get a bunch of retweets of something about your favourite school with a #ncaacovervote hashtag.
Basically, it's throwing a big bucket of social media at the wall and seeing what trends. Better get used to it.
Though we all know this is going to come down to Alabama, Florida, Alabama, Texas, Alabama, Alabama, USC, LSU, the Other USC, Clempson, and Clemson University at Alabama, in that order, you have to wonder if some dog like Wyoming actually catches the car. I have no idea who they hell they'd put on the cover. Jim Kiick? So don't expect the cover to have a recognisably human subject. For Ohio State, it'd probably be Brutus Buckeye or something. For Western Kentucky, Bobby Petrino.