These are some of my observations of gameplay and bugs, having run through four seasons on simulation mode, the first three with the Middle Tennessee Miners then trying a single season (mostly simmed) with Clemson. Excuse the wall of text; but I'm trying to give my observations in the spirit that they might help. These were all over the past couple of days on latest version.
The overall recruiting felt really strong – I had to fight and scrap to discover any / every three star with Tennessee; where with Clemson, it generally just took expressing interest to bag a dozen 5 star recruits.
Game results seemed consistent with relative strengths of teams.
Prestige seems to be awarded way too much at end of season especially for players getting drafted to the NFL. On drafting players the prestige jumped from 7 to 292 in two years.
Prestige seems to follow the manager, rather than the club – moving to Clemson and the teams' prestige level was retained at this very high level.
Watching bowl games; these all started with scores displayed from previous game and after concluding showed a loss 0-0 after the game. Jumping to show scores rather than simming allowed a result to be calculated.
Most championships and rivalry games show twice in the history and championship table (minor presentational issue)
Coach evaluation & in-year targets – this seems to trigger at start of year, rather than end of previous year – thus in each year I resigned at Tennessee it stated I'd failed 3 out of 4 targets (when I had in fact made them all). The winning games target seems to stay incomplete throughout the year – I had a target for 3 wins in the first year and was showed incomplete throughout the year (after winning 10).
No Strength and Conditioning coaches in coaches menu. I fired mine and ended up hiring a special teams co-ordinator for the role. With limited data, injuries have seemed to increase, but not really enough data to know if this is the case.
Potential engine issues
These are just my observations based upon a few seasons in a single play-through.
The passing game feels a little too strong overall at the moment. My 85 overall QB finished his freshman season with 104 TDs against 1 INT and 430 out of 495 passes complete. Most teams against me ended with c. 90% passing completions, but with far smaller average yardage gains.
The rushing game feels a little underwhelming – my running backs combined for approximately 2 yards per carry over the seasons with not a single breakaway for more than 5 yards (could just be due to the average running backs I had available, particularly their low speed levels).
Recruiting activities did not appear to 'move the needle' – things could have been going on behind the scenes, but I never saw an example of percentage interest for a team change following a phone call, meeting or after sending brochures, when in a recruiting battle.
Huge movements occasionally in pre-season training – I had 2* players turn into 5* and a 4* turn into a 1* during pre-season training. I think that is great when its new recruits (as the scouting could have been just way off), but it is a little more strange when its juniors and seniors changing. (I wish I'd kept better tabs on this to give better examples).
The pre-seasons gains seemed to be inversely affected by coaching skill. I got huge improvements in year 1 with existing roughly 50 skill level coaches; and much worse changes in year 2 (when I replaced all staff with c80 skill level coaches) and with my time at Clemson (albeit most of the players were 5* to start, so could only really go down!)
Head coach player reputation seemed stuck on 50 and didn't really move throughout my play-through
Co-ordinators didn't appear to ever switch to second or third string players during late quarter blowouts, when substitutions were handled by them or during fully simulated games; aside from injuries, only my starting players got reps all season long.
Occasionally would get emails stating previous year records were new one-game records.
Potential future considerations
Coaches skill levels seemed to be static – it would be good, if there skills changed a little each off-season.
Ability for fan base to change over time – having won back-to-back championships, it would have been nice to see the fanbase to increase from 'very low' (it may just take more seasons).
Could just be my resolution settings, but when playing key plays only; the pop up screen directly covers the score, down and yards to go; requiring it to be moved before choosing a play.
Overall I've enjoyed my time experimenting with this game and in particular the feeling of scrapping for recruits at a lower team feels very strong. I hope these insights help in consolidating issues or give food for thought. I've several saved games at various stages of seasons, so may be able to recreate specific issues or screenshot examples if it helps – I didn't want to screenshot each thing as this post is long enough already