South Alabama is a member of FBS football — even if EA Sports doesn't acknowledge it.
The Jaguars were left out of EA Sports' hit video game franchise NCAA Football 13 despite being a full-fledged member of the Sun Belt Conference in 2013.
Julie Foster, a communications manager at EA Sports, told JagsJungle.com, a South Alabama fan site, that the video game franchise didn't know South Alabama was going to be a full member of the FBS.
"South Alabama was a provisional member of FBS last year and did not play a full FBS schedule," she wrote the site in an email. "We did not receive confirmation that they were changing to a full FBS schedule this year until it was too late for inclusion in NCAA Football 13. South Alabama will be included in NCAA Football 14."
As the site points out, this is ridiculous. South Alabama is the only new FBS team left out of the game despite being the first of the four to join an FBS league. When South Alabama decided to form its football team that began play in 2009, it was known that it would ultimately join its other sports in the Sun Belt after enduring the NCAA's mandatory two-year provisionary period.
Last year marked the beginning of that period and this year the Jaguars face teams from the Sun Belt in preparation for its full membership in 2013. It's true that of the four teams transitioning to the FBS — Texas-San Antonio, Texas State and UMass — South Alabama might have received the least amount of pub because it joined its league back in 2009. However, the Jaguars are playing 11 FBS schools in 2012, which should have been the first clue that it wasn't an FCS team.
Yeah, this is just a video game, but it's the most popular college football video game franchise ever and to be slighted by EA Sports has got to be a little slap in the face.
Not to worry South Alabama, we here at The Doc acknowledge your existence as an FBS program even if the video gaming world doesn't.