The decision of which player to put on the cover of NCAA Football 09 was an unprecedented move by EA Sports, as they opted for 5 different covers for each of the 5 consoles for which the game was published.
- Xbox 360: Former Arkansas running back Darren McFadden.
- PS3: Former Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan.
- PS2: Former California wide receiver DeSean Jackson.
- PSP: Former West Virginia fullback Owen Schmitt
- Wii: Michigan State mascot Sparty.
In order to promote the new Wii version, EA held a competition from February 14, 2008 until March 14, 2008, allowing fans to vote for their college football mascot. The winner of the competition, Michigan State's mascot Sparty, got to be on the cover of the NCAA Football 09 All-Play for the Wii.
Improvements to the GameEdit
- A new animation system has been put in place, whereby players are no longer locked into an animation. This allows players to chain together various moves, enabling a more fluid style of play.
- After throwing an interception, the player is allowed to answer a "Quarterback Quiz". The player is given several pictures - representing photos taken by the offensive coordinator - and is presented with three choices of defensive schemes to select. This new feature is solely for the controller/player to understand and read the defense.
- Quarterbacks playing on the road can be rattled by home crowds, forcing them to misread routes or completely forget plays. This effect is not amplified with an incorrect guess on the "Quarterback Quiz".
- Players can give coaching strategies, whereby the entire offense or defense will focus on a single action, such as forcing a turnover or ignoring the crowd noise.
- Players can call a timeout before a key field goal or extra point attempt to "ice" the kicker, which will overlay the kick meter with a sheet of ice, change the camera angle to a more dramatic view, cause the player's controller to shake violently, and give an audible heartbeat sound effect, which matches the pulse of the controller's rumble.
- There are new, school-specific celebrations, many of which involve the school's mascot.
- School-specific custom stadium sounds can be added from MP3s loaded on your gaming system's hard drive. Numerous user-created websites have popped up to facilitate this feature.
- The new "Coke Zero Mascot Mash Up" mode, where teams are made up entirely of the school's mascot. In this mode, ball-handling maneuvers are more fantasy-oriented, allowing the player to perform flips rather than typical jukes and spins.
- Mini-games allow for playing "H-O-R-S-E" with field goal kicks.
- Online Dynasty Mode with support for up to 12 players across Xbox Live or Playstation Network.
- Ball trails and turbo trails for the Wii version.
- Freshman (PSP) and Family Play (PS2) modes simplify gameplay to single button presses, while also telling the novice player when to actually press the button to perform an action. The game will also suggest plays to run in specific situations.
- New Name Brand Visors/Eye Shields Nike, Oakley, & Under Armour.
NCAA Football 09 featured all Division I FBS college football teams. The best teams to choose from in the game are the following ranked teams:
- Georgia Bulldogs
- Oklahoma Sooners
- Ohio State Buckeyes
- USC Trojans
- Florida Gators
- LSU Tigers
- Missouri Tigers
- West Virginia Mountaineers
- Wisconsin Badgers
- Texas Longhorns
- Clemson Tigers
- Texas Tech Red Raiders
- Penn State Nittany Lions
- Arizona State Sun Devils
- Kansas Jayhawks
- Auburn Tigers
- Virginia Tech Hokies
- Illinois Fighting Illini
- Tennessee Volunteers
- BYU Cougars
- South Carolina Gamecocks
- Alabama Crimson Tide
- Oregon Ducks
- Cincinnati Bearcats
- Wake Forest Demon Deacons