The cover of the game features University of Pittsburgh and current Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald was runner-up for the Heisman Trophy, barely losing out to Jason White of Oklahoma.
This version of the game focused primarily on home-field advantage. The home team's defense can incite the crowd to make noise, making it difficult for the offense to hear the quarterback's audibles. The home team's offense can also quiet the crowd, allowing the quarterback to call audibles very easily. All of this allows the energy of the crowd, if strong enough, to swing the momentum of the game. To enhance this feature, NCAA Football 2005 ranked the "Top 25 Toughest Places to Play," where the power of home-field advantage would be at its strongest.
Another new addition was the "Match-Up Stick" feature which allowed players to match up more experienced and skilled players on younger, less-talented ones to exploit mismatches.
While most reviews of this game were positive, many critics felt that NCAA Football 2005 made little changes from NCAA Football 2004. Gamers also noticed that receivers dropped passes considerably more than the previous version.
The 25 Toughest Places to PlayEdit
These rankings are based on home winning percentage, average attendance, and "atmosphere" (i.e., fan rowdiness and noise).
- Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Florida
- Neyland Stadium, Tennessee
- Ohio Stadium, Ohio State
- Tiger Stadium, Louisiana State
- Autzen Stadium, Oregon
- Husky Stadium, Washington
- Kyle Field, Texas A&M
- Camp Randall Stadium, Wisconsin
- Memorial Stadium, Nebraska
- Sanford Stadium, Georgia
- Kinnick Stadium, Iowa
- Michigan Stadium, Michigan
- Lane Stadium, Virginia Tech
- Doak Campbell Stadium, Florida State
- Notre Dame Stadium, Notre Dame
- Memorial Stadium, Clemson
- Beaver Stadium, Penn State
- Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Oklahoma
- Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn
- Carrier Dome, Syracuse
- Bryant-Denny Stadium, Alabama
- KSU Stadium, Kansas State
- Mountaineer Field, West Virginia
- Martin Stadium, Washington State
- Miami Orange Bowl, Miami
All Division l-A schools were included in the game along with more than 70 l-AA schools. Signature fan celebrations, such as the "Gator Chomp" or "Texas Hook 'Em Horns" were also included.