An article from Kotaku's Owen Good echoes much of the communities feelings on the NCAA Football series... not enough changes from year to year. That is, nothing is innovative and distinguishes itself from a previous version.
As part of that article, Good reveals that shortly after launch, the NCAA 13 development team was presented with a creative debriefing asking them to guess from various screenshots from NCAA 10 through NCAA 13 which one belonged to each year. The presenter didn't receive an answer.
Continue after the break for a quick breakdown of the article as well as my thoughts. The article itself is worth a read and is linked at the bottom.
While the presentation was apparently only focused on visuals, I don't believe that's where it should have stopped. I believe you could do much of the same, even with highly acclaimed sports game series such as MLB: The Show or NBA 2k. Obviously the impact was felt with the developers but a change in visuals isn't enough to distinguish one game from another. To truly set one year apart from another, it will take a combination of things. It will take wowing the community with features, much like Madden 13 did. It will take tightening up what you already have, much like MLB: The Show does every year. Then once you have all of that, toss on a new coat of paint.
While I don't agree with everything the writer has to say, he does do a very good job of echoing the communities feelings on the series. It's stale and it needs a shot in the arm. It needs something more than Heisman Challenge. The article is certainly worth a read and while it doesn't go into any details for plans for NCAA Football 14, it does show you that the developers know they have to do something more.
Kotaku: Which One of These Things Is Not Like the Other? NCAA 14 Must Supply an Answer