I'm reading early previews of the games and reviewers are saying the franchise mode hasn't changed other than the silly "show" they put in that summarizes the games of the week (which apparently is pretty lame as well). They also took out pre-game training and heavily used rookies (and other players, I'd guess) don't raise in stats during the season. So if you get a player that is rated 64, he's going to stay 64 till at least the end of the season. I know the game is totally built for the online players (it's definitely nice they have online leagues now) but would it seriously kill them to actually spend time on the franchise mode? It would take considerably less code work than all the AI and graphical work being as it's mostly logic and text based, so I don't get what the holdup is.