When Upper Deck announced it had lost it's licensing for the NFL, it was devastating to many of us who eagerly anticipated many of their quality releases each year. SP Authentic was one of these wildly popular brands. It's formula for success was simple. Clean, attractive design with 3 gorgeous on card autos per box. So when it was announced that they were changing gears to NCAA products, it wasn't clear what wold happen with products like SP Auth and Exquisite.
The good news is, obviously SP Auth is here to stay. My other worry was what would the relevancy of this product be? Collegiate products are not a new concept, and sets like Press Pass are often forgotten once the banner releases are out. So what's the final verdict? Somewhere in the middle.
I picked up a few boxes and had watched friends open 2, one of which was a hot box containing 6 autos. Rumor has it that about every 3rd box on average will be a "hot" box and contain about double the guaranteed number of autos (3). I love this concept, but the catch here is that most of the extra autos seem to be of the sticker variety, and all the ones we saw were rookies that we hadn't even heard of. One touch I did like is the manufactured mini jersey cards, made in the appropriate school colors and signed on patch. Many people are against manu patches, but when they are done well like this I have no problem with it.
After watching this I decided to bust a box for myself last night and I have to say I was more than satisfied with the result. The base cards are attractive as usual, and my box was only the expected 3 autos, but these were definitely not your run of the mill unknowns:
The dual autos are stickers, but I'm willing to overlook it on a card that looks this nice. From what I have seen none of the College Pride autos are numbered. Overall, I have to say I think this is a product worth buying, but you are better off ordering by the box rather than packs.