Nobody was forcing you to run every down. Plenty of coaches won NCs with balanced and passing attacks in the old engine. Running was a bit easier to win with, I'll give you that, but the difference wasn't as ridiculous as people seem to think it was. I'd much rather have a clear cause-effect relationship as to the outcome of a game compared to utter pandemonium and bizarre game results, even if it meant a slight advantage to the running game.
i always chuckle when somebody attempts to convince people that there was only a "slight advantage" to the running game in GD 1.0. my final season playing with that sim engine...there were 2 teams in my conference that did not pass the ball a single time all season, and one of those teams made it to the semifinals or finals of the championship tournament before losing. not a single human team in the conference (there were 7 or 8 human teams) passed the ball more than 30% of the time...and i was the 2nd highest passing ratio team at just over 20%. after about 10 seasons of that...i gave up on that engine for good. there were several issues with 2.0 when it was released, and it sounds like 3.0 is struggling to find its footing...but 1.0 was more of a math or possibly rugby simulation, than a football game