“The pros and cons of a spring game”

Really, it’s a coaches vs. fans kind of debate, isn’t it?  (We know where ESPN stands.)

But even the coaches know a spring game brings its own kind of juice.

“The cons [to not having a spring game] are for the fans and a certain piece of recruiting, because my first two spring games here, it’s been electric,” Stoops said. “We’ve had great crowds, very energetic and it was a nice way to break the end of spring ball and gear up for the fall and just to get out and spend some time with the fans, plus the recruiting piece.”

Sumlin’s second spring practice at Texas A&M, which included famed quarterback Johnny Manziel coming off a Heisman Trophy, drew an estimated 45,000 fans to Kyle Field.

“We had 45,000 people and ESPN; the exposure is a big deal,” Sumlin said. “I think our guys, from an energy standpoint, enjoy the spring game.”

So why not take the next step and go with what coaches like Swinney, O’Leary and Freeze have suggested:  go live.

“I would love to see us be able to scrimmage another team,” he said. “That way you can go ones on ones, twos on twos, threes on threes — really get something out of it. Maybe even adopt a charity. Maybe it’s [an FCS] opponent that you don’t play in the regular season. I think there would be a lot of interest in something like that. I wish we could do something like that.”

I know it sounds radical.  But I can’t help but wonder… Ohio State had almost 100,000 folks at its spring game, and charged them $5 apiece for the privilege.  What could schools like Georgia and Clemson collect from football-starved fans to show up for a game between the two on a nice April day?


Filed under College Football

37 responses to ““The pros and cons of a spring game”

  1. Dave

    Appealing to what really drives their decision making…..smart…..



    I zero interest in driving to Athens and watching practice….


  3. Spence

    Anyone willing to drive to Athens, park, tailgate, then go to gday will pay $5 per person.


      • Macallanlover

        Exactly, I would pay $50 for that and attend in Athens or Clemson….if it wasn’t on Masters weekend. 🙂 Why stop at Clemson? FSU, Wake, Central Florida, UAB…..oh, wait!

        Stipend, or adopting a local charity would be good uses of the money. I just don’t see a downside to this upgrade from the current.


        • Cojones

          Was waiting to reply, but you mentioned it: FSU, because it’s close and we don’t play them during the regular season. There would be great interest in that game no matter which campus was used.

          The big question is: Would the players and/or coaches go for it? It would be up to them.


  4. WDawg2

    Urban Meyer doesn’t put much weight in a spring game, for example, he says he makes his qb decision off statistical analysis.

    “This can’t be, ‘Well, I’m going with him because it’s my gut feeling,’” Meyer said. “No gut feelings; it’s got to be statistical analysis and data backing up who is going to play quarterback.

    “I’ll come up with some kind of system throughout training camp that we’re going to chart everything that everyone does. We’ve kind of done that before, but not to the degree that we’re going to do it this year — because you have to be right on now.”

    I don’t think a Spring game does anything to assist goals like that.


  5. Resus Monkeys comment about football starvation from somebody on here comes to mind.

    “I’d watch Resus monkeys if they would line up in an I Formation or a 4-3.”


  6. Athens Dog

    I’ll repeat……..i had a nice girl, good tailgate spot, cold beer and good friends for this year’s game. Yes I live here but most of the other 45k don’t. I would gladly pay, especially for a real scrimmage. I heard the King talk about it yesterday………suggested an in state lower tier team like West Georgia or Armstrong. Seems to have merit. At least for me.


  7. Mike Cooley

    The only issue I have with it is the potential for us to have even more problems in terms of some sort season ending injury to a key player or two or three before summer even arrives. But I guess we have those anyway don’t we? There’s a lot about the idea that I like and I would definitely go to the game if they were to do this. I’ve been to G Day but I don’t go every year. I would go every year for this. And you make a great point about it nearly paying for COA. I guess I’m on board. Seems like where things are heading anyway. And if the folks in charge think it will make money we are going to get it.


  8. Bulldog Joe

    Fewer players play, a longer drive, and an inferior college town every other year.

    No thanks.


  9. HVL Dawg

    Everybody’s spring game couldn’t be at home. Would you drive to Columbus, Ohio to watch UGA play in a spring game? Or Clempson? Would you be satisfied with a home and home arrangement that gives you a home game every other year?


  10. georgiajeepn

    It would be great to see Georgia-Clemson every spring. Or Auburn-FSU. Or Tennessee-West Virginia. But more than likely all the major teams would do is schedule a patsy to bring in and stomp.


  11. HVL Dawg

    I’ve got an idea!

    How about an 8 team spring playoff series ending with the Dr. Pepper Spring National Championship Game, presented by Home Depot, played at Walt Disney World in Paris?

    This would help pay for COA.


  12. AlphaDawg

    Completely off topic…but does anyone know if the author of this live in Montana?



  13. WF dawg

    The angle that interests me is whether coaches could stand to run “vanilla” schemes (to maintain the element of surprise for the regular season), even if it decreased their chances of beating another school. (They’re a fiercely competitive bunch.) The solution to that (and to maximize revenue) would be to schedule a spring cupcake. But hey, I’d watch it.


  14. Argondawg

    I think it would be great for the fans. My concern is that the competitive juices would flow on one side and not the other. Leading to one team letting second and third stringers play and the other playing to win the game with their starters most of the time. As someone who sat next to the recruiting section I can’t see sacrificing that exposure to recruits every other year. Dabo would probably approach it like Richt though. I have more respect for him as a person than most of the other coaches around.


  15. AusDawg85

    1’s play 1’s, 2’s play 2’s now. I don’t trust some freshman ILB for Clemson “letting up” on Jacob Eason as he scrambles out of the pocket. Really bad idea.


  16. Coastal Dawg

    I think the point of the spring game is to evaluate as much talent as possible, givee the non regulars playing time and try new things. This works because no matter what, Georgia wins.

    How many people on this blog would be calling for CMR’s head if we lost the spring game to Clemson after Nick Chub touched the ball 4 times?

    The G-Day game is a nice spring break. Its a relaxed way to visit Athens and the campus, enjoy Sanford Stadium and then see a lot of guys who will only see the field during G Day.

    Let it be.


    • How many people on this blog would be calling for CMR’s head if we lost the spring game to Clemson after Nick Chub touched the ball 4 times?

      Like nobody bitches after G-Day now… 😉