As spring college football games get ready to start this week, I’ll say once again that the sport should consider playing actual games in the spring.
College football fans love spring ball. They can lie all they want, but they are getting their fix for the sport they love by following spring workouts and watching what’s usually a glorified practice called a spring game.
Most of the spring games in college football are going to take place over the next few weekends, with a number on April 7th-8th, and a bunch more on April 15th and April 22nd.
Missouri actually already had a spring game that was closed to the public. BYU is holding its spring game on Friday night, while the Michigan Wolverines will hold their game on Saturday.
As far as Michigan, the Wolverines are going to play a game. The players were drafted into teams, the score will be kept, and all that. That’s better than watching a team practice but what about actual college football games being played in the spring?
A true spring game, if you will, as in one against another team.
Why College football should play real games in spring
It’s not just a pipe dream. It’s allowed by the rules and some FCS teams took advantage in the spring of 2021 after their fall seasons were canceled due to COVID-19.
There are also some volleyball programs that are holding matches this spring such as Nebraska. You couldn’t have a full spring season but instead of holding these spring scrimmages, what if Michigan hosted an FCS opponent on Saturday?
It would be more like a preseason game, but fans would attend and they would watch on TV. It would be a win for the FBS schools that would make money on the tickets and TV rights, while the FCS would benefit from another opportunity for a buy game.
A team like Michigan would be able to play as many players as it wanted and the same could be said for the FCS program. But it would be real, actual football and more appealing than the scrimmages we’ll be subjected to over the next few weeks.
Maybe, at some point, we could avoid FBS teams playing FCS teams during the regular season and that kind of thing could be reserved just for the spring. It would be a money maker and if you don’t think Alabama fans would watch Alabama play just about anybody — you’re crazy.
The people would come. The eyeballs would be fixed on TV and college football fans could actually see their team in a competitive environment. You could even have big-name programs play each other in a true preseason type of game.
Alabama heads to Michigan for a spring game for instance.
Maybe you see the starters battle it out for a quarter or two and then the backups get their shot. It’s not like in the NFL when most of the guys playing in the third and fourth quarters are never going to see the field because they will be cut.
In college football, those would be freshmen and sophomores preparing to play for the future and some would be four and five-star recruits. It would give fans a chance to see the up-and-coming quarterback against another college opponent and it could have a real benefit.
Sure, you have to worry about injuries, but that’s a concern in regular spring football too.
For years, different leagues have tried to generate interest in spring football, but if college football teams took advantage of the ability to play an actual game in the spring, which is allowed by the rules, we could have some sort of spring college football people actually care about.
For the teams, the TV networks, the fans, the conferences, and everyone involved, it would be a win-win. Hopefully, someday it will happen.