Have you played college football? If not, let me tell you a little secret: football practice in the Spring is the worst.
Fall camp is really brutal, but there’s an end goal. In Spring Ball your only goal is to be done with Spring Ball.
I’m heading back to my alma mater next weekend for our annual Spring Game and it dawned on me that this is a ridiculous event.
Spring Ball is about teaching young players the playbook and starting to solidify the fall depth chart (5 months in advance…), but around a third of the a way through you’ve installed the playbook.
From then on it’s mostly running the same plays at the same defense and a matter of which side cheats more. On top of that, because there’s no game of consequence at the end of the rainbow, workouts don’t get easier.
It’s just not fun.
And hell, when you’re not getting paid there should be something enjoyable. Athletes live to compete so give us competition.
I have a solution!#
Ok, it’s half baked but it’s a start. Listen up.
College football does one thing far better than the NFL: overtime. It’s abbreviated, both in field length and time, which is great.
This compact form of football is [almost] always pretty damn exciting. Ergo…
Take the SEC for example. Splitting into East and West divisions, each of their 14 teams could expect to play 6 overtime games over the course of a weekend. Those SEC fans would go nuts.
I mean they are already nuts but you get my point.
It’s a great opportunity for the conference and fans to engage. Speaking from experience, basketball conference tournaments are one hell of a weekend (looking at you BigXII).
It’s also a great opportunity for teams to work on a rare, but extremely important game phases: the red zone and overtime.
Most importantly, it’s a great opportunity for the players. They get to prepare and play against real competition, simulate fall game prep, and have a nice event to bookend their Spring Ball hell.
Plus, think of all the damn money it would make. Isn’t that what college athletics is about after all?