A Future Spring Game Jamboree Scene?
Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney has recently advocated for a real Spring Game featuring two teams instead of the intrasquad affairs colleges usually put on. Swinney also floated the idea of playing Georgia. In the latest In The Bleachers podcast, the Subway Domer broached this very issue. The Subway Domer was convincing in saying that a matchup between Clemson and Georgia in a Spring Game would probably be highly disappointing because it wouldn't be a real game. The Subway Domer further suggested that only "big boy football teams" could even pull off one of these real Spring Games. However, the elite teams could generate some excitement by scheduling a Spring Game against those in-State teams that get on the schedule for rent-a-win games--there are exceptions, Alabama apparently doesn't need such a scheme. There would also be the opportunity to bring together teams which would not ever be scheduled.
For example, LSU v. Southern. Tiger Stadium would be jam packed if this matchup ever came to fruition during the regular season (When Southern traveled to Lafayette last season to play the Ragin' Cajuns, the attendance at Cajun Field was 41,357--a record overflow for a stadium with an officially listed capacity of 31,000). LSU is attempting to move away from the cupcakes on its out of conference schedule and probably would have never scheduled Southern anyway. That is why the Spring Game against crosstown rival (make no mistake about the rivalry, Damiane C. Ricks wrote an MA thesis about competition in news coverage of the teams) Southern would make sense. Obviously, the ideal time to have had the game would have been after both LSU and Southern won National Championships in 2003. However, Southern season ticket sales are down. The Jaguars also hired a new head coach, Stump Mitchell, who will have to fill the shoes of legendary Jags coach Pete Richardson. Mitchell would like to play LSU in 2-3 years (not in the cards based on LSU's schedule and fan interest in playing lower division teams). While the Spring Game itself wouldn't be a real game, intensity would probably not be lacking. An absolute must for such a game would be a Battle of the Bands between the Golden Band From Tigerland and the Human Jukebox. Anyone who follows SWAC football knows this band matchup would be as unbalanced as the football one, but it would still be fun to watch.
Who would you like to see your team play in a Spring Game?