It’s April and that means one thing…college football? Well, for some that’s true. But that isn’t true for this guy right here. Simply put, I don’t care about your spring game.
And with that, I’ll offer a few hundred words on something that I admittedly don’t care about.
The spring game is one where a team’s 1s play against its 1s. Its 2s play against its 2s. And so on. The options are endless. But not really.
Fans of some schools show up in droves. Ohio State drew 80,134 fans. While a school like Missouri drew a lackluster (?) 16,457. Congratulations! All of you showed up to a scrimmage and left either optimistic about the upcoming season or depressed about the upcoming season. Here’s my question – How in the hell could you tell how good the team is?!? It’s a scrimmage.
Being a scrimmage that is open to the public and the media means one thing and that is that spring games are completely controlled. The coaches show the football world only what they want us all to see.
As this past Saturday progressed, I saw a considerable amount of chatter on social media about the Georgia spring game. Is there a quarterback battle brewing in Athens? Can true freshman Jake Fromm wrestle the starting spot away from last year’s savior, Jacob Eason? What do you think my thoughts are on this budding quarterback controversy? You guessed it. I don’t care.
I don’t care about your sexy practice.
There was similar chatter coming out of Tuscaloosa. Last year the Alabama fans had a love/hate relationship with Jalen Hurts. But this is the case with most Saban quarterbacks. So, when Tua Tagovailoa (yes, I did nail the spelling) committed to Alabama, the Crimson Tide fans were ecstatic. And Tagovailoa was electric in the spring game. He’s basically Tecmo Bowl Bo Jackson. Except for one thing. We’re talking about a scrimmage.
I remember the 2016 Missouri Tiger spring game like it was, well, last year. Wide Receiver Eric Laurent impressed the fans. Not only that, but Laurent gained the attention of the fans throughout the 2016 offseason. Then the season started and he caught one pass for two yards. Granted, that one reception was for a touchdown. His production was efficient.
This year’s Missouri spring game hype was focused on Dawson Downing. Who you ask? Yes. Dawson Downing.
Downing is a second-year walk-on who played his high school ball in Kansas City. Hurray for the local-ish kid being the hero of a scrimmage. And the walk-on dazzled all 16,457 who attended the Missouri scrimmage. Downing is 2017’s Laurent which means don’t expect to see blinding production from him once the real season starts.
Georgia, Alabama, and Missouri are all different situations. Georgia is always considered to be a stones-throw away from competing for the SEC championship. The Bulldogs are solid each year. Alabama is Alabama. Saban has all the players and all the assistant coaches. And Missouri is the red headed stepchild of the SEC.
What those three schools do have in common with not only each other but every other Power 5 team in the country is that each set of fans view their respective spring games as a makeshift crystal ball. The fact-of-the-matter is that the crystal ball is not only broken but not needed. Seasons aren’t made or broken in April.
These scrimmages are marketing gimmicks designed to get the fans energized for the upcoming season. College football fans don’t need to be energized. The fanaticism lasts all year long.
I may get it but I don’t have to like it. Now let’s kick the real season off.
E-mail Seth at seth [dot] merenbloom [at] campuspressbox [dot] com or follow him on Twitter @SethMerenbloom.
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