Saturday, April 18 marks the second big weekend for college football spring games. This past weekend saw some of the big boys doing their thing.
A TALE OF TWO PROGRAMS
With a Bama man as coach:
Today's attendance: 76,881. There is #NoPlace like Nebraska. #GBR pic.twitter.com/nVaUzlBKTb— Nebraska Huskers (@Huskers) April 11, 2015
Without a Bama man as coach:
Slightly smaller crowd than Nebraska's at Stanford's spring game. pic.twitter.com/gKo6zNgszj— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) April 11, 2015
A sample list of college football attendance to date:
|Duke||02/28/15||n/a||Forced indoors because of snow.|
|Baylor||03/20/15||5,610||No, I did not leave a zero off the end. Lame.
|BYU||03/27/15||14,000||6,500 the year before.|
|Boston College||03/28/15||n/a||Seriously now. Why do these cold-weather schools have their spring practice so early? BC had temperatures in the 30s and snow flurries.|
|Miami (FL)||03/28/15||3,500||Really? Bama gets that many for a softball game. The city of Miami has the worst fans.|
|Texas Tech||03/28/15||"over 10,000"||Due to stadium renovations, the game was held at Midland High School's 15,000-seat stadium. Smart move.|
|Michigan||04/04/15||60,000||The Maize and Blue nation are actually bragging about this number for Jim Harbaugh's first spring game.|
|Arizona||04/10/15||4,500||The Wildcats ran off 100 plays in their spring scrimmage. I guess they'll be going up-tempo this year.|
|Arizona State||04/10/15||5,000||Bobby Hurley was in the house but not many others.|
|TCU||04/10/15||10,000||Ugly uniforms, whiny head coach. Ya know, I am really starting to hate these guys.|
|Florida||04/11/15||21,000||Are the Gators haters?
|Georgia||04/11/15||46,815||Ran the Masters Round 3 on the Jumbotron during pre-game and halftime.|
|Florida State||04/11/15||17,250||Is the honeymoon over?|
|Stanford||04/11/15||a few dozen||See above.|
|North Carolina||04/11/15||n/a||Scrimmage at Rocky River High School near Charlotte, NC due to repairs to Kenan Stadium.|
Five SEC schools take center stage this weekend.
From 1pm CT until 4pm CT, the SEC Network Alternate channel will air the SEC Spring Whip Around in which the coverage will shift around to various scrimmages among Alabama, Auburn, and LSU. The SEC Network Alternate channel is not the regular SEC Network channel. It is likely up in the high numbers. Check your local listings or just scroll through your cable TV menu.
Individual games can be seen live on SEC Network+ (aka espn3.com).
Mississippi State Bulldogs
Maroon-White Game: 11am CT / noon ET, SEC Network Alternate; Tom Hart, Tom Luginbill & Kayce Smith
Storylines: Despite being one of the few schools around the league that is returning a quality quarterback (Dak Prescott), the Bullies have many many starters and a few back-ups to replace. 14 starters and five key back-ups have run out of eligibility or left early for the NFL (Josh Robinson & Benardrick McKinney).
Players to watch: #15 Prescott, #96 DT Chris Jones, #1 WR De'Runnya Wilson.
Extra Point: Manny Diaz returns to Mississippi State as defensive coordinator after three rocky years at Texas and a decent on last season at Louisiana Tech. Diaz also served as DC for the Bulldogs in 2010.
A-Day (come up with your own name!): 1pm CT / 2pm ET; Dave Baker, Andre Ware, & Maria Taylor
Storylines: Stop me is you have heard this one before: another team replacing a quarterback. However, there is no heated debate in Auburn as Jeremy Johnson looks like the heir apparent. WR Sammie Coates is gone but Duke Williams returns. Can he return to form after suffering nagging knee injuries in 2014? On the other side of the ball, the Tigers defense loses three starters and some depth: CB Jonathon Mincy, CB Robenson Therezie, FS Jermaine Whitehead, and CB Trovon Reed have graduated with two young players (Mackenro Alexander, Kalvaraz Bessent) transferring out.
Players to watch: #1 WR Williams, #3 CB Jonathan Jones
Extra Point: Tucker Tuberville transferred from Texas Tech after his daddy left Lubbock for the bright lights of Cincinnati. He is junior QB buried in the depth chart.
National L-Club Spring Game: 1pm CT / 2pm ET; Adam Amin, Marcus Spears, & Kaylee Hartung
Storylines: Former Bama defensive coordinator Kevin Steele is new in town and he has some gigantic shoes to fill. Will the Bayou Bengals defense ever be the same without John Chavis? Do you get the feeling this is a pivotal season for season for Les Miles down in Red Sticks? Although he is 103–29 at LSU, things seem off ever since the 2011 BCS Championship loss to Alabama
Players to watch: #83 WR Travin Dural, #7 RB Leonard Fournette, #33 S Jamal Adams
Extra Point: Ed Orgeron is also back in the Delta region serving as DL coach after taking a year off from coaching.
ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE
A-DAY: 2pm CT / 3pm ET; Joe Tessitore, Greg McElroy, & Shannon Spake
Storylines: The QB battle and the retooling of the secondary for to begin with. For more, check out OWB's article.
Players to watch: ALL OF THEM! But Seriously... pay particular attention to early enrollee safety #15 Ronnie Harrison who might just be cracking the starting lineup come fall.
Extra Point: An Alabama-Florida State match-up for the 2017 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta is picking up steam. Let's just hope it is a better game then the last time these two met.
Black & Gold Game: 4pm CT / 5pm ET, SEC Network Alternate; Chris Cotter, Booger McFarland, & Laura Rutledge
Storylines: Can Mizzou make it three SEC East crowns in a row? Returning quarterback Maty Mauk has looked inconsistent and is endanger of becoming the next Bo Wallace. It doesn't help that the Tigers lost all three of the starting recievers including Bud Sasser.
Players to watch: #10 LB Kentrell Brothers, #90 NT Harold Brantley
Extra Point: Head Coach Gary Pinkel is entering his 15th season in Columbia and earned his 100th win this past season. He is 102-63 overall.
Also having games this weekend are Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, and Texas among others.
SEC Network Schedule (replays)
Sat, April 18, 5pm/6pm - Alabama
Sun, April 19, 10am/11am - Missouri
Sun, April 19, 9pm/10pm - Auburn
Mon, April 20, 10pm/11pm - LSU
Tue, April 21, 9pm/10pm - Mississippi State
Sat, April 25, 5pm/6pm - Arkansas
Sun, April 26, 6:30pm/7:30pm - Tennessee
Other Bama repeats on the SEC Network::
Monday, April 20, midnight/1am
Monday, April 20, 8am/9am
Wednesday, April 22, 10am/11am