Meeting of the Minds: College football in the spring?

Saturdays in the fall is a tradition that is treated like a religion by many. They start with a cool morning drive to your favorite campus, a filling tailgate featuring brats, sausages, hot dogs, burgers and more washed down with a cool beverage of choice or two or seven. The masses then assemble in to the stadium for a rousing pregame show performed by the marching band and then the hard-hitting action of big time college football. Could this possibly be done any other time of year?

A recent column on Deadspin suggested that college football should be moved to the spring so that the sport never ends in combination with the NFL. Before we get all up in arms about ruining traditions, let's keep an open mind in an era in which traditions have become a thing of the past in order to secure bigger paydays.

Could college football be played in the spring? Is that something you believe would work for the better of the sport? You have full control of the universal sports calendar. Where are you placing college football's regular season and postseason?

Our staff chimes in…

Andy Coppens: Why mess with a good thing? Sorry, but that article was full of ridiculously preposterous scenarios that would have to play out in more than one level of sports to even work. Yes, the NFL is king of the sports world right now, but will it be in 10-15 years? Just two decades ago the NFL was an afterthought in many places around the country.

To that point, college football is riding a wave of popularity unseen in years and it's all because it has it's own day on the sporting calendar. I don't know about you but I look forward to fall Saturday's being spent watching college football from nearly the time I get up early in the morning to the time I go to bed well past midnight. What else does the sport have to compete with on a regular basis on Saturday's in the fall?

The mounting of meaningless MLB games for all but a handful of teams? Who cares outside of those markets affected? Or is it the beginning of the NBA season? I don't know anyone that gives two craps about the NBA until June. Hockey? As much as I love the sport one day out of the week where it's not on the front burner is fine by me.

Flip it to spring and you're looking at competing with the end of both the NBA and NHL seasons when people really begin to pay attention to those sports. It's a dumb argument in my book. Some traditions shouldn't be messed with and this is one as old as the sport itself and Saturday's in the fall belong to college football.

Dave Singleton: The basic point of the piece is flawed.

Because Drew Magary HAS to watch the NFL, he wants college football moved to the spring so that he can watch it. It's more convenient for him.

Hey, don't look at me; I'm just quoting his closing graph.

I'll attack the "argument" from the player safety angle (a well beaten horse at this point, but one worth exploring): knowing the physical toll that a game takes on a player, a senior in college (or a draft eligible junior) would be expected to play 28-34 games in less than a calendar year if Magary were to get his way.

That's right; 28-34 games. A full college season of 12-15 games (under the new system) plus an NFL season for the rookies. I'm sorry, but that, right there, is enough of a reason for me to reject the notion outright.

Now, I will interject my own selfish point of view: I love the offseason. I don't mind having time to chill and absorb the bevy of college basketball right now and then slide into the diamond sports in college to carry me (along with the NBA) through June. Let's let football breathe a little, for goodness sake. Enjoy the good weather. Enjoy the offseason. Go out, get some air and stop bitching and worrying about the fact that there is no football.

Allen Kenney: I don't consider myself a huge traditionalist, so I really don't see anything inherently wrong with the suggestion of moving the college football season to the spring. Even so, I don't see the point.

The NFL trails college football by a mile in terms of my interest. They're not really competing for my time.

If the players and coaches wanted to move the season to the spring, I'd say go for it. (Of course, that would also probably mean moving basketball season, too.)

Barring that, I don't really see any reason to mess with success.

Kevin McGuire: Unlike Allen, I do consider myself a traditionalist of sorts, but I have become more and more open to more modern philosophies and concepts that are trending up in our favorite sport, including the idea of paying players. However, even though I am sure college football would be a hit in the spring – because college football would be a hit anywhere it is placed – I fail to see what the point would be other than to give us meaningful football all year round. I get the idea in principle from the football fan’s point of view, but it just seems unrealistic.

As Dave pointed out, in an era in which player safety is a rising concern and focus, moving college football to the spring does little to protect the players with the possibility of playing nearly 40 games per calendar year, not counting all of those hours practicing. This would be a scenario that would lead top players to strongly consider sitting out a season to train for the NFL Draft, which of course would harm the product and college brand as a result.

College football has been played in the fall longer than the NFL. Let’s not mess with it now.

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Kevin McGuire

About Kevin McGuire

Managing editor of Crystal Ball Run and contributor to College Football Talk on NBCSports.com. Member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. College Football Hall of Fame voter. Also managing Bloguin's NittanyLionsDen.com and Macho-Row.com.

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