At the end of March, we discussed Dabo Swinney resurrecting his old 2010 plan of having exhibition games in lieu of spring games for college football teams. The Atlanta Journal Constitution talked to a couple of area coaches who, for the most part, at least were intrigued by the idea of hitting on someone besides themselves.
The South has a group of coaches who are interested in the idea and if you haven't heard, Brady Hoke of Michigan is in that same camp.
Mike Rothstein, ESPN.com's Michigan beat writer, tweeted as much during the Big Ten teleconference today:
Brady Hoke again reaffirms his preference to scrimmage other schools. Currently, NCAA does not allow.
— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) April 10, 2012
Add another one to the list, as it does seem like Dabo's plan has some legs. No, no one has submitted a proposal to ask for the ability to play an opponent, but people are talking more and more about the coach's idea.
We've already hit on the money side of things in our earlier post. It would be a chance for televisions networks and schools to squeeze even more out of the system during a time where college football fans are thirsty for action.
From the coaches' viewpoint, they would get to see where there team truly stood. Winning and losing to yourself is nice, but seeing if the redshirt freshman who emerged at the weakside linebacker is ready to play against someone he lives with is always a good thing. Instead of finding out he's gun-shy in September, you get an inkling of that in April. Helps you understand that you might need to get that junior, who is not quite as athletic, ready to play in August.
As ferocious as spring battles are during the 15 practices, there is no substitute for an opponent. Getting a chance to hit someone else brings a new energy and excitement to the arena for all the parties involved.
Coaches get to see how well their team is learning the schemes. Instead of lining up against the same formations every day, they're seeing a new scheme and are being forced to adjust.
The idea is intriguing and it is interesting to see more coaches get vocal about the possibility of an exhibition. We'll keep you posted here at Your Best 11, as this would ultimately give us something new to chat about during the dry spell that is spring for the college-football junky.