Friday, April 13, 2012

Hot Topics: Should Spring Games Be Played Between Two Teams?

Each week, our writers break down a "Hot Topic" among the Michigan fans and allow them to express their opinions. Topics cover everything from rivalry games to team and fan apparel. Writers have their own opinion and readers are welcome to comment or contact them via Twitter with their thoughts.

Kyle Curtiss - Representing Those That Believe Spring Games Should Be Between Two Teams

1)  Denard throwing a pass. Denard going for a big run. Michigan's defense putting a stop to some of that. In essence, the spring game is a glorified scrimmage. Of course, we don't want our players getting hurt, but watching college flag football can be downright monotonous. Even if the powers that be decide that Michigan vs. Indiana for the spring game is a good idea, there are those who just want the privacy of their own team. I understand that but how do you know your right guard will effectively block more against Indiana or the White squad? By having them play against others they don't know as well. If it were me, I'd always end up playing differently against my teammate than my opponent.

2)  Rules can be set in stone for it. Tickets may be issues for it, and since it's just a scrimmage make it cheap. A lot of people know this but guess what: the pros do it all the time toward the middle/end of training camps and before preseason games. Spring games are always a lot more casual than the regular season. I know, you're saying "well duh"...but my point is just because it's casual doesn't mean we can't test the competition. Here's a thought, and stay with me because maybe I could have a good one here. Play the spring game against Alma. Play Wayne State. Play a college that has everything to gain by scrimmaging against us but never really has a shot onto making the regular season schedule. Neither team gets money for it, but the incoming team would get a lot of publicity for it.


Thomas Beindit - Representing Those That Believe Spring Games Should Not Be Between Two Teams

1)  What makes the spring game special? The fact that fans can go to the stadium and enjoy their own team. Nobody else, no rivalries, no opposing fans, just their team.  No matter the result, fans can be excited about their team and avoid disappointment.  Yes, it may sounds cheesy, but I enjoy the one game a year without intensity and stress about long-term effects.  Even facing sub-par teams like Eastern Michigan now leave a small trace of fear since The Horror in 2006.  However, the Spring Game doesn't have any of these issues.  It's just a scrimmage involving one team, Michigan.  I enjoy the fact that, whether one side does good or bad, there are always positives that come from the game, which can't be said about games against opponents.

2) If the Spring Game was scheduled against another team, it would also lead to extreme hype and excitement, removing the laid-back feel currently held by the game.  Sure, having a packed stadium to face an opponent would be fun, but isn't it nice to have a donation-based game once a year without the endless crowd?  Plus, there is little doubt that the athletic department would begin selling, not just tickets, but extremely expensive tickets for the game.  Essentially, the key elements of the current Spring Game would be destroyed and replaced with just another game.  I find it doubtful they would ever be scheduled against legitimate competition, so it would only be a chance for Michigan to lose.  For instance, facing a team like Eastern Michigan is fun, but what if Michigan lost?  Facing easy competition is nice, until the team loses.  In a spring setting with a half-filled roster, upsets would be very frequent and that's not something I'd like to see.


Final Points

Kyle - The spring game is iconic to the fans. It's a time where we can all get together and celebrate OUR team. Tomorrow I will be seeing the alumni game for the first time. For the past few years I was working a midnight job so I've been unable to see it due to sleep. The alumni game for just Michigan players is a great thing to see. Same thing with the spring game. I don't think the guidelines would ever change anyway. If the NCAA can't come to a conclusion on a BCS playoff format, then why would they change the spring game rules? I'd vote they should just to give it an extra punch. As I said earlier it doesn't have to be a conference foe, or even a FBS foe. I just truly believe that if we had a friendly scrimmage against someone else, we'd have a better idea of where we stand as a team.

Thomas - Publicity is great and I don't think there's any doubt that there'd be more excitement for the game if there was a game between two teams.  However, that doesn't mean it's the best thing for college football and the NCAA.  The spring game is a special time for fans, teams, and the nation.  Not just because of tradition, but because it's a unique experience where fans can truly experience their team.  Nobody else's team, no worries about losing, and no opposing fans.  It's a win-win situation for everybody involved.  Even programs like Michigan, that would probably annihilate the weak opponents they would play.  There's no risk of losing to a bad opponent, fans demanding a better match-up, and having to endure the annoying fanbases that travel to Ann Arbor.  I enjoy the spring game, and I know I'm not the only one, for its special place in the football schedule.  If it became a normal game, it would lose the special aspects that it holds for the fans.  Yes, it might be more exciting and get more publicity, but it would take a very special experience away from the fans.


All writers are entitled to their own opinion and those may or may not represent the held beliefs of Hoke's Mad Magicians as an entity.  Readers are welcome to comment below or contact the writers via Twitter with their thoughts

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