Anthony Jennings

LSU takes early lead in spring game attendance


The LSU Tigers brought spring practices to an end on Saturday in front of 18,565 fans. Though it is early in the spring game schedule, LSU has set the bar for spring game attendance. That spot in the pole position will not hold though.

Considering past spring game crowds to show up for Alabama, Auburn, Nebraska, Ohio State and Penn State, LSU’s number figures to drop in the overall spring game when all is said and done this spring season. Crowds twice or three times as large as the LSU crowd should be expected at each of those programs later this month, at least if the weather cooperates. Michigan and Ole Miss each claimed 15,000 fans showed up for Saturday’s spring game or scrimmage.

When reviewing spring game attendance figures it is important to keep a few things in mind. Programs approach the final spring practice differently. Some make a big deal and create a huge event around it. Others simply just open the doors and whoever shows up, shows up. Some schools hold the spring game in the football stadium, while others move it to a local high school or a practice field. Baylor opened their final practice open to fans on a practice field while the new stadium continues to be constructed.

Here is a look at the spring game attendance figures confirmed through April 7.

  1. LSU – 18,565
  2. Michigan – 15,000
    Ole Miss – 15,000
  3. BYU – 6,500
  4. Troy – 5,500
  5. Cincinnati – 5,400
  6. Duke – 4,000
  7. Baylor – 3,750
  8. Appalachian State – 2,500
  9. USF – 2,000
  10. Bowling Green – 600
  11. Air Force – 300

San Jose State, South Alabama, TCU and FAU did not record an attendance figure. Boston College and San Diego State have not responded to an attendance inquiry. All attendance figures, including a conference-by-conference breakdown can be found here.

Starting LB C.J. Johnson reveals surgery on social media, Ole Miss confirms

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Ole Miss will be without a starting piece of its defensive puzzle for an extended period of time, both the player and the school revealed Tuesday.

With rumors swirling about his condition, C.J. Johnson confirmed on his personal Twitter account late this morning that he will be undergoing surgery at some point in the not-too-distant future.  The linebacker sustained an injury to his left knee in last Saturday’s loss to Florida and did not return to the contest.

Subsequent to that posting, Ole Miss confirmed that Johnson underwent surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn meniscus in his knee.  The procedure and rehab will sideline Johnson for a period of 4-6 weeks.

At the low-end of the prognosis, Johnson would miss the next four games — New Mexico State, Memphis, Texas A&M, Auburn — and return for the Nov. 7 game against Arkansas.  The high-end would have him sidelined until the regular-season finale against Mississippi State.

Johnson had started all five games at middle linebacker for the Rebels.  He started 26 games at defensive end the past three years before moving to linebacker.

Butch Jones labels rumor of ‘physical altercation’ with Vols player ‘absolutely ridiculous’

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Head coach Butch Jones of the Tennessee Volunteers yells at Marquez North #8 during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on September 27, 2014 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.

The website, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August.  The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.

From the site’s report:

The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.

The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”

Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”

At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations.  Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.