Football in the spring? Sure, why not?
SMU head coach June Jones introduced an interesting idea for college football’s programs likely to be left behind in the looming age of autonomy. Rather than continue to play in the shadows of the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC, Jones suggests the rest of the college football conferences not eligible for the benefits of autonomy take their seasons and play them in the spring. A reach? Yeah, probably. But interesting to even discuss further? Absolutely.
“I think the have-nots should go ahead and move to the spring just like the USFL did,” Jones said in a radio interview, according to The Dallas Morning News. “I think that there’s an opportunity to do a complete other side of that division, and I think that if we don’t think that way as a group of have-nots, we’re going to get left behind.”
Jones may be on to something. Would it be beneficial to take advantage of a season without college football if it means potential extra media coverage, and thus growing media rights deals in a non-traditional season? Or would it do more harm by not being able to cash in with games against power conferences, and the media packages airing those games? Jones compares the idea to the old USFL, which played game sin the NFL’s offseason and was quite successful for a period of time (before Donald Trump ruined a good thing). Jones would know, because he coached in the league for two years.
“I can see in five-to-seven years, possibly, the public would demand to have the two leagues play, just like I think the USFL had in mind, originally, of the winner of the USFL playing the winner of the National Football League,” Jones explained.
With more and more programs doing away with or reducing the importance of a spring football game, perhaps this idea could find some ground to run on. It would take some getting used to, but are you in?