Georgia got its revenge on Alabama on Saturday, I guess. Months after letting a lead slip away in the national championship game, Georgia wiggled past Alabama in the spring game attendance standings on Saturday but the Dawgs still had to settle for second place overall. A record crowd at Nebraska led to the Cornhusker faithful having the highest attendance for a spring game this season.
Nebraska set a school record on Saturday with 86,818 fans attending the spring game in Lincoln, the first under new head coach Scott Frost. It was the first time Nebraska recorded a crowd over 80,000 during the past five years. Nebraska surged to the top of the Big Ten spring attendance standings as well, and stayed comfortably ahead after Penn State recorded an estimated 71,000 fans at its spring game on Saturday. Ohio State had led the Big Ten the previous three years but stadium renovations limited Ohio State to 79,000 available seats this year at Ohio Stadium, and weather and schedule adjustments to the spring game resulted in a crowd of 47,803 for Ohio State’s spring game.
The SEC once again dominated spring game attendance numbers this year. With LSU and Mississippi State numbers still pending, the SEC has five schools in the top 10 in spring game attendance as of today; Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, and Texas A&M. As a conference, the SEC eclipsed the 400,000-fan mark for the fourth time in the last five years. Although the Big Ten is typically the second best conference in cumulative spring game attendance, the conference’s number took a big dip this season thanks to weather issues across the conference. Still, the number pulled in by Nebraska, Penn State, and Ohio State helped keep the Big Ten in second place ahead of the ACC.
Keep in mind spring game attendance is treated differently by every school, and the numbers often include estimates so the accuracy can be questioned. Even though there are still a handful of spring games left, none will rival the numbers put up today.
The updated top 10 is listed below, and a full database of spring game attendance can be found here (complete with conference breakdowns and a five-year record of spring game attendance figures by school).
2018 Spring Game Attendance Top 10
- Nebraska – 86,818
- Georgia – 82,184
- Alabama – 74,732
- Penn State – 71,000
- Tennessee – 65,098
- Florida State – 60,934
- Clemson – 55,000
- Florida – 53,015
- Oklahoma – 52,102
- Texas A&M – 48,129
With a new head coach in town, it’s far from surprising to see somewhat of a personnel exodus in the spring. In that vein, Jimbo Fisher‘s first-year Texas A&M roster is the latest FBS football program to see such attrition.
On his personal Twitter account Thursday night, offensive lineman Koda Martin announced that he would be transferring from A&M to Syracuse. On the same social media website a day later, teammate Kemah Siverand announced that he too will be leaving College Station as a transfer.
Unlike Martin, Siverand (pictured, left) did not reveal his next college football home in the tweet.
As Siverand will be leaving the Aggies as a graduate transfer, he’ll be eligible to play immediately at another FBS school in 2018 if that’s the tack he takes.
Siverand was a four-star member of A&M’s 2015 recruiting class. After beginning his collegiate career as a wide receiver, the Cypress, Tex., native moved to defensive back between the 2016 and 2017 seasons. He caught two passes for 16 yards in two games as a redshirt freshman in 2016, then was credited with six tackles in 12 games last season.
Koda Martin‘s collegiate playing career has taken a familial turn.
On his personal Twitter account Thursday night, the offensive lineman announced that he would be transferring from Texas A&M. Not only that, but Martin confirmed that he already has a new college football home — Syracuse.
Martin’s dad, Kirk Martin, was named as the quarterbacks coach at Syracuse earlier this year. Last summer, Koda Martin married Jazzmin Babers, who happens to be the daughter of Orange head coach Dino Babers.
Whether it’s coincidence or not, Martin’s move from College Station comes two weeks after a heat stroke he suffered during an Aggies spring practice session left him near death according to a social media post from his father.
As Martin will graduate from A&M in May, he’ll be eligible to play for the Orange in 2017. The upcoming season will be the lineman’s final year of eligibility.
Martin had started 14 games for the Aggies the past two seasons, including 10 last season as a redshirt junior.
Is it a sign of a new look for a new era, or just purely a coincidence and a way to use up whatever paint is left over on the budget for the academic year? Whatever the case may be, Texas A&M showed off a look at Kyle Field ahead of tomorrow’s spring game. In a pleasing tease to many, Texas A&M has decided to paint the endzones maroon for the spring game.
Texas A&M traditionally keeps the endzones without any paint, allowing the grass surface to be untouched other than the “Texas A&M” wordmark in each end of the field. The Aggies have painted the end zone before, although just for special occasions. Maybe the spring game qualifies as a special occasion for the Aggies.
It will be the first chance Aggie fans get to see their beloved football program under the direction of new head coach Jimbo Fisher. The former Florida State head coach comes to College Station with lofty expectations (the man already has been given a trophy for a national championship he has yet to win).
The maroon background on the field looks sharp, and here’s to hoping Texas A&M decided to keep that look moving forward.
Texas A&M is breaking out all the stops to welcome Jimbo Fisher to Aggieland for his first spring game as the team’s new head coach. While there is of course plenty of people planning on heading down to College Station to take in the game on Saturday and the usual fan-centric activities surrounding the game that usually take place, few schools can say they’re also tapping a Heisman Trophy winner to actually take the field to play a little football.
Well, flag football at least.
In a “FAQ” posted on the school website about the annual Maroon and White game, A&M notes that none other than Johnny Manziel will be taking part in the ‘Legends Game’ that will happen at halftime:
The Legends Game presented by the Texas A&M Lettermen’s Association will be a flag football exhibition at halftime of the M&W Game. It will feature some of the greatest names in Aggie football history like Texas A&M Athletic Hall of Famers Jacob Green, Quentin Coryatt, Dat Nguyen, Ray Mickens and Bucky Richardson and the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel as “all-time quarterback.”
Manziel is no stranger to playing in the spring, having just wrapped up a stint playing in… ‘The Spring League.’ That marked his first competitive action on the gridiron in over two years as he attempts to make a comeback in the game where he dazzled as a Heisman Trophy winner for the Aggies and later became a first round pick of the Cleveland Browns.
The Texas A&M Maroon and White Game kicks off at 4 p.m. CT at Kyle Field and is being televised by the SEC Network for those that might want to watch on from afar. No word if the halftime show will also make it to air but you certainly can’t say that the Aggies aren’t rolling out the red carpet for their new $75 million head coach with all the bells and whistles that are being brought to his first spring game.