The Greatest Idea In the History of the World
By Tony Gerdeman
What you are about to read could change everything. Or it could change nothing. After all, Leonardo da Vinci designed flying machines in his heyday, but it would be another 400 years before man would actually take flight.
I don't want to oversell what I am about to tell you, but then again I can't, because this is the greatest idea in the history of the world.
Are you ready, because I am about to bring it like you have never seen anything brought. Tell your family that you're not coming home tonight, because I'm about to smack you in the face with the ultimate awakening.
Two words: Spring Football.
No, I'm not talking about the spring football that you already know about. I'm talking about something much bigger.
I'm talking about an entire second season of college football that takes place in the spring, and it would feature only freshmen and sophomores.
It would be like the junior varsity teams of yesteryear.
Make it a 10-game schedule, with some type of final four playoff. If you want, you can even make it 12-minute quarters, instead of 15.
For football programs that wanted to participate, I'm thinking it would require around 140 scholarships total for the football program, and there would be no more redshirting. Players would have five years, and they could play football all five of those years, but only four could take place on the varsity team.
Spring practice would begin at the same time for everyone. At the end of spring practice, however, the spring football team would then begin its season.
Because coaches can't control themselves, there would be a rule that no player could play in more than 15 games in any calendar year. With a 10 or 11-game schedule for spring football, this would lend itself to – wait for it – "November call ups".
Like Major League Baseball, the "regular season" college football rosters would be expanded down the stretch and coaches would be able to bring in the young reinforcements who impressed in spring football, and the good thing is that they will have had at least four months off since spring football ended.
Of course, a freshman wouldn't have to start out in spring football. He could start out in "The Show" if a coach was confident in his ability, or desperately needed what the player could provide.
Along with more players, there would also need to be more coaches. Which would be more prestigious, being a coordinator, or being the head coach of the spring football team? Both would be a stepping stone to a head coaching job.
You could also officially speed up recruiting, since it's already been sped up by players and coaches. Have official visits during June when high school is out and college football is happening, and implement an early signing period. Imagine a head coach and his coaching staff being able to watch an entire spring game with a top recruit, and then locking him up shortly thereafter.
There are, obviously, a few issues. Number one would be cost. Not every school could afford to do this. However, you've got to spend money to make money, and college football is certainly a money maker.
The other, more practical issue, would be Title IX. Adding 55 more scholarships for male athletes means that you'll probably have to find that same number of scholarships for female athletes.
At a place like Ohio State that already has 19 women's sports, I'm not sure what else you can add. One idea that I'm toying with is to make spring football available to women, and then putting all 55 of those scholarships in that sport. However, I don't think there are that many female kickers on the average campus.
Perhaps more club sports could be turned into varsity sports, but not Quidditch.
In fact, the one stipulation that I would not budge on is that if spring football is a go, then Quidditch must be banned on that university's campus.
If we can get the Title IX issue settled you can't tell me you wouldn't love to have college football going on right now.
Yes, it would mean year-round Mark May, and I realize that every great idea has its drawbacks. Hey, the drawback of early flight was death, so there's always going to be a give and take with global enlightenment.
But wouldn't life be so much better with college football in the spring? Imagine how much more entertaining the NBA playoffs would be if we were only watching it during commercials while we were actually watching college football.
And wouldn't it be fun to get a look at the stars of tomorrow today? You would have known who Johnny Manziel was in 2011. You could have been following him on Twitter an entire year earlier!
With such large rosters, I think "free transfers" should be allowed after a player's third season. Meaning, they would be eligible to play immediately at the school they transfer to. No restrictions. After all, if you can't win with 139 players, then you just can't win.
Also, fans that can't get tickets in the fall would probably have a better chance of landing them in the spring. Players get more opportunities to play at their dream school, and the fans would have more opportunities to watch them.
If you think you like this idea, just think about how much the Big Ten Network and SEC Network like it. They would have inventory out the wazoo. There would also be a ton more money out there floating around for television contracts. The Pac 12 Network probably also likes it, but I haven't downloaded their app to find out.
Yeah, there are a few kinks to work out, and I know that we are at least three years away from implementing my plan, but you have to admit that your mind has just been completely blown and now you are sad that you don't have spring football to watch right now.
Believe me, we are all sad right now. Sometimes that's what happens with total enlightenment. Every idea from here on out will only be downhill.
But once college football gets here, our smiles will return. And when spring college football finally arrives, man will have reached his sports zenith.
I'm sure I've missed a glaring issue or two, but that can all be worked out. What's important is that we don't shelve this idea for the next 400 years until a couple of Ohioans decide to figure it out on their own.
After all, an Ohioan has already figured it out for everyone right now.
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