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G5 Spring Football
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CRM114 Offline
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Post: #1
G5 Spring Football
This will sound preposterous but who knows, with college football now totally driven by the pursuit of media rights payoffs. What if some or all of the Group of Five schools separated themselves from the P4 conferences completely and moved their schedules to springtime? We've seen various attempts over the years at professional spring football leagues. Admittedly none has lasted very long, and other than the 1980s USFL they are all consistent in their poor attendance and puny TV ratings, yet the networks keep making plays at it to fill airtime and quench the supposedly endless appetite for football.

Imagine trying this instead with the 65 or so G5 programs. These schools have a combined enrollment of about 1.6 million students and alumni bases numbering in the tens of millions. They have a presence into several of the largest U.S. TV markets including Houston, Philadelphia, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, San Diego, Tampa, Detroit, San Antonio and Las Vegas. While these markets may have limited interest in those G5 programs during the fall, in springtime they would have no competition from either the P4 programs or the NFL. Probably no competition from the USFL-style pro leagues either, since I think this would kill those off completely. I believe these G5 programs, with established fan bases and decades of tradition, would draw far better viewership than the semi-pro teams cobbled together out of NFL rejects.

Obviously this would take a great deal of getting used to for fans accustomed to the fall traditions of college football, but so much of that has already been trashed by this conference realignment insanity. Starting a season in chilly March weather while finishing up in near-summer May temperatures sounds weird but would just be the reverse of what we do now. The overlap with basketball would be in March instead of November. And the end of the regular season and a June playoff would go past the end of the school year, but the College World Series is already doing that.

Any other pros and cons you can think of? One problem I can see is the timing of the NFL draft. Would you end up losing a whole season of eligibility for draft-eligible players because they aren't going to suit up once they are drafted? Then again, how many of those players are even staying in the G5 anymore?
(This post was last modified: 09-10-2023 11:39 PM by CRM114.)
09-10-2023 11:37 PM
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Alanda Offline
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Post: #2
RE: G5 Spring Football
You listed the two biggest I would have thought of. I don't think the schools would want the overlap with postseason basketball. There would likely be a concern with the other springs sports as well. And they would potentially see an increase in players lost in the postseason who choose to get ready for the draft. I think enough would still play for G5 schools that it would be a problem.
09-11-2023 12:14 AM
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ncrdbl1 Offline

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Post: #3
RE: G5 Spring Football

(This post was last modified: 09-11-2023 08:31 AM by ncrdbl1.)
09-11-2023 08:29 AM
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hk25 Offline
Special Teams

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Post: #4
RE: G5 Spring Football
Not the worst idea if the following were to happen:

-1st & foremost, the TV networks must be willing to pay to make it worthwhile.
-The current P4/P2 whatever cut the G5 off from their Playoffs. I don’t think it’s in the G5’s best interest to initiate the separation, but if it is forced on them & they have to have their own playoffs, I would suspect there would be more interest in them in a window outside of the P4’s.
- The NFL would have to be modify their draft process. I doubt the NFL would delay the full draft until after the spring season, so perhaps the NFL has 2 drafts (I am pretty sure TV & the NFL would love the extra draft coverage). One in the traditional April time slot with only the P4 players available & one in July with everyone else available.

While my personal preference is the traditional fall model, like everything else in CFB lately, I would just adapt to the new reality if that happened.
09-11-2023 12:21 PM
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