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Why I Hate the Spring Game

Yes, I'll concede there are some decent reasons to go to Saturday's Spring Game. Since Snyder hasn't been able to close the glorified scrimmage off to the public yet, it's basically the first and last chance to see most of the 2011 Wildcats (and new players like Justin Tuggle and the Brown brothers) until August, even if it might be more enlightening to watch YouTube highlights.

Plus, it's a great, cheap excuse to get out of the house and ignore the end of the only football event more annoyingly overhyped than spring games, the NFL Draft. Just don't forget to check where Daniel Thomas gets drafted.

That being said, I am (obviously) not a fan of this annual display of something vaguely resembling quality college football. If you want the long version, check out my post from last year, but I'll try to keep it short here.

Maybe there is a way to make exhibition football games approach the excitement and drama of the real thing, but no has figured it out yet. For plenty of good reasons, players just don't go as hard in games that don't matter, and the spring game format of not allowing hits on the quarterback just makes it all even worse.

Naturally, though, taking away the big hits and a good portion of the athleticism isn't enough for Bill Snyder, who often appears to hate fun. I guess I'm not 100% sure that he's doing the same thing this year, but in the past he's even taken the competitiveness out of the game by putting the first string against the second team, with some occasional changes made throughout the game.

I don't mean to disrespect the second teamers, because I'm sure most of them work hard and they're clearly all better at football then you or me. But I still haven't come up with a good reason to play with this format over, well, anything else, and I can't imagine how it's really more productive for anyone than a normal practice.

As a result, we get a meaningless "game" that will inevitably be overanalyzed by every K-State writer (probably including us at BOTC) because we have nothing better to talk about for the next three months (please prove me wrong, BatCats). But did Carson Coffman's incredible stat line in last year's Spring Game show us that he was set to become the next great KSU QB, or even an average Big 12 starter? I don't think I have to answer that.

One final thought: Although (as cleverly pointed out by David Ubben) Bill Snyder's gimmick of changing the score at halftime might work in other situations and was designed (I guess) to give the illusion of a competitive game, I don't think it fooled anyone, unless some KU fans accidentally wandered into KSU Stadium (I kid). So here's hoping there's no changing of the score this year.

Speaking of David Ubben, we'll have a Q&A post discussing K-State football for the upcoming season (and beyond?) with ESPN's fine Big 12 blogger early next week, so please don't start your summer vacation from K-State athletics just yet.

Update: I'm in a generous mood today, so if you've got any questions you're dying to ask Ubben, please post them in the comments and maybe we'll choose some of the best for the Q&A, which will likely be in email format. I don't think I need to tell most of you this, but obviously keep it civil and on-topic. No midget jokes allowed.

Another update: Thanks to the excellent suggestion by GTcat and the superior technological expertise of our overlord, TB, it appears we will be doing a Podcast with Ubben in the near future. Look for it sometime next week.