Yes, I wrote it… college football needs a preseason game. There are so many reasons to have it there is no reason that a preseason game should not happen. Here is my argument for it.
How annoying is it as a coach, player, fan or writer of college football to not fully know about team your squad plays to open the season? Very. It is very annoying. The only thing we have to go on is analysis of last season whilst trying to piece together development, the new recruiting class and subtract key losses.
It is very annoying.
Let us look at the teams in the Pac-12 South Division for example. Here are the Week 1 match-ups:
Arizona vs UTSA – Arizona State vs Texas A&M – Colorado at Hawai’i
UCLA vs Virginia – USC vs Arkansas State – Utah vs Michigan
Arizona and UCLA have the luxury of knowing their opponents as they are playing the second of a home-and-home with UTSA and Virginia, respectively. Colorado and Hawai’i are familiar with each other as they have faced off three times in the last four seasons.
ASU and Texas A&M, as well as USC and Arkansas State are interesting because they have never played each other. Aside from videos and scouting reports, both teams are going to be taking a fresh look at each other, especially the Sun Devils and Aggies in a very important Pac-12 vs SEC match-up.
And then there Utah vs Michigan. Though they have played each other three times in the last 12 years, you can hardy say they know each other. For one thing, Utah Head Coach Kyle Whittingham had to completely restructure his coaching staff and at Michigan, the Jim Harbaugh era begins and no one has a clue how that will turn out.
And that is my point. Teams could seriously benefit from a preseason game to prepare for these epic non-conference. Can you really tell me that Whittingham or Harbaugh would to like to have an exhibition to not only get the feel of their team but to plan ahead for the game in Week 1?
It is always good to have news and notes on the opponent, which would exponentially help coaches prepare for Game 1 after a preseason game. What is even better is taking a look at how your own team performs under the spotlight.
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Two weeks ago, I went out to San Bernardino to watch UCLA Football run through a game-like scrimmage. Sure it was exciting to watch some football at some level, but what was lost was the continuity of having all the players available on offense and defense instead of having to “split squad” them.
With a preseason game, you get all of your players working on execution of plays all the way through. Now like an NFL team, starters will probably be pulled after 1 or 2 quarters for the back-ups, which helps them with some “game experience”.
Essentailly, a preseason game helps every single person on the team.
The Need For Football
Yes, this is a selfish reason, but who would disagree? Not the fans, players or networks (that would most likely be fighting to broadcast the preseason games). The only ones that might be hesitant to have these games are the coaches who would more than likely want to save his best players for an actual game that counts.
How long before the major networks get a hold of this idea? If they do, remember you heard the idea here first!
Every single NFL preseason game is televised on a several channels and all that is doing is streaming money into the League. With the Power 5 conferences looking to increase their revenue, a preseason game will help that one week early. Just change the policy the NFL uses of charging full price for a preseason game that doesn’t count.
So you see, there are so many reasons to have a preseason game. If anyone at the NCAA wants to talk to me about this, I am available.