April 4, 2017
College football lasts almost a year long, with the season starting in September, bowl games in December and January, national signing day in early February, spring practice in March and spring games in April.
National signing day in college football has been a major deal to fans for a while now, and even the players have gotten in on the spectacle. The fans’ obsession with college football means knowing the recruits a school wants to sign, following them on social media and hoping that recruit does sign with their school.
But college football fans have a new obsession: The spring game is becoming a major way to tell which team has major expectations for the upcoming season.
Ohio State University ended up with more than 100,000 fans at a glorified practice during its spring game last year, and the University of Georgia packed more than 90,000 fans into the stands for its spring game.
As more fans are making the trip to see the games, it comes as no surprise that ESPN would get in on the deal. Just this month, the network is showing 21 games across its various platforms such as the SEC Network and ESPN3.
Several universities have built a whole weekend or week around their spring games. Those universities use concerts, other sports, reunions and more to lure fans to watch a game that really means nothing.
For years, Mississippi State University has used Super Bulldog Weekend to highlight its spring game. This year is no different, with Super Bulldog Weekend taking place from Friday, April 7, to Sunday, April 9.
On the baseball diamond, the Bulldogs host the University of Kentucky, and the softball team hosts the University of South Carolina. Both teams will play a three-game series in their respective sports starting on Friday.
MSU tennis will host Texas A&M University on Friday and Louisiana State University on Sunday. The volleyball team will hold an alumni game on Friday and host Southeastern Louisiana University and Samford University on Saturday.
The spring game starts at 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 8, with free admission. The SEC Network will broadcast the game for the fans who can’t make the trip.
The Rebels will host the University of Alabama in baseball with a three-game series beginning on Friday. The 28th annual Chucky Mullins Award Ceremony breakfast will be held just before the spring game.
UM will play its spring game at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 8, with the SEC Network broadcasting the game. The Rebels are breaking in new offensive and defensive coordinators this season, and this is the first peak at what both units look like for the 2017 season.