Could Penn State Football Ditch Blue-White Game For FCS Matchup?


Could a simple change in the way Penn State Football and the majority of FBS teams run their spring games make it more exciting to watch?

I remember my first Blue-White game like it was yesterday.

A chance to watch a Penn State Football game, which featured nearly all of the team’s best players, in a nearly empty Beaver Stadium for free?

Sign me up!

Well that was many years ago (I won’t say how long so don’t even ask) and let’s just say there’s a statue somewhere to commemorate the excellence of the head coach of this team.

But, as the years have passed and the Nittany Lion faithful have seen a handful of new coaches lead the Blue and Whites, the spring game no longer seems the same.

Following Bill O’Brien’s first full year with Penn State’s football program, he hinted at a host of significant changes following the 2013 Blue-White game in which starting running back Zack Zwinak suffered a apparent wrist injury.

Admittedly, his hint at the changes was mostly due to a very small and thin roster, to begin with thanks to the NCAA.

However, O’Brien was unable to implement these changes as he left for the Houston Texans and James Franklin stepped in.

And boy was the Blue-White 2014 game different.

But not the entertainment, excitement, events and family activities surrounding the event. It was all amazing and a huge step up from the festivities of years past. It was a giant circus (in a good way) the likes of which I had never seen before surrounding Beaver Stadium in April.

As for the game?

It was a glorified practice.

Nothing more and nothing less. But at least it was free, right?

Well, yes, it was. Back then.

No more.

It’s a trend that many Power 5 programs have implemented for their annual spring games over the years to generate more revenue from their die-hard fans.

Have the spring games just gotten more entertaining?


If anything, they have become as inaccessible as ever.

That brings us to this idea as a way to make spring games like Penn State Football more entertaining:

Outdoors, this seems like a fantastic idea as fans will be able to see an actual football game played under its normal rules during a spring afternoon.

Plus, it can potentially justify the ever-increasing costs that families are spending to make the trip to Happy Valley every April.

But here’s the problem…

Due to the very risk-averse environment of high-level college football (for obvious reasons), spring football games are increasingly about maintaining/increasing the hype around them (people, money, fanfare ) while simultaneously reducing the product/entertainment on the domain.

And while I love the idea of ​​playing Penn State Football against an FCS opponent in their annual spring game, there’s no way Franklin will.

Also, I highly doubt any single Power 5 trainer would even consider it.

Their main task in the spring is to prepare their team for the upcoming season.

It also includes creating hype for their program to get as many people as possible to come to their stadium in the spring to watch them bang on a whistle and stand 15 yards behind the line of scrimmage for that 3rd and 4th string players perform drills.

Penn State Football fans can always reminisce about the good old days of the hard-hitting Blue-White game, but sadly those days are long gone and they’re not coming back.

So if you want to shell out the cash for the high gas prices, then spend the cash parking around Beaver Stadium, while feeding your family from the endless amounts of corndog and pizza stands , only to watch a boring workout afterwards?

Get used to it, because no matter how many great ideas are floating around about how to make the Spring Game more fun to watch, that’s not going to change anytime soon.


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