That provided the foundation that the Saban-hysteria acted upon to create the Spring Game frenzy that happened last year. Now, it appears that Bama has changed spring football for the foreseeable future around the SEC. Where Spring Games previously, if they were even held, were strictly for devotees who bordered on being hobbyists, it is now being used as an offseason pep rally, designed to create an sustain interest in whatever program is holding it.
This weekend saw Bama's Spring Game draw about 78,000 people into the stands. It wasn't quite a full house, and a far cry from the state of affairs last year when they had to turn 30,000 people away, but it was still significantly above their own high standards. What happened in the game? Who cares? All I know is that one of the two intrasquad teams won. Which one? I have no idea. It's hard to figure out why it would matter.
Also, Florida had its Spring Game, which doubled as 3-ring circus, complete with interactive games where regular students could compete with players for the chance to win a scholarship. The College GameDay guys were on hand to do whatever it is you call what they do.
I'm still trying to work out what it means. Does it have any impact on LSU that we do not generate the same level of excitement for spring football as some other programs? It's hard to know. I feel pretty comfortable saying that Bama's spring fever last year gave them a pretty good shot in the arm for recruiting. It helped, at least in the short term, but it remains to be seen if there sill be any lingering long term benefit beyond the long term benefit of having a really good recruiting class.
It doesn't seem to be hurting us in recruiting this year, as we are going like gangbusters. Maybe it hurt last year, as we lost out on a lot of big recruits who ultimately had us in 2nd place.