Troy Football Coach Offers Sensible, NFL-Like Alternative To Hugh Freeze Solution For Spring Game Frustration

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Thanks to Hugh Freeze, conversations around college football this week have centered around potential scrimmages between teams, instead of bland Spring games. On Tuesday, it was Troy’s Jon Sumrall who offered a new scenario.

On Monday, Auburn’s Hugh Freeze again brought up the idea of substituting a traditional spring game for a scrimmage between in-state schools. The idea has sparked conversations between college football coaches, with Troy’s Jon Sumrall bringing another option to the table.

Going the NFL route is a scenario that Sumrall could see being beneficial for teams, rather than playing a spring game. Have two teams join each other for joint practices, much like the NFL does every year. These practices are not mandatory by the NFL, but teams look towards the opportunity to work on schemes and test the competitiveness within their own group.

It’s also an opportunity to go against another defense or offense that hasn’t seen the same plays being ran multiple times per practice. If a scrimmage doesn’t work for some coaches, maybe this is the alternative route that could throw a wrinkle into college football’s allotted 15 practices.

Troy Head Coach Jon Sumrall Responds To Auburn's Hugh Freeze
Troy Trojans head coach Jon Sumrall. (Photo by Bobby McDuffie/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

There is one drawback to an overall scrimmage according to Sumrall. which pertains to game planning.

“Do you get caught up in preparing for the game more than just using spring as a developmental time for individuals — and for experimenting, adapting and growing within your systems on offense, defense and in the kicking game?” Sumrall said. “Those are the only drawbacks I see,” he told 247 Sports.


But maybe the NFL practice model would work, if teams do not want to participate in a full-blown scrimmage that would include safety parameters for certain players. In the end, fans are finding it harder to justify spending money on these games.

I’m not talking about the price of admission, but all of the other expenditures that come with traveling to see a glorified practice game. Outside of the folks that want to experience a college stadium or get an early look at the future quarterback, schools aren’t offering enough incentives to attend.

Looking ahead though, there would certainly be interest in watching your favorite team scrimmage against an outside opponent, even if that school wasn’t a powerhouse name. Both participating schools could make the event something worth paying for, especially if it’s $5-10 dollars that would go to a good cause. This has been the point Hugh Freeze, and others, have been trying to make over the years.

“The solution is, allow us to scrimmage somebody on A-Day, another team. Everybody would get out of it what they want. Let’s adopt a charity to give all the proceeds too. Let’s take foster care in the State of Alabama or orphan care in the State of Alabama. Let Alabama play Troy and we play UAB, or vice-versa, or whoever I don’t care, Alabama State or whoever,” Hugh Freeze said Monday.

Either way, the conversation is being had, which is only a good thing for college football fans. Most likely this doesn’t come to fruition, for a number of reasons. But trying to attract thousands of fans to campus in the Spring continues getting harder by the year, when television is such a viable option.

Let’s change things up, or at least start thinking outside the box, which both coaches are trying to do here.

Written by Trey Wallace

Trey Wallace is the host of The Trey Wallace Podcast that focuses on a mixture of sports, culture, entertainment along with his perspective on everything from College Football to the College World Series.

Wallace has been covering college sports for 15 years, starting off while attending the University of South Alabama. He’s broken some of the biggest college stories including the Florida football “Credit Card Scandal” along with the firing of Jim McElwin and Kevin Sumlin. Wallace also broke one of the biggest stories in college football in 2020 around the NCAA investigation into recruiting violations against Tennessee football head coach Jeremy Pruitt.

Wallace also appears on radio across seven different states breaking down that latest news in college sports.

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