- A plurality of major college football spring games will be played on April 15.
- Spring games are helpful for players but probably overvalued for fans and media.
We’re still a long way off from Week 1 college football odds, so don’t get too excited. It’s only April. All we’ve got for now is the futures market… which, don’t forget, I write about year-round.
You might want to check in there every so often, as I track the early evolution of the 2024 college football national championship odds for you.
Today, though, I want to talk about something with much lower stakes. April and college football can mean only one thing: Spring games.
College Football Spring Games 2023
In my experience, there are two schools of thought on college football spring games.
The first is the guy that is absolutely all-in on the spring game. Imagine those hyper-obsessed fans that you know who have been vacuuming up every little morsel of information from message boards and social media that they can get their hands on.
“I’m hearing our third-string left corner hit a late growth spurt and has really been studying coverages in Madden ‘23 this offseason.” That kind of thing.
Or maybe, “We’ve got an 18-year-old early enrollee who’s a finance major. With that kind of raw intellectual power, you know he’s going to have the playbook down in no time.”
These guys love the spring game because they are so starved for the real product that they’ll take absolutely anything. And boy can it get obnoxious.
Clearly, I’m on the other school of thought – the cynics. Are spring games awesome? Or are they dressed-up exhibitions that don’t really tell us much?
Are there actually valuable notes here for college football consumers, or is this just a glorified practice that’s broadcast on ESPN+ to feed the all-consuming modern content machine?
The truth, as usual, is probably somewhere in the middle. I remain skeptical of the spring game’s value from a media and fan perspective, but spring football is of unquestionable value to the actual players and coaches.
For one thing, players receive actual coaching in the spring period, which isn’t really the case for the fitness sessions and seven-on-seven drills that take place in the summer. Players are mostly on their own between spring football and camp.
Spring football is also a helpful period for young players who are aging into more prominent roles on the team. College football is all about routine and preparation, and the spring provides inexperienced players with a full dry run of what team prep and positional meetings look and feel like.
And of course, with today’s increased volume of transfer players, the spring is an increasingly important acclamation period for anyone who’s on the move.
You won’t catch me going nuts over any kind of offensive explosion at West Virginia’s spring game, nor will I tweet 17 times about players that looked awesome in spot minutes during the fourth quarter of the upcoming JMU scrimmage.
College Football Spring Game Dates: Major Schools to Watch
|Missouri||March 18||12 p.m.||SECN+|
|BYU||March 31||5 p.m.||BYUtv|
|Michigan||April 1||3 p.m.||BTN|
|Houston||April 7||7:30 p.m.||No TV|
|NC State||April 8||1 p.m.||ACCN-X|
|Auburn||April 8||2 p.m.||SECN+|
|Florida||April 13||7:30 p.m.||SECN+|
|Miami (FL)||April 14||7:30 p.m.||ACCN-X|
|TCU||April 14||8 p.m.||No TV|
|Ohio State||April 15||12:00 p.m.||BTN|
|USC||April 15||12 p.m.||Pac-12 Network|
|Clemson||April 15||1 p.m.||ACCN-X|
|Pitt||April 15||1 p.m.||ACCN-X|
|Penn State||April 15||2 p.m.||BTN|
|Texas||April 15||2 p.m.||Longhorn Network|
|Wisconsin||April 15||2 p.m.||BTN|
|Tennessee||April 15||2:30 p.m.||SECN+|
|Georgia||April 15||4 p.m.||SECN+|
|Texas A&M||April 15||4 p.m.||SECN+|
|Illinois||April 20||8:30 p.m.||BTN|
|Louisville||April 21||7 p.m.||ACCN-X|
|Baylor||April 22||1 p.m.||ESPN+|
|West Virginia||April 22||1 p.m.||ESPN+|
|Nebraska||April 22||2 p.m.||BTN|
|Oklahoma||April 22||3:30 p.m.||ESPN+|
|Maryland||April 29||12 p.m.||BTN|
|Oregon||April 29||4 p.m.||Pac-12 Network|
How to Watch College Football Spring Games
In the modern age of media, a lot of college football spring games are available to watch on ESPN+ or individual conference networks.
If not, check with your school’s media department, as they’ve probably published where and when spring games will be televised.
How To Bet on College Football Futures
College football betting doesn’t stop when the games end in January. You can bet on futures throughout the offseason!
As teams are holding spring practice, adding players from the transfer portal, and releasing depth charts, you can view updated online sports betting odds for a variety of markets, including national championship odds, win totals, and conference champion odds.
Visit the sportsbook today to add more excitement to your offseason!