News & Notes

By Adam Caparell - May 15, 2007

Perhaps the biggest race in college football these days doesn't involve a fight for a division title, a battle for some recruit or sprint to raise more funds. The biggest race may very well be the race between cities bidding to host future ACC Championship Games and it seems like a new entrant is emerging every week.

Tampa is just the latest city to throw it's hat into the ring, along with Washington, DC, Baltimore, Charlotte and Orlando to land the next available championship game, which would could come as early as 2008.

Jacksonville has been host to the game since its inception in 2005. But it doesn't figure to have the game forever, especially after last year's half-empty Jacksonville Municipal Stadium (formerly Alltel) that featured Wake Forest and Georgia Tech playing in front of a half-empty building.

Now, to be fair, that wasn't the most intriguing matchup the conference could have put out there and if you remember, the weather that day was awful. But the ACC was hoping for a little more bang for its buck. The only potential replacement that holds more than Jacksonville Municipal is Charlotte's Bank of America Stadium that seats a few hundred more. But it happens to be in the heart of ACC country, something sites like Jacksonville and Tampa can't say. But Charlotte also doesn't have the kind of weather Florida has - and neither does Baltimore or DC for that matter.

Of course the ACC's biggest problem is all this boils down to something much simpler than a stadium or city preference. If they got their best teams in the game they wouldn't have a half-empty stadium. Miami and Florida State could be hard pressed to get there this year and if for some reason Virginia Tech or Clemson failed to make it again, then the conference is going to see attendance suffer again.

The Thing To Do: If you were one of the cool ones in April, that means you attended one of these spring games around the country.

Everyone knows by now that Alabama had 92,000 people for Nick Saban's inaugural spring game in Tuscaloosa where they actually had to turn people back (which may not be the case in years to come as the Crimson are having discussions about expanding Bryant-Denny Stadium's capacity in the south end zone). But not everyone may know that Penn State drew 71,000 to their spring game or that Ohio State had 75,000 in Columbus - 12,000 better than 2006's game.

Nebraska and Notre Dame each attracted over 51,000 to their games while the national champion Florida Gators had 47,000-plus at their spring game.

In all, the teams that finished in the Top 25 of the BCS rankings averaged roughly 24,000 for their spring games.

All Abbreviation Game: BC and USC have reportedly engaged in negotiations for a new series that could pit the two teams together starting in 2011.

With the NFF

Posted by Adam Caparell at 10:14 AM on May 15, 2007

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