One of the things that makes the college game different from the NFL is that most of the college teams are located in smaller towns or cities and there’s a more local feel to the program.
That’s why, when I see teams like the University of Florida and The Georgia Bulldogs playing in Jacksonville, or the University of Texas playing Oklahoma in Dallas at the Cotton Bowl— or even these openers that get played in Atlanta at Mercedes-Benz Stadium — I just don’t like it.
I think it goes against what the college game is all about. Why do you think we are all so pumped that some of the expanded playoff games are going to be played on campus?
The bigger cities have enough going on, college football is really a big slice for the little guy when it comes to hometown teams in aggregate.
A lot of these towns depend on the home team doing well to put butts in seats and people in hotels and restaurants when there’s a big home game.
We already know the atmosphere for this kind of game in Athens, GA, or Gainesville, FL, would absolutely be bananas. The rivalries would lose absolutely nothing, in fact they may gain something.
Plus, it gives each school another huge recruiting weekend to host, which are worth their weight in gold when done right.
Listen, if you’re a happily married couple you don’t need to go outside and skip in front of everyone to prove it. In other words, you don’t need to play in the big city in order to prove something.
I am not saying that the Jacksonville atmosphere isn’t great — it’s the world’s largest outdoor cocktail party — but I don’t want to watch college football in Detroit, or in Dallas or in Jacksonville. I know Jacksonville can throw a great party, but guess what Jacksonville already has? The Jaguars.
And let me ask you, who benefits from playing in Jacksonville? Florida or Georgia? Some of these so-called ‘neutral site games’ are really de facto home games in disguise.
Listen, when it comes to college football, I’m good with bowl games being played at a neutral site. I get it, it’s a nice reward for both teams and you don’t want one team to have an advantage over the other.
But when it comes to regular season games, especially season openers, let them play home-and-homes, man.
It also doesn’t benefit one school more than the other, you each get to host a game at some point, so nobody is the odd man out. That goes for season openers as well.
That’s the whole point of college football isn’t it? You get to go to places like Knoxville, Tuscaloosa, and Corvallis and soak in that college town feel.
In general, as an amalgamation — one of my favorite words — college football is all about these smaller towns getting a big moment on Saturday.
There is an old saying, “If you are good at making hamburgers, make hamburgers” and the college home game atmospheres are ruckus around the country and some would say makes it better than the NFL.
So while you may make more money for the fat cats in the big cities, these small hometowns want you to keep making hamburgers.
Jake Crain is co-host of “Crain & Company.” the Daily Wire’s sports show hosted by former athletes and coaches Jake Crain, Blain Crain, and David Cone. Follow him at: @JakeCrain_
The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.