Florida Football: What should the future of the spring game be for the Gators?

Florida takes the traditional route with the game, while other teams look for more adventurous options
Matt Pendleton/Gainesville Sun / USA

The Orange and Blue Game has come and gone for Florida Football and it was a mostly positive day in Gainesville. The play on the field was good enough that will keep national naysayers at bay and fans liked the opportunity to get player autographs after the game vis Florida Victorious.

But with the general national narrative shifting on spring games, should Florida keep the traditional model or branch out to something new?

Florida Football: Spring Cleaning

During Billy Napier's first two seasons, the Gators did try something different with the spring game and played their scrimmage on a Thursday night. It made it difficult for out-of-town fans to make it, but overall attendance was still north of 40,000 each year.

But by moving it back to the traditional Saturday slot, Florida announced a crowd of 48,000, one of the larger spring crowds in modern Florida history.

Florida played a more traditional game and while one doesn't want to make too many sweeping generalizations, there were at least some interesting data points to emerge from the game on individual players.

Then there is the approach Ole Miss took, which opted for a straight up carnival over an actual game. Lane Kiffin and crew played rounds of 7 v 7 on a shortened field, with stuff like a dunk contest, a hot dog eating contest, and a tug of war battle mixed in between.

It was different, to say the least, and spit into the wind of conventional wisdom. If it works for Ole Miss and that's what they want, go for it. But until further proof of concept is fleshed out, it probably wouldn't fly with Gator Nation to do something so drastically different.

But another idea that has started to float around, which would require rule changes from the NCAA, might better serve Florida fans down the road.

What if, rather than forcing the spring game to be a scrimmage, the Gators were able to schedule an exhibition game against an FCS opponent?

Much like FCS games during the regular season, there probably wouldn't be much we as fans would learn, but it would at least create a slightly better game-realistic environment while still allowing everyone to get snaps. Situations like the end-of-game drive from Graham Mertz on Saturday would have to adhere to rigid rules rather than get bailed out by clock management shenanigans from Napier.

And as a fan, there is something more satisfying about Tre Wilson scoring a 60-yard TD on an opponent rather than knowing it also meant Florida's secondary was burned for a 60-yard TD.

It may sound too far fetched, but high schools in Florida play their spring games against an opponent from another school. And in the age of making money, if schools felt they could bring more fans to the stadium if it was against an FCS opponent rather than a scrimmage, don't be shocked if schools start to make that push.