John Infante, the respected author of the Bylaw Blog, foresees the eventual demise of the spring football game. Writing this week at, Infante predicted

The spring game will not go quickly, but it will go. A few schools canceling spring games will become a handful, a handful will become a bunch, and a bunch will become most. They will never go away entirely, some programs, especially those with new coaches, will hold spring games to rally the fan base. But they will be one-offs rather than annual events. Schools will use similar events like open practices or meet-the-team days as a replacement. Institutions with big spring game traditions will look back nostalgically to when they were a regular occurrence. But everyone else will wonder why spring games became such a big deal in the first place.

So I asked Urban Meyer about the future of spring games when reporters spoke with him as the Buckeyes' third spring practice on Tuesday evening. In Columbus, he plans on keeping it around.

• Urban Meyer spring practice quick hits

"I just think it's priceless for a player to get a rep in front of 50, 60, 70,000 (people)" Meyer said. "If I was at a school where you get 400 people (you might do away with it) because what are you really getting."

In Columbus, Meyer gets an atmosphere to see how young players do when, as he described it, "the lights go on."

"As long we can, we'll always have a spring game," Meyer said.

The spring game counts not only as one of the 15 practices permitted in the spring, it is one of the three, as Infante explained, that can include full scrimmage for more than half the practice. In the past, Ohio State has sometimes used strange lineups to accomodate a game-like atmosphere. When it terms to actual work, the players may not be getting everything possible out of the day.

But they get the crowd, and walking out on the field at Ohio Stadium and playing in an atmosphere where making a mistake won't just lead a coach to yell at home, it might elicit groans from thousands of fans.

Oklahoma State is holding a public practice instead of a real game this year. Pitt ditched its game for the first time since the 1940s.