College football games played at neutral sites are nothing new. (NOTE: A ‘neutral site’ is herein defined as a stadium that is not the home stadium of one of the two teams even though one of the schools may be located in the same city.) But by the list below, there seems to be an unusual number of such games scheduled for the 2010 season.
Some of this year’s games are traditional neutral site match-ups (Texas v Oklahoma, Florida v Georgia, and Army v Navy). Some are annual events but involve different teams every year (the Chick-fil-A College Kickoff in Atlanta, this year featuring LSU and North Carolina). Some are new events played at NFL stadiums like, St. Louis, Denver, Houston, Landover, Baltimore, Detriot, Kansas City, Dallas, East Rutherford; and baseball stadiums in Chicago (Wrigley Field) and The Bronx (Yankee Stadium).
Tennessee has played a few such games: many tilts in Memphis against Ole Miss, at least one game in Memphis against UCLA, and visits to Nashville, Anaheim, and East Rutherford to play Wyoming, Colorado, and Iowa. In 2012, the Vols are scheduled to play NC State in Atlanta (unless Hamilton buys his way out of that one, too).
The reasons have been publicized as: (1) providing a way for alumni to connect in metropolitan areas; (2) building recruiting possibilities; and (3) avoiding the away part of a home-and-home series with non-conference foes. But, knowing the developing trends in this sport we all love, money surely is playing a very big part in this Barnum portion of college football.
I don’t think I’m more or less inclined to watch Monday’s Boise State v Virginia Tech game because it’s being played at the home of the Redskins as opposed to the home of the Hokies. However, Northwestern v Illinois at Wrigley will have me watching, as I wouldn’t give the game a look at all if it were in Champaign or Evanston.
List of 2010 College Football Games at Neutral SitesSep 04: LSU v. North Carolina (Atlanta) Sep 04: Illinois v Missouri (St. Louis) Sep 04: Colorado v Colorado State (Denver) Sep 04: Texas v Rice (Reliant Stadium-Houston) Sep 04: TCU v Oregon State (Arlington, TX) Sep 06: Virginia Tech v Boise State (Landover, MD) Sep 06: Maryland v Navy (Baltimore) Sep 11: Michigan State v Florida Atlantic (Detroit) Sep 18: Kansas State v Iowa State (Kansas City) Oct 02: Texas v Oklahoma (Dallas) Oct 09: Baylor v Texas Tech (Dallas) Oct 09: Texas A&M v Arkansas (Arlington, TX) Oct 16: Rutgers v Army (East Rutherford, NJ) Oct 23: Navy v Notre Dame (East Rutherford, NJ) Oct 30: Florida v Georgia (Jacksonville) Nov 20: Indiana v Penn State (Landover, MD) Nov 20: Army v Notre Dame (New York-Yankee Stadium) Nov 20: Northwestern v Illinois (Chicago-Wrigley Field) Nov 27: Kansas v Missouri (Kansas City) Dec 11: Army v Navy (Philadelphia)