Nebraska, Michigan No. 1-2 in spring game attendance (so far)

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Spring football was a big deal at a pair of Big Ten institutions this month. Nebraska pulled in a crowd of over 76,000 fans this past weekend in Lincoln to see the spring debut of new head coach Mike Riley. The 76,881 Husker fans in attendance would have topped the nation’s leading spring game attendance number pulled in by Alabama a year ago. Seeing a new head coach make his spring debut was also a huge draw at the University of Michigan. The Wolverines are not traditionally a powerhouse when it comes to spring game attendance, but with an estimated crowd of 60,000 flowing through the ticket gates for a glimpse of the Jim Harbaugh era, Michigan has held on strong this spring.

As a reminder, not every school treats the end of the spring practice schedule in the same fashion. Some schools charge a small fee for a ticket, others open the doors with no charge for admission. Others do not hold a game or live scrimmage for one reason or another, and sometimes the final practice doesn’t even take place in the football stadium. In addition, some schools do not track attendance figures at all, leaving us to resort to the best reported estimates where applicable.Some numbers are still coming in and to be confirmed, but here is your most up-to-date top ten in spring game attendance heading into the third weekend of the month of April.

Some numbers are still coming in and to be confirmed, but here is your most up-to-date top ten in spring game attendance heading into the third weekend of the month of April.

1. 76,881 – Nebraska (Big Ten)

2. 60,000 – Michigan (Big Ten)

3. 46,815 – Georgia (SEC)

4. 42,807 – Oklahoma (Big 12)

5. 37,000 – Clemson (ACC)

6. 22,788 – USC (Pac-12)

7. 22,580 – South Carolina (SEC)

8. 21,000 – Florida (SEC)

9. 17,250 – Florida State (ACC)

10. 15,000 – Ole Miss (SEC)

We should see some changes in this top ten this weekend. A handful of spring game attendance powers are scheduled for spring ball this weekend, including the defending national champions from Ohio State. The buzz surrounding the quarterback position and continued celebration of a national championship could give a boost to a traditionally strong spring attendance. Penn State should also draw well if the weather looks good. In the SEC we will have Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Missouri and Mississippi State closing out the spring. Notre Dame and Texas will also be playing their spring games this weekend.

Reports: Miami hiring Lance Guidry from Tulane as DC

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
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Miami is hiring Lance Guidry, who was defensive coordinator at Marshall last season and recently accepted the same position at Tulane, to lead its defense, two people with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity because a deal was still being finalized between Guidry and Miami.

The 51-year-old Louisiana native was hired way from Marshall by Tulane just last month. Now he’ll replace Kevin Steele on Mario Cristobal‘s staff at Miami. Steele is reportedly on his way to Alabama to become Nick Saban‘s defensive coordinator after holding that position for one season with the Hurricanes.

Alabama has yet to make the hiring of Steele and offensive coordinator Tommy Rees official. Rees had been assistant at Notre Dame.

Tulane announced the hiring of Guidry on Jan. 23 to replace Chris Hampton, who left the New Orleans-based school to join Oregon’s staff as an assistant coach.

Guidry’s defenses at Marshall ranked third in the nation in yards per play this season (4.56) and 26th nationally in 2021 (5.14 ypp).

Iowa-Northwestern set for Wrigley Field in November

Nikos Frazier/Journal & Courier/USA TODAY NETWORK
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CHICAGO — Wrigley Field will host a college football game for the third time since 2010 when Iowa plays Northwestern next season.

Northwestern and the Chicago Cubs announced that the Wildcats’ home game will be played Nov. 4.

Northwestern played Illinois at Wrigley in 2010 in the MLB ballpark’s first college football game since 1938, and the Wildcats hosted Purdue there in 2021.

Wrigley Field has a long history of hosting football games. The Chicago Bears played there from 1921 to 1970 before moving to Soldier Field. The old Chicago Cardinals also played at Wrigley, as well as DePaul until its program folded in 1939.

Northwestern had been scheduled to play Wisconsin at Wrigley in 2020, but the game was moved to Ryan Field in Evanston because of the COVID-19 pandemic.