Georgia State football and head coach Trent Miles opened the doors to the Georgia Dome to fans, prospects and 2013 signees on Saturday hoping to stoke the fire for the upcoming season.
For the coaching staff, it was an opportunity for 15th and final practice of Spring and to see signs of improvement. The staff is also looking for younger players and back ups to prove they can be counted on in the Fall.
For invited prospects, it was a chance to experience the second Junior Day, learn more about the program and where the team plays as well as get a glimpse of the team which will take the field this Fall, its first in the FBS ranks.
For supporters of the program, it was the tasty appetizer to wet the appetite until August 30th vs. Samford. They saw the band, saw the cheerleaders and felt like it should on a game day minus the other team. Most importantly, the Panthers won!
One thing that bugged me as the scrimmage began:
Where were all the fans?
An announced crowd of a little north of 1800 may tell us where the program is on the minds of fans or it may tell us little. On this site, we've certainly seen our share of both. According to SB Nation, Georgia State ranked next to last in "claimed" Spring game attendance in all of FBS. Is this a preview of what is to come this Fall?
Glass Half Empty:The glass half empty folks may say there was very little promotion outside the core channels (via athletics web site and social media sites which reach is limited). No one from athletics (or even the beat writer) viewed this event as a big deal and downplayed its importance publicly. Seeing new programs like Charlotte draw 13,000 plus certainly do not aid in the excitement department. If this event costs as much as a normal game, then why not promote it more?
Glass Half Full: These folks may sing a different tune. Sure, it was a picture perfect Atlanta Spring Day that happend to fall on the same day as several big festivals. We are not an established program with a generation of fans. Heck, this is our first full graduating class of players so the core may be limited to these 1000 or so fans.
So what are your thoughts? Do we need to promote public events like this more? Is this simply a function of a 1-10 season and low expectations? Is it something else? Can it be fixed by Fall? Should Panther fans be content with what we are seeing in the stands?