Earlier this week when I was writing up the C of C series, I mentioned how nice it was to see a good team coming through Carolina Stadium early in the season. A few years ago Long Beach State came through for an even more high profile matchup. Those games are fun, maybe a little too tough and unpredictable for an opening weekend, but fun for the fans and good for the team.
USC is lucky to be located in a climate that doesn’t require it to spend the first few weeks of the season on the road. Teams from up north aren’t so lucky. Many of those teams spend two or three weeks traveling around the South playing tournaments and road games. Why couldn’t South Carolina take advantage of this situation and hold its own tournament?
Perhaps the second weekend of the season would be a good time to invite three teams to Columbia for a bit of a showcase of USC’s program and stadium. Of course, Carolina doesn’t have to do anything to promote its program on the national level, but we’ve got one of the best stadiums and atmospheres in the country.
How much fun would it be to invite three teams for a round robin tournament? We could invite a B1G team with a large alumni base, like an Ohio State or a Michigan. To that we could add a northern ACC team like Virginia Tech or Syracuse, or if we were very ambitious, Virginia. To that group we could invite someone from the midwest or out West.
Two games would be scheduled on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Carolina would play in the Friday evening game, and the late afternoon games on Saturday and Sunday.
The advantage of bringing teams with large alumni bases in would be that you could expect to sell more tickets to games where USC isn’t playing. It would be a fun weekend fans would want to be in town for, and it would probably be a weekend the SEC Network or ESPNU would want to come to town for.
From a baseball standpoint, it would diversify the teams USC would face, and it could help with RPI numbers, not that it’s much of a problem playing in the SEC.
What do you think? Would you go? Would you watch on TV?