There are places in this country where enormous crowds will turn out to watch a college football spring game, which is a glorified and dumbed-down scrimmage. Here are some of the biggest crowds for this year's spring games:
Florida State: 53,818
The Big East? Not so much. Here are the crowd numbers from the league's spring games, which officially wrapped up over the weekend:
West Virginia: 22,000
South Florida: 2,493
A note on Cincinnati and South Florida: Each team's spring game wasn't really their final spring practice, and each held another scrimmage the following weekend. The Bearcats didn't take attendance because Nippert Stadium was open in the middle of campus and fans could come and go as they pleased, but a school official told me there were probably fewer than 5,000 people at the Bearcat Bowl.
Spring games, as I've written, are heavily dependent on weather, and UConn, Louisville, Cincinnati and Pitt all played theirs in wet, cold conditions (though I still can't believe more people didn't brave the elements to check out Todd Graham's new offense at Heinz Field). West Virginia and Rutgers had better weather as they played their games later in April.
I'm not going to criticize anyone who doesn't want to go to a spring game, which I think are vastly overrated anyway. But this gives you some idea of where the Big East stands compared to the passionate fan bases elsewhere.