After seeing it done by Hustle Belt, we decided to take our own run at generating some ideas for neutral site games that would, at the very least, be extremely intriguing for players and fans alike. Here is what we came up with, and while we don't care if you dislike our ideas, we do care if you like them, or have great ideas of your own. Let us know!
Western Kentucky vs Marshall on Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium
That's right, Marshall get's an almost-home game on the turf of their biggest rival. Herd officials will go the extra mile of covering over all of the WVU insignias with Marshall markings, as well as soaking the field through and through with millions of gallons of water, in order to ensure that the Mountaineer athletic department has to completely replace the playing surface afterward.
FAU vs the University of Miami on Miami Beach
This will be a great recruiting opportunity, and/or a great chance for the players to get a date or two after the game. As an extra kicker, Uncle Luke from 2 Live Crew will serve as head coach for both teams, and will serve in this role from a lifeguard stand at midfield. Any instance of kicking up sand on a spectator will be a five-yard penalty, and the second half will be played at high tide for a little extra intrigue.
FIU vs the University of Miami in a senior living community
The first crucial factor here is location because this way the Panthers are guaranteed a crowd due to literally having a captive audience. All residents will be required to sign a waiver in advance for any medical conditions that are exacerbated during the course of watching the game. This game will occur the week right after the FAU/Miami game for the Hurricanes, but the Panthers will have a week off beforehand. Plus, this would be a good chance to renew one of the only rivalries FIU has, in an environment that I would at least think is less likely to result in a brawl.
UTSA vs UNT at the AT&T Center
Yes, we are playing this one in a basketball arena. No, we are not taking the basketball floor or seating configuration out first. Though we'll be nice and take away the goals. It will be a nice, intimate affair, with the crowd on the edge of their seats the whole time - even if it's largely out of fear for their lives more than anything else. Guest coaches will be Stone Cold Steve Austin and Michelle Beadle. As a bonus, all extra points, field goals, and punts will be replaced by that contest where fans try to catch a "punt" from a JUGGS machine.
Louisiana Tech vs Louisiana-Monroe on Calhoun Middle School's field
You wouldn't want whatever few fans attend this game to be too inconvenienced, and Calhoun, LA is essentially equidistant for the two teams to travel. Given the hatred between them this game will either be sparsely attended or standing-room only, so let's shoot for the latter. Phil and Sy from Duck Dynasty will be the quarterbacks, but no other modifications to gameplay will be made. Erect those extra stands now!
Southern Miss vs Mississippi State at Lambeau Field
Well, if we're going to have the most famous alumni of either of these two teams combined, then it would make sense to hold the game somewhere that folks will really turn out for one last game with Brett Favre on the sidelines, this time as head coach. Who knows, maybe he'll replace Jay Hopson permanently! (Just kidding). For dramatic effect, this game will take place in December, and will also feature one of the Bulldogs' most famous alumni as their head coach. Just imagine how fun this game will be with Brett staring across the sidelines at Jonathan Papelbon's bulging neck veins!
UAB vs Auburn at Bryant-Denny Stadium
That's right, we're going for maximum possible entertainment value and media coverage here. Why not have the next true "Nobody Believed In Us" team take on one of their big brother in-state rivals in the home stadium of the team that both these squads and their fans hate the most! As an extra boost to get fans to buy tickets en masse, game ticket sales will be denied to all University of Alabama faculty, staff and students as well as their families.
Rice vs UTEP in an empty field outside of Sheffield, TX
We need a truly empty and vacant area for this humdinger of a game. These two teams have hit a bit of a funk lately, so we're going to spice things up by going literal. Step One: the Miners (of UTEP) dig a 120 yard by 50-yard ditch, using only pick-axes. Step Two: the Owls then fill this three-foot deep surface with cooked long-grain rice (better traction than other options, obviously), and a football game ensues. For extra intrigue, all of the on-field markings will be made with Sriracha sauce that will likely need to get re-done after every quarter. At halftime, the field will be soaked with soy sauce in order to maintain freshness, and the field markings will switch to wasabi paste for visibility purposes.
Old Dominion vs Charlotte in the Norfolk Southern Railyard
O.K. yes, this is more of a home game seeing as how this railyard is not even a poorly thrown pass away from the Southwest corner of the ODU campus. But I doubt a new team like Charlotte in need of exposure would complain, and what better place for this potential train wreck of a matchup? Also, there will quite literally be nothing to distract the teams or fans on gameday, since there's pretty much nothing anywhere near the yard except Old Dominion. Campus cafeteria food for everyone!