College Football superstars are making the choice to skip their respective bowl games to prepare for the upcoming NFL draft. Most notably, Christian McCaffrey from Stanford, and Leonard Fournette from LSU. Understandably, people are slightly miffed about the decision.
But does this really shock anyone? These bowl games are an unnecessary risk to NFL bound players. Not to mention, the sheer number of these bowl games have diluted the significance of playing in them. Do the players get excited to play in the Hyundai San Diego Credit Card Bowl Presented by Honda of Piscataway Autozone Bowl anymore? These games mean nothing to the players, fans, or alumni. It’s just another chance for the NCAA to gouge money from corporate sponsors and use the money to line their already stuffed pockets.
It’s more surprising that it’s taken players this long, to pull themselves out of the meaningless bowl games that litter our Decembers. Last year, Jaylen Smith, Notre Dame linebacker, tore his MCL and ACL in the Fiesta Bowl. Smith was a top 5 pick going into that game. After his injury he dropped down to the second round. He lost A LOT of money by slipping that far down in the draft.
At the end of the day, these guys are being smart. Everyone will forget about that game in a week, win or lose. The stadium will be no more empty than it would be for a game between two teams located on opposite sides of the country, played in El Paso, Texas. There will be no sting from losing.
All this is going to do is start a new trend, and the NCAA will have to do some revisions of the system to prevent all NFL bound players from doing the same.