Man, take me back to the days when college football programs were ecstatic to play for a bowl game, knowing that they had a chance to bring back some hardware to their college campus.
As much as I hate to say it, it appears that those days are behind us.
This year’s Bowl Season is being ravaged by COVID, more and more players are opting out for the NFL Draft, and there’s been a number of athletes announcing they’re entering the transfer portal as soon as the regular season ends.
For example, we watched the 8-4 Nevada Wolfpack play the 7-5 Western Michigan Broncos in the Quick Lane Bowl yesterday.
Should be a great matchup, right?
However, with Nevada’s star quarterback Carson Strong declared for the NFL Draft, along with several of the starting wide receivers either opting out, transferring, or hurt, the Wolfpack really didn’t stand much of a chance on the offensive side of the ball.
The game ended up being a 52-24 blowout in Western Michigan’s favor, and you can’t help but think the Wolfpack didn’t stand a chance with no offensive firepower.
Last week, the 6-6 Missouri Tigers played the 8-4 Army Black Knights in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl.
Before the game, Missouri’s starting quarterback Connor Bazelak announced he would be entering the transfer portal, and Mizzou’s star running back Tyler Badie announced that he would be opting out of the bowl game and declaring for the NFL Draft.
Mizzou lost on a last second field goal, and you can’t help but wonder if the game would’ve had a different outcome if their players decided to play.
Then you have Texas A&M, who already announced that they would have to drop out of the Gator Bowl due to COVID issues, injuries, opt outs, and transfers.
Their starting QB Zach Calzada announced that he would be transferring, star tight end Jalen Wydermyer declared for the NFL Draft, along with star running back Isaiah Spiller.
Ohio State will be without four of its star players for the Rose Bowl… Miami can’t even field a team, Boise State just pulled out of the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl, which was ultimately canceled.
It’s just chaos…
And I get it, athletes are doing what’s best for them and their future, but as a college football fan, it’s hard to watch games that don’t include a a team’s star players.
But that’s just the reality we face now.
With the transfer portal, it’s as easy as ever for athletes to just pack their bags and say they’re going some place new, knowing they can play immediately when they find their new home. Players with NFL aspirations don’t want to risk a career-ending injury, and COVID? Don’t even get me started…
That being said, we got a handful of games today… let’s make the best of ’em.