For the last several years there have been hundreds of underclassmen from college football leaving early for the NFL Draft, which I do not have a problem with. My main problem is how they are now skipping bowl games, not only to prepare for the draft but also from fear of injury. Which in my opinion shows some cowardice.
If a player is injured, I can see the point of skipping when they’re isn’t any choice. Whoever came up with the idea of skipping just to prepare for the NFL Draft needs their head examined, I mean seriously. There are several examples and one I can point out.
While Florida fell short of winning the SEC Championship in the COVID season, they were selected for the Cotton Bowl against Oklahoma where three of their key wide receivers opted out. Needless to say, it did not end well for Florida losing 55-20 and Kyle Trask left to fend for himself.
Of course the trend has continued for the last several years. The only noted exception is when a team is playing for the national championship. Major bowls like the Cotton Bowl, Orange Bowl and Sugar Bowl are becoming less and less relevant and it hurts lots of fans and the schools looking to see the big time players one last time.
What truly set me off, on Monday is Heisman Trophy winner and LSU QB Jayden Daniels skipping the ReliaQuest Bowl against Wisconsin. Before you know it, the Heisman Trophy will become irrelevant no matter who wins it now. Although the ReliaQuest Bowl is a New Year’s Day bowl, all New Year bowls will prove irrelevant too.
Not exactly certain if the conferences or the NCAA can do anything to stop skipping but the one league that can stop it is the NFL. Don’t get wrong, if you skip your senior season and you think you’re ready for the next level, I wish you all the best. The NFL needs to make one major rule.
If you want to enter the NFL Draft, you MUST be required to play in your bowl game no matter how important it is. Whether the NFL ever takes any action on this remains to be seen, but I truly doubt it. From this moment on, bowl skipping has got to stop.
And it has to stop now!