Last year both McCaffrey and Fournette decided early that they were going to leave school and enter the NFL draft, skipping their bowl games. And at the time I thought the decision by the two top players would start a trend moving forward, which is now confirmed. With Derwin James declaring for the draft and skipping his teams bowl game he is following in the footsteps of McCaffrey and Fournette.
While others think this might be a bad thing, I think this trend can be a good thing for College Football. It is obviously good for these players, who will avoid the chance of injury and help keep their draft stock high. But I also think it is a good thing for College Football. This is because the only players that can afford to skip these bowl games are top prospect players. Even if there are some top players not playing in the bowl games. The only reason those players aren’t playing is because their team didn’t live up to potential, and are in a lower level bowl game. I can almost guarantee that if McCaffrey, Fournette or James’ teams were in a New Years Six bowl, they would have played.
I also think this can be a good thing for the teams as well. Because it will give the backups to these top prospect players, who usually don’t get many snaps, will get valuable experience in the post season. Which could create better players to fill the holes left by the players leaving, and could create a better team headed into the next season if the backups now have experience in a meaningful game. So while many people think this trend will hurt the product of the college football, but it won’t have an impact on the bowl games you actually want to watch, and could create a better product for the next year.