Saban, Swinney: CFB "not sustainable...a train wreck" with transfer portal, NIL

Jerry

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Link below. You know things are bad when the biggest names in coaching, who have the resources to take advantage (and are) of the new environment, say it's wrecking college football.

They could also have added the joke of a bowl system with players opting out right and left plus the constricted playoff where every year the same old teams compete for four spots.

 

Jerry

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Link below. You know things are bad when the biggest names in coaching, who have the resources to take advantage (and are) of the new environment, say it's wrecking college football.

They could also have added the joke of a bowl system with players opting out right and left plus the constricted playoff where every year the same old teams compete for four spots.

Oddly, couldn't get the link to post. But here are some excerpts from the Bleacher Report article:

Alabama's Nick Saban: CFB Is Not 'Sustainable' with Transfer Portal, NIL Contracts​

JOSEPH ZUCKERAPRIL 13, 2022

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Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Thanks to the transfer portal and amended rules regarding compensation for name, image and likeness for athletes, college football has undergone a significant transformation in a short amount of time. Alabama head coach Nick Saban isn't convinced the new normal can last.

"I don’t think what we’re doing right now is a sustainable model," Saban said to the Associated Press' Ralph D. Russo.

He expressed concerns with what he believes is a warping of the aim behind the NIL legislation:
"The concept of name, image and likeness was for players to be able to use their name, image and likeness to create opportunities for themselves. That’s what it was. So last year on our team, our guys probably made as much or more than anybody in the country. ...
"But that creates a situation where you can basically buy players. You can do it in recruiting. I mean, if that’s what we want college football to be, I don’t know. And you can also get players to get in the transfer portal to see if they can get more someplace else than they can get at your place."
Saban isn't the first, nor will he be the last, to lament what has become a Wild West in college sports, particularly football.

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney told ESPN's Chris Low the landscape is "out of control...not sustainable...an absolute mess and a train wreck."
 

Obliviax

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Link below. You know things are bad when the biggest names in coaching, who have the resources to take advantage (and are) of the new environment, say it's wrecking college football.

They could also have added the joke of a bowl system with players opting out right and left plus the constricted playoff where every year the same old teams compete for four spots.

I am not seeing a link.

Regardless, I am curious as to how they want remediation. The NCAA has lost in the courts. There is really only one remediation and that is to help the players unionize then negotiate a collective bargaining agreement. Of course, unionization comes with its own set of major challenges. Any other attempted remediation (minimum stays, xfer portal windows, NIL payouts) can be challenged in court and probably defeated.
 
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Jerry

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I am not seeing a link.

Regardless, I am curious as to how they want remediation. The NCAA has lost in the courts. There is really only one remediation and that is to help the players unionize then negotiate a collective bargaining agreement. Of course, unionization comes with its own set of major challenges. Any other attempted remediation (minimum stays, xfer portal windows, NIL payouts) can be challenged in court and probably defeated.

Yeah, the link wouldn't post. Don't know why. But I copied off excerpts from the article in the follow-up above.
 

Ian

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Oh woe is me..... These guys and their programs have been benefiting from this "underground" system forever and now they are concerned that it will ruin CFB because now everyone can do it. Come on man! give me a break. The playing field will be level and those who want to "employ" their athletes will do so in a pay for play league and those who don't will play in their own Academic league.
 

PaoliLion

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Link below. You know things are bad when the biggest names in coaching, who have the resources to take advantage (and are) of the new environment, say it's wrecking college football.

They could also have added the joke of a bowl system with players opting out right and left plus the constricted playoff where every year the same old teams compete for four spots.


College football is quickly going down the drain: the speed of the game has become unbearably slow, the transfer portal (I agree with Saban), the lack of an expanded play-off system, and NIL. Additionally, kids are not interested in CFB, which will decimate attendance and viewership in the coming decade. Mark Emmert has been a horrifyingly bad leader.
 

Mile High Lion

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Now that bag men are legal, the SEC and southern schools outside of Texas are terrified since their fanbases are relative paupers compared to other regions. Stanford alums could buy South Carolina and turn it into a game preserve.
Sure, Stanford and the alums have more than enough money to buy the recruits they want and blow away other schools but do they want to? Do they want a football team on campus where the players don't care about a college education and don't care about the school and see Stanford as little more than a place to try out for a NFL career? I'm thinking the answer is no. Stanford doesn't need a championship football team to enhance its name. My expectation is as the consequences of NIL and the transfer portal play out they decide to go more of an Ivy League route and deemphasize football.

What I expect is there will be 25-30 teams or maybe less that go big and compete with everything they have to put a championship football team on the field. The rest decide they either can't or it isn't worth it so there will be one super conference of the Alabamas, Ohio States, etc. and the rest will drop down and form a lower division. Penn State will one of the teams deciding to go big.
 

NewEra 2014

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What I expect is there will be 25-30 teams or maybe less that go big and compete with everything they have to put a championship football team on the field. The rest decide they either can't or it isn't worth it so there will be one super conference of the Alabamas, Ohio States, etc. and the rest will drop down and form a lower division. Penn State will one of the teams deciding to go big.
I wouldn't be so sure that Penn State will decide to go big. Each year, Penn State goes more woke and distances itself further and further from what is was in the 1970's and 1980's. Penn State sees itself as more like Stanford than it sees itself as Ohio State (even though the reality is much different). I think Penn State is more likely to cancel its football program altogether than it is to become a semipro program.
 

BBHorn86

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I wouldn't be so sure that Penn State will decide to go big. Each year, Penn State goes more woke and distances itself further and further from what is was in the 1970's and 1980's. Penn State sees itself as more like Stanford than it sees itself as Ohio State (even though the reality is much different). I think Penn State is more likely to cancel its football program altogether than it is to become a semipro program.
I say we join the Patriot League. Bring in Army and Navy (who already play there for basketball) and call it a day! Could watch the Nits play live every weekend and be in the D-1 AA playoffs every year. So we don't get to another Rose Bowl - we haven't gone often enough to miss it! And, our hoops team might actually make the NCAA. The beer will be just as cold and the burgers just as tasty at the tailgates! Just sayin'
 

NC2017

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I wouldn't be so sure that Penn State will decide to go big. Each year, Penn State goes more woke and distances itself further and further from what is was in the 1970's and 1980's. Penn State sees itself as more like Stanford than it sees itself as Ohio State (even though the reality is much different). I think Penn State is more likely to cancel its football program altogether than it is to become a semipro program.

In that case, we sure got the right guy at the helm and locked in!
 

Nbergbuck

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Link below. You know things are bad when the biggest names in coaching, who have the resources to take advantage (and are) of the new environment, say it's wrecking college football.

They could also have added the joke of a bowl system with players opting out right and left plus the constricted playoff where every year the same old teams compete for four spots.

At what point will college football players no longer be required to take any classes? They can be deemed university employees. University employees (custodians, secretaries etc.) are not required to take classes.
 

fastlax16

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Oh woe is me..... These guys and their programs have been benefiting from this "underground" system forever and now they are concerned that it will ruin CFB because now everyone can do it. Come on man! give me a break. The playing field will be level and those who want to "employ" their athletes will do so in a pay for play league and those who don't will play in their own Academic league.

Thinking that it's going to be level is fools errand. No one is employing their athletes at the moment. Its money coming in from outside sources, not the universities. If Terry Pegula or Peter Tombros decide that they're willing to pay every 4/5 star that commits to Penn State a million dollars a year in exchange for "endorsing" one of their companies or something they're totally free to do so. None of this is going to help Rutgers win a national title.
 

Jerry

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Oh woe is me..... These guys and their programs have been benefiting from this "underground" system forever and now they are concerned that it will ruin CFB because now everyone can do it. Come on man! give me a break. The playing field will be level and those who want to "employ" their athletes will do so in a pay for play league and those who don't will play in their own Academic league.

Point taken, but as somebody else commented, the playing field is anything but "level" as things stand. Just take a look at the teams making the CFP for the last several years. There's a certain, uh, repetitive quality to that list.

In fact, that's one of the things that struck me about the concerns of Saban and Swinney. Not surprisingly, they're doing just peachy in this new world of college football, but they call it a "train wreck" nonetheless. In fact, both used the word "unsustainable." I don't think we should blow their opinions off. They're looking at all this from a much closer vantage point than are we.

All this said, the truth is, I don't have super strong feelings about any of this...probably because for various reasons my enthusiasm level for sports in general has gone down in my old age. College football is the only game I closely follow now, and even there the experience of the sucky conference we're in has taken a lot of the fun out of it. I mean, the hits really add up after awhile.

I will say I liked things more in the old days. Before the Big-10. Before what by any other name is free agency for the players. When we were on the right side of the game's politics (and its zebras). When all the kids showed up to play in the bowl games. Granted, the field was not exactly "level" then either (and never will be), but I don't know, the whole experience seemed more genuine and real.
 

northwoods

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College football is quickly going down the drain: the speed of the game has become unbearably slow, the transfer portal (I agree with Saban), the lack of an expanded play-off system, and NIL. Additionally, kids are not interested in CFB, which will decimate attendance and viewership in the coming decade. Mark Emmert has been a horrifyingly bad leader.
I think the growing trend of players "opting out" of bowl games is a huge turn off to each team's fanbase. The "reasons" players opt out have been discussed to death, but the fact that they do opt out isn't helping college football. Do we really want to see the JV version or the varsity version of our favorite team?
 
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northwoods

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I say we join the Patriot League. Bring in Army and Navy (who already play there for basketball) and call it a day! Could watch the Nits play live every weekend and be in the D-1 AA playoffs every year. So we don't get to another Rose Bowl - we haven't gone often enough to miss it! And, our hoops team might actually make the NCAA. The beer will be just as cold and the burgers just as tasty at the tailgates! Just sayin'
It is far from apples to apples, but I have gotten as much pleasure over the past 50 plus years watching Dartmouth football games (lived in Vermont near Hanover, NH) and James Madison football games (daughter graduated from there in 2005) as Penn State football games. Completely different levels of play, but each one very satisfying in their own ways. JMU is now moving up to the 1A level, so that will be a change. Perhaps "for the better" could be debated.
 
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lockhavenlion3

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I think the growing trend of players "opting out" of bowl games is a huge turn off to each team's fanbase. The "reasons" players opt out have been discussed to death, but the fact that they do opt out isn't helping college football. Do we really want to see the JV version or the varsity version of our favorite team?
we already have,,,,last year.
 
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GregInPitt

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I also believe the recent dramatic changes are not for the good of college football.

But when Saban and Swinney are crying I really only relate that to their perception that they may not be as able to dominate recruiting and the playoff system as they have in the recent past.
 

Chickenman Testa

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Sure, Stanford and the alums have more than enough money to buy the recruits they want and blow away other schools but do they want to? Do they want a football team on campus where the players don't care about a college education and don't care about the school and see Stanford as little more than a place to try out for a NFL career? I'm thinking the answer is no. Stanford doesn't need a championship football team to enhance its name. My expectation is as the consequences of NIL and the transfer portal play out they decide to go more of an Ivy League route and deemphasize football.

What I expect is there will be 25-30 teams or maybe less that go big and compete with everything they have to put a championship football team on the field. The rest decide they either can't or it isn't worth it so there will be one super conference of the Alabamas, Ohio States, etc. and the rest will drop down and form a lower division. Penn State will one of the teams deciding to go big.
Oh I agree that Stanford is not that concerned. Clemson can have it’s footbawl and Stanford can keep minting billionaires
 

Ian

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I also believe the recent dramatic changes are not for the good of college football.

But when Saban and Swinney are crying I really only relate that to their perception that they may not be as able to dominate recruiting and the playoff system as they have in the recent past.
Both are self serving. A&M and Texas are coming with oil wells of cash. The state of Texas is in the bloody SEC with open check books. No one can match that. Maybe LSU. Just watch.
 

The Spin Meister

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I also believe the recent dramatic changes are not for the good of college football.

But when Saban and Swinney are crying I really only relate that to their perception that they may not be as able to dominate recruiting and the playoff system as they have in the recent past.
Yeah, a lot of people said this would help Alabama with big money. But the portal is gonna really hurt them IMO because kids want to play, not sit the bench. So four stars and five stars that go there a year or two and don’t play will move on. Alabama can no longer stockpile great talent away from other teams.
 
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LafayetteBear

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1. Not sure whether Saban and Dabo would do better or worse with an open transfer portal like we see developing now. One thing they have been able to do PRIOR TO the transfer portal is to stockpile a shiat ton of 4 and 5 star players, many of who do not end up starting. With a transfer portal, other schools stand a chance of grabbing the Bama and Clemson 4 star and 5 star recruits who are unsatisfied with their roles at Bama or Clemson and want to move elsewhere.

2. As a Cal alum, I have to say that I find the 'Furd love here a bit galling.
 

Jerry

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1. Not sure whether Saban and Dabo would do better or worse with an open transfer portal like we see developing now. One thing they have been able to do PRIOR TO the transfer portal is to stockpile a shiat ton of 4 and 5 star players, many of who do not end up starting. With a transfer portal, other schools stand a chance of grabbing the Bama and Clemson 4 star and 5 star recruits who are unsatisfied with their roles at Bama or Clemson and want to move elsewhere.

2. As a Cal alum, I have to say that I find the 'Furd love here a bit galling.

I think on balance the portal benefits Alabama. Certainly the record doesn't argue otherwise. If you look at their roster last year, they had a couple big-time blue-chippers, one WR and one LB, transfer in and make huge contributions.

For next season, they've already nabbed a big-time CB and RB. Yeah, some guys are leaving too, but being so flooded with talent that you can't give everyone enough playing time to keep them happy is not a bad problem to have.
 

fairfaxlion2

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Can’t unring the bell. The NCAA and the schools could have gotten ahead of it and really shaped what happened but that ship has sailed.

it’s going to have to get waaaaay worse and impact everyone’s bottom line before it can get better.

I think you can un-ring the transfer portal bell, or at least change it
 

Wallace Breen

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Sure, Stanford and the alums have more than enough money to buy the recruits they want and blow away other schools but do they want to? Do they want a football team on campus where the players don't care about a college education and don't care about the school and see Stanford as little more than a place to try out for a NFL career? I'm thinking the answer is no. Stanford doesn't need a championship football team to enhance its name. My expectation is as the consequences of NIL and the transfer portal play out they decide to go more of an Ivy League route and deemphasize football.

What I expect is there will be 25-30 teams or maybe less that go big and compete with everything they have to put a championship football team on the field. The rest decide they either can't or it isn't worth it so there will be one super conference of the Alabamas, Ohio States, etc. and the rest will drop down and form a lower division. Penn State will one of the teams deciding to go big.
I generally see this scenario as being one of two or three playing out. In your scenario however, I see Ohio State going big and the rest of the Big Ten charting their own path.
 

SR108

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Link below. You know things are bad when the biggest names in coaching, who have the resources to take advantage (and are) of the new environment, say it's wrecking college football.

They could also have added the joke of a bowl system with players opting out right and left plus the constricted playoff where every year the same old teams compete for four spots.

Certainly things have and are changing, but as long as you still have scholarship limits, there is some semblance of parity control.
 
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LandoComando

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I think the growing trend of players "opting out" of bowl games is a huge turn off to each team's fanbase. The "reasons" players opt out have been discussed to death, but the fact that they do opt out isn't helping college football. Do we really want to see the JV version or the varsity version of our favorite team?
Can I ask "why do you care about bowl games"? I don't understand why anyone has any interest in two teams playing that weren't good enough to contend for a title. The season is over. It's only a reward. If the kids don't want the reward they should skip it.
 

roswelllion

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Now that bag men are legal, the SEC and southern schools outside of Texas are terrified since their fanbases are relative paupers compared to other regions. Stanford alums could buy South Carolina and turn it into a game preserve.
oh but you forget. The South Carolina folks live breathe and die by their football team. The Stanford alum are buying Tesla's, going to Napa, eating sushi and looking at their Tik Tok account. They couldn't even find the stadium.
 

The Spin Meister

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Can I ask "why do you care about bowl games"? I don't understand why anyone has any interest in two teams playing that weren't good enough to contend for a title. The season is over. It's only a reward. If the kids don't want the reward they should skip it.
I care every time the Nitts take the field. Want them to always win. And in bowl games it’s good to win against opponents from other conferences we rarely play. Also helps win on nationals tv. Helps recruiting.

The real question is why wouldn’t you want them to win a bowl game?
 
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LandoComando

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I care every time the Nitts take the field. Want them to always win. And in bowl games it’s good to win against opponents from other conferences we rarely play. Also helps win on nationals tv. Helps recruiting.

The real question is why wouldn’t you want them to win a bowl game?
I don't want them to play in bowl games. I think bowl games are meaningless. This isn't the 80s. Every game is televised. An additional game in December or January isn't truly impacting recruiting.

And if you care every time we take the field then root for the kids that we're going to see play next year that are given the opportunity to get experience. Players opting out of a bowl game shouldn't be seen as a negative. It should be seen as a positive to recruits. Guys are going pro which is most of their goals.
 

Cletus11

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Can I ask "why do you care about bowl games"? I don't understand why anyone has any interest in two teams playing that weren't good enough to contend for a title. The season is over. It's only a reward. If the kids don't want the reward they should skip it.
By that logic as soon as PSU loses their second regular season game and is out of the playoff picture might as well stop watching as they cannot play for championship
 

Jerry

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Can I ask "why do you care about bowl games"? I don't understand why anyone has any interest in two teams playing that weren't good enough to contend for a title. The season is over. It's only a reward. If the kids don't want the reward they should skip it.

That's an interesting take, but as Cletus suggested, it's not the view of the vast majority of fans and hopefully any players.

For the program, increased exposure and visibility. For the school and conference, big bucks. For the coaches, a valuable round of extra practice. For the players, a reward and some fun. For fans and players, a chance to end the season on an upbeat note with a win in a hopefully interesting intersectional match-up. For me as a fan, it's always a bummer when the season comes to an end, so a bowl extends it all for several weeks.

These are just a few factors that come to mind. Granted, some years some of them apply more than in other years, but still.

That said, the opt-outs, which are now a standard part of the landscape, have definitely taken some of the shine off the bowl scene. I do understand the reasoning and find it hard to begrudge a kid's decision to opt out in order to protect his future, but I think it's still a bad look for a team and a program when its players don't want to play...for whatever reason.
 
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jferretti

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I also believe the recent dramatic changes are not for the good of college football.

But when Saban and Swinney are crying I really only relate that to their perception that they may not be as able to dominate recruiting and the playoff system as they have in the recent past.
Yes, this. Saban sees Arkansas and A&M gearing up with mounds of NIL money that Saban will not have.
 

jferretti

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That's an interesting take, but as Cletus suggested, it's not the view of the vast majority of fans and hopefully any players.

For the program, increased exposure and visibility. For the school and conference, big bucks. For the coaches, a valuable round of extra practice. For the players, a reward and some fun. For fans and players, a chance to end the season on an upbeat note with a win in a hopefully interesting intersectional match-up. For me as a fan, it's always a bummer when the season comes to an end, so a bowl extends it all for several weeks.

These are just a few factors that come to mind. Granted, some years some of them apply more than in other years, but still.

That said, the opt-outs, which are now a standard part of the landscape, have definitely taken some of the shine off the bowl scene. I do understand the reasoning and find it hard to begrudge a kid's decision to opt out in order to protect his future, but I think it's still a bad look for a team and a program when its players don't want to play...for whatever reason.
Many NIL contributors like to go to bowl games. Perhaps make the receipt of some NIL money contingent on playing the bowl game. That may get a few more opt outs to opt in.
 

Mile High Lion

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That's an interesting take, but as Cletus suggested, it's not the view of the vast majority of fans and hopefully any players.

For the program, increased exposure and visibility. For the school and conference, big bucks. For the coaches, a valuable round of extra practice. For the players, a reward and some fun. For fans and players, a chance to end the season on an upbeat note with a win in a hopefully interesting intersectional match-up. For me as a fan, it's always a bummer when the season comes to an end, so a bowl extends it all for several weeks.

These are just a few factors that come to mind. Granted, some years some of them apply more than in other years, but still.

That said, the opt-outs, which are now a standard part of the landscape, have definitely taken some of the shine off the bowl scene. I do understand the reasoning and find it hard to begrudge a kid's decision to opt out in order to protect his future, but I think it's still a bad look for a team and a program when its players don't want to play...for whatever reason.
I'll start by saying there have been too many bowl games for a long time and number should be reduced. Who wants to watch a post season game between 7-5 non Power 5 conference teams?

Yes I understand why players are opting out of bowl games. They don't want to risk injury and hurt their potential careers. Still it amazes me to see players from teams like Clemson opting out of championship playoff games. Wouldn't they want to play? If you don't enjoy playing football in that environment when would you? Maybe they are all too cool to get excited about something like a post season college football game. All I know is when I was that age I would have walked to New Orleans or Miami to play in a New Year's Day bowl game. It would be the thrill of a lifetime and I would remember it and talk about it forever. Guess it is not like that anymore.

So what I find myself asking is if the players aren't excited about playing the game why should I get excited about watching it? The decision to not play may be good for the individual but it reduces the whole college football experience. I don't know. Maybe I'm the dumb one and have been for years. Maybe the current players are smart and I am the fool for spending time and energy all these years caring about who wins or loses a football game.
 
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NewEra 2014

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I'll start by saying there have been too many bowl games for a long time and number should be reduced. Who wants to watch a post season game between 7-5 non Power 5 conference teams?

Yes I understand why players are opting out of bowl games. They don't want to risk injury and hurt their potential careers. Still it amazes me to see players from teams like Clemson opting out of championship playoff games. Wouldn't they want to play? If you don't enjoy playing football in that environment when would you? Maybe they are all too cool to get excited about something like a post season college football game. All I know is when I was that age I would have walked to New Orleans or Miami to play in a New Year's Day bowl game. It would be the thrill of a lifetime and I would remember it and talk about it forever. Guess it is not like that anymore.

So what I find myself asking is if the players aren't excited about playing the game why should I get excited about watching it? The decision to not play may be good for the individual but it reduces the whole college football experience. I don't know. Maybe I'm the dumb one and have been for years. Maybe the current players are smart and I am the fool for spending time and energy all these years caring about who wins or loses a football game.
I pretty much agree with you, but I don't remember any players opting out of playoff games--yet. I do remember OSU players opting out of the Rose Bowl, which blew my mind. I believe the old bowl system is dead, and most people don't realize it yet.

But I also believe that: a) the high focus on the playoff, b) the playoff only being four teams, c) the NIL, and d) the transfer portal, are killing the sport in many ways. Items a), c) and d) are likely here to stay.

As a result, I think the playoff needs to be expanded in a huge way in order to keep players and fans engaged throughout the season. Every conference champ needs to be invited to the playoff, with a few at-large teams sprinkled in. We are probably looking at a 16-team playoff, with first-round (and maybe second-round) games on campus. Otherwise, I expect a few relatively prominent universities to give up football within the next 10 years.
 

SR108

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Link below. You know things are bad when the biggest names in coaching, who have the resources to take advantage (and are) of the new environment, say it's wrecking college football.

They could also have added the joke of a bowl system with players opting out right and left plus the constricted playoff where every year the same old teams compete for four spots.

The best way to save college football is at least an eight team playoff format using the top bowls.
 

fastlax16

Well-Known Member
Jan 1, 2014
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I think you can un-ring the transfer portal bell, or at least change it

Easier said than done in my opinion. It's going to be hard to reintroduce restrictions without some serious litigation and it seems like the NCAA is tired of having its ass handed to it in court which is why it sort of threw up its arms.