You’ve probably heard that several Ohio State players have opted out of the Rose Bowl in order to begin preparing for the NFL Draft, which really boils down to avoiding a potential serious injury situation that might affect their draft status.
There have been two general reactions to the news, both predictable. First, there’s the camp that’s offended these players would dare skip something as meaningful as a Rose Bowl game. Second, there’s the hammer meet nail playoff expansion gang that insists all this would be fixed with a 12- or 16-team playoff field.
I got news for both of them. David Hale is correct about the future.
Like it or not, the days of expecting the top level of college football players to bleed and break for no compensation are gone. There’s too much money in the game and in a world where head coaches are jumping their teams before the postseason, it’s silly to expect the players to answer to a higher calling.
Is there a happy medium where it becomes easier to coax a player into staying for a postseason college game? Sure, depending on circumstances. Can the bowls and playoff afford to hit that particular mark? C’mon, dog. If ESPN becomes convinced the talent drain is costing them viewership, it’s an easy investment.