I’ve always thought that bowl games would die a slow, painful death. ESPN maxed out the college football bowl season, creating so many games that 5-7 teams were now getting invites. These random, obscure bowls that take place before Christmas are an eyesore on TV, with just a couple thousand people showing up. It just didn’t add up.
It even trickled up to the once popular and big time bowls. Now, you can’t even keep up with which bowl is which due to the ever-changing naming rights and sponsorship deals. Throw in the addition of the college football playoff and you have a recipe for bowl game irrelevance.
In 2017, my thoughts about the bowls strengthened when stars like Christian McCaffrey and Leonard Fournette opted out of playing in their respective bowl matchups. This likely stemming from Jaylon Smith, who was a potential top ten pick before blowing out his knee in the Fiesta Bowl just months before the NFL Draft. I had no problem with the decision to sit out. It’s their futures at stake here, so why play in the Sun or Citrus bowl? If they had sat out a playoff game, that would be a different story, of course. But if you’re a first round talent, what does a game with nothing on the line do for you?
When this news hit, everyone immediately thought it would become a trend. I agree — which is why the NCAA is going to have to do something to counteract it. What can they do to stop players from sitting out? Nothing. But they can still manufacture interest.
How? By allowing redshirts to play in the bowl games.
It could happen. It’s on the table. The American Football Coaches Association has proposed a rule change to the NCAA that would allow redshirt players to participate in up to four games in a season without burning their redshirt status.
I’m not sure four games is the answer that we are looking for. Personally, I think that’s too many. I think a bowl-only eligibility rule would be fascinating, but I’m sure coaches love the idea of adding some fresh legs to the rotation for those November games where injuries have usually decimated rosters.
Personally, I like the idea, but I think there are some details to be ironed out. What do you think?
Should redshirt players be able to play in the bowl games?
This poll is closed
They should have four games of eligibility.