Da Boot Sports
By: Terrill J. Weil
BATON ROUGE, LA - As our LSU Fighting Tigers prepare to take on the Purdue Boilermakers in the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida on Dec. 2nd, Several key players will be missing from both teams.
These are star players who have decided not to participate in the bowl game so they may
begin preparation for the 2023 NFL Draft.
It's a problem that has spread throughout the college football postseason as the opting out has caused several middle tier and small bowl games to lose their matchup appeal.
Are we really going to see LSU vs. Purdue on December 2nd, two teams who played in their respected conference championship games? Or will we simply watch a watered down version of both teams, neither who will be at their best for the contest?
Several key star players from many teams are passing on their school's bowl game unless the stakes are high like the CFB playoff games and it's not fair.
It's not fair to the university. It's not fair to the program. It's not fair to their teammates, and it's certainly not fair to the fans who pay for expensive tickets and travel cost to support their team in a bowl game.
Defensively LSU will be without starting defensive linemen Jaquelin Roy, BJ Ojulari and Ali Gaye. Joining them will be defensive back Mekhi Garner.
Luckily only wide receiver Jaray Jenkins has opted out on the offensive side of the ball for the Tigers.
Hats off to defensive back Jay Ward who declared for the draft, but has decided not to alienate his coaches or teammates and will play against the Boilermakers.
Purdue will be missing their head coach Jeff Brohm who has accepted the head job at Louisville, (which I'm not a fan of a head coach leaving early either) and several key players who are opting out for the draft, (quarterback Aiden O'Connell, receiver Charlie Jones, tight end Payne Durham and two of their top defenders, linebacker Jalen Graham and cornerback Corey Trice).
Some will argue that it's the right thing to do to avoid injury playing in a final 'meaningless' college football game, but I see it differently and I apologize to those who disagree with my opinion. Injuries are a part of sports. It's a chance you take from the time you lace up your cleats in little league. Play your season out.
"I say you should play your final college game." said former LSU linebacker Ron Sancho. "You have
an obligation to your school and your team. It's selfishness. In college football there is no "ME", It's "WE"... That's why there's no "I" in "TEAM". I agree with finish with you start.
Others like Da Boot Sports writer/podcast host, David Penn feels differently about the
"Depending on the situation I don't necessarily mind it. I'd rather a player not play then get injured
and miss their draft position. That's a lot of money to risk." Penn would then add. "If we're talking about the playoffs or the national championship, then yes, I expect them to play. But playing against an 8-5 team is not likely going to improve your draft stock."
It's estimated that 51% of football injuries occur during training sessions. So these young men who are passing on their final college football game are still more likely to suffer an injury during workouts and running drills to prepare for the next level then playing full speed in their final game.
Some aren't thinking about their future when they want to stay in a one-sided contest because they want to capture a record that's in reach during the game..... Play your final college football game.
"If you're so worried about getting injured, why did you play the season?" added Sancho. "You never know what the future brings. When you have an opportunity to play, then you play."
An LSU vs. Purdue matchup with both teams fielding their top players would be an incredible contest to watch. But sadly, it's not what the fans will get.
An extra victory on your former team's record can make a huge difference going into the next season. This is an important game for LSU. 10-4 looks light years better than 9-5.
I feel that it's simply an obligation that you should have to your team and even yourself. Showcase your abilities where it matters, on the playing field.
What does the future hold if this opting out pattern continues in college football? Does it lead to a playoff system with a larger field than 12, lets say 24 teams and do away with bowl games for everyone else?
Most feel, including myself, that there are too many bowl games in existence today. Bowl games are meant to be an award for playing a successful season, not for a bunch of mediocre 6-6 teams to play an extra boring contest in a empty stadium. But I do like the idea of the bowl system before it got out of control. I think schools with a successful regular season should be awarded an extra game in an exciting bowl experience while we separate the few elite in a playoff system.
I feel like the opting out has gotten out of hand and it's ruining the college football postseason...
Please finish what you start....
Da Boot Sports would love to hear from you. Please leave your opinion below.. GEAUX TIGERS!!!
*John 14-6 - "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (Give you life to Jesus)
12/28/2022 11:55:40 am
I agree to the very highest percentage I can think of. A step further to say it makes me sick. Yes for all the exact same reasons
If you have accepted a scholarship That has paid for your education then you should play the whole 3 or 4 years you are there. There is no excuse for players opting out of a bowl game Whether they think it will change their position in the draft or not. That is plain chicken s***. If a player does that, and makes big money, then he should have to pay the school back all of his tuition and expenses for the years that he was there.
12/30/2022 11:59:47 am
You should play for your team finished what you start it! if not you should have to sit out a YEAR in the NFL
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