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Should NFL hopefuls play in meaningless Bowl Games?

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    With so many bowl games that really don't matter beyond school brand prosperity, I have been wondering for a while if the best players in these games that are possibly NFL bound should even suit up for a bowl game that isn't a playoff game?

    Seems to me the players are only putting their futures at risk, so they can possibly help their school win a bowl game. Sure it looks good for the school. But how devastating is it to see a would be NFL player get hurt in a bowl game and that injury be the reason why scouts look elsewhere? It happens often enough that I think if I were them, I would opt out.

    I'm curious, do you think college football players have an obligation to play in every single meaningless bowl game, or should they game plan for their own future and let the chips fall where they may?

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    Dallasite Wrote:

    With so many bowl games that really don't matter beyond school brand prosperity, I have been wondering for a while if the best players in these games that are possibly NFL bound should even suit up for a bowl game that isn't a playoff game?

    Seems to me the players are only putting their futures at risk, so they can possibly help their school win a bowl game. Sure it looks good for the school. But how devastating is it to see a would be NFL player get hurt in a bowl game and that injury be the reason why scouts look elsewhere? It happens often enough that I think if I were them, I would opt out.

    I'm curious, do you think college football players have an obligation to play in every single meaningless bowl game, or should they game plan for their own future and let the chips fall where they may?

    I don't think they are 'forced' to play in the bowl games via contract, but I do think it's basically a must. The bowl games are huuuuge for both the players, and more importantly, the spectators. The more spectators/fans there are, the greater a chance a scout or someone important will see you. So I think it's built into the culture that you have to be there for reasons like that, and not necessarily from a technical aspect.

    Plus, these guys want to be in the spotlight as much as possible. They are at the start of their career.

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    The negative publicity by opting to sit on the sidelines could hurt the player's image and future lucrative contracts to sell stuff on TV. Football is not a game for those that don't want to risk getting hurt.
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    Schmidt Wrote: The negative publicity by opting to sit on the sidelines could hurt the player's image and future lucrative contracts to sell stuff on TV. Football is not a game for those that don't want to risk getting hurt.

    Good point.

    Here's a counter example though.

    What if a player already knows with solid certainly they will be drafted. Perhaps they were a Heisman candidate. Plenty of film on them already. But they are on a team that has zero CFP potential, and is instead playing in a bowl game against say, another 4 loss team..

    Maybe I see both of your points for a majority of players. But I remember hearing someone else make this same argument I am angling at on a late night radio show and he kind of convinced me, as he was using a very specific example like I laid out above. In the case he laid out, that player already knew his was a draft lock.

    Just takes one bad play, one awkward landing, one blown coverage, etc etc for their future livelihood to go down the drain. And join the cliched ranks of dozens (if not hundreds) of would be NFL talent that never made it because of an injury.

    I get that the sport is not for those thinking they might get hurt and are afraid of that.. but there is also the point of there are just too many bowl games now. That it's so easy to make it into a bowl game now that 5 loss, 6 loss or even losing record teams get the nod. Just seems that sometimes would be NFL talents run the risk of injury so their school and the NCAA can profit from a meaningless bowl game.

    Sorry for rant. Last thing I'll chime with.. I get the flip side argument. If they are on the cusp, a great bowl game tape (being as it's on such a big stage) can get scouts' attention no doubt. And for those players, I would be all for it.