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Will Christian McCaffrey (Stanford) and Leonard Fournette (LSU) Change College Bowl Games Forever?

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There's no question in my mind, assuming the NCAA doesn't come up with some sort of rule prohibiting this: McCaffrey and Fournette have chosen to skip the Sun Bowl and Citrus Bowl, respectively, to prep for the upcoming NFL draft. They're solid, first-round draft stock, playing in relatively meaningless bowl games, and their value as players can only go down if they get injured.

This has huge potential as a trend in the NCAA.

"Like Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffrey Understandably Chooses Future Over Present" by Chris Burke on si.com

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All the pearl-clutching from critics (not you) is making me sick.

As some articles have noted, you will often see coaches skipping bowls to get ready for their next (higher-paying) job, so how can anyone fault Fournette or McCaffrey?  As dangerous as football is for players writ large, RBs are particularly vulnerable IMO.  Talk to Willis McGahee, though he played in a much higher-stakes bowl game.  I don't blame them for one second, and although I selfishly wanted McCaffrey to play in the Sun Bowl (and to stay in school for another year), I support him 100 percent just as all his teammates -- at least the ones who have spoken out on Twitter today -- have.  And just as I supported Andrew Luck when he left early for the pros.  Luck played in his bowl game, which is an argument some have foolishly raised against McCaffrey today, but QBs are way more protected and getting hit on every play isn't part of their job.

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52 minutes ago, silentbob said:

All the pearl-clutching from critics (not you) is making me sick.

I had to Google "pearl-clutching" - I'd never heard it before!

Like you, I don't blame them one bit. However, the BCS Playoffs might be having the effect of diluting every other bowl game except the national-championship semi-finals and finals. What at the chances that Deshaun Watson will get injured in one of the next two games (assuming, of course, Clemson even plays two games)? I'd say about 10% - that's just a guess, but if it's anywhere close to being true, it's a risk *I* wouldn't want to take.

Or, perhaps this has nothing to do with the BCS playoffs, and it's just something nobody has ever thought to do before. That article mentioned the possibility of a player skipping *an entire season* (the NFL requires players to be three-years out from high school before signing, so what if, for example, sophomore Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson decides to skip all of next year, and to spend his time getting his body into NFL shape? He doesn't owe Louisville anything, and his NFL stock can only go down from this point forward unless he repeats as Heisman winner as a junior.)

I wonder if there's anyone out there who criticizes Kentucky's basketball program who isn't bothered by this (or who isn't bothered by Kentucky, but is up-in-arms about this) - if so, I'd like to hear why the two things aren't essentially one-and-the-same.

LeBron James just became the youngest player ever to score 27,000 points in NBA history, and it's because he was drafted out of high school. The player he just passed to become the NBA's #9 all-time leading scorer played three years in college. Kobe Bryant, the NBA's #3 all-time leading scorer, was also drafted out of high school. James is currently *one point* behind the NBA's #8 all-time leading scorer, Moses Malone, who was also drafted out of high school. As much as I love the institution of college basketball, who would have denied James, Bryant, or Malone the opportunity to become instant millionaires, as opposed to playing in college and breaking an ankle their freshman season? (The answer is: A *lot* of people, but I'm not one of them.)

Coincidence: The NBA's #10 and #11 all-time leading scorers played for the University of Houston: Elvin Hayes and Hakeem Olajuwon.

Screenshot 2016-12-19 at 17.52.43.png

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