Austin Darrow | CNBNewsnet
Two of the top running backs in college football have decided to skip their team's upcoming bowl games and there is nothing wrong with it.
Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey has decided to skip his team's upcoming bowl game (Hyundai Sun Bowl) and begin his draft prep immediately. LSU’s RB Leonard Fournette was the first to say he was passing up in the bowl game to get ready for the draft.
LSU plays in the Citrus Bowl and will play without Fournette. Fournette has said his ankle is 85-90 percent and doesn’t want to harm it anymore and possibly drop his draft stock.
Fournette, just a sophomore, has battled a nagging ankle sprain and had the chance at making a legitimate Heisman run this season.
Fournette missed four games, but in the seven that he played he put up 843 yards and eight touchdowns. With that, he closes the door on a career that leaves with several LSU records: AVG rushing yards per game (119.3), 200-yard rushing games (5), and single season rushing yards (1,953 yards in 2015).
Fournette also has a child and has the opportunity to make millions as a top-10 pick in the draft. He isn’t going to go out there, unhealthy, with a chance at hurting himself more and losing the millions in a meaningless bowl game.
McCaffrey, on the other hand, was the 2015 Heisman finalist and had very high expectations of winning it this year. He has spent three years at Stanford and was electrifying in his 2015 campaign.
In the years as a Stanford Cardinal, McCaffrey’s numbers were: 3,922 rushing yards, 1,859 return yards, and 1,206 receiving yards. McCaffrey had an incredible 2015 season by breaking Barry Sanders’ single-season all-purpose yards record with 3,684 yards.
McCaffrey wasn’t the same this season, as he struggled early on, but ended the season on a strong note and still leading the nation in all-purpose yards with 2,327 yards.
The duo's decision on bypassing their respected bowl games has blown up the media and made people go against them or stand with them. Meanwhile, we all forget Jaylon Smith, the projected first-round pick linebacker from Notre Dame who suffered a leg injury in the Fiesta Bowl and dropped out of the first-round. He lost over $10 million in guaranteed money.
People who have a problem with these two not playing in their final game, haven’t thought this all the way through. While it is bailing out on the team, put yourself in their shoes.
You have the chance to make millions of dollars next year, so you can play in a bowl game that only gets your team a consolation trophy and gives them one more win on the season or you can bypass it and get healthy and prepare yourself for the draft. Which are you going to choose?
No one has a problem when coaches leave their teams out to dry mid-season to take another job. Tom Herman never faced this much criticism when he abandoned a Houston team that will play in a bowl game.
He bailed on Houston. The athletic director of LSU bailed on the football team by firing Les Miles mid-season.
The coaches are leaving their schools for more money, so why is it such a problem for McCaffrey and Fournette to bypass the game to make more money?
Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott tweeted about his stance on the issue and that he would love to play another game for Ohio St. if he had the chance. Elliott left with a year of eligibility left for more money, so he put himself in a predicament.
Guys leave early all the time to take more money and not risk getting injured the next season, but just because they played in their team's bowl games, it’s not a big deal.
The two RB’s don’t need to play that bowl game to show NFL scouts what they’re capable of accomplishing. They’ve built their resumes up in the two-three seasons they played at their schools.
I believe if it were a New Year’s six bowl game than these two probably wouldn’t skip it. We can’t be mad at kids thinking about their futures, instead of what the media and the people want them to do.