Badgers Should Prepare for Future Bowl Skipping
The most popular trend in college football is either recruits taking pictures with their parents in uniforms or kids skipping out on bowl games. Will Grier from West Virginia is the most notable name to miss his bowl game as he will not be playing in the CampingWorld Bowl next week. There are a few others like K’Neal Henry, Greedy Williams, Ed Oliver, Rashan Gary to name a few. Wisconsin will not have anyone miss the Pinstripe Bowl, although, you couldn’t blame any Badgers’ prospect for skipping it. Per Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, T.J. Edwards thought about it but decided to play to leave his career on a high note. It seems if they had beat Minnesota, he may have skipped it. This is the new normal.
If Wisconsin is not in the College Football Playoff next year, I can almost guarantee that Jonathan Taylor will not be playing in a bowl game. Sure, it’s a year away, but Taylor’s junior season should be treated like his last one. Unless his NFL grades are woeful, Taylor is a lock to go pro next season, and my guess is he would avoid a meaningless game of pain. Although if it is a bowl of significance – Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, etc, maybe he or others will play in the game. Two running backs headed to the draft – Mike Weber of Ohio State and Benny Snell of Kentucky are both playing their bowl games. If the Badgers are in a Pinstripe bowl-like game next year, count Taylor out.
To me, it’s better for fans and coaches to embrace the players. It would be a weird move to sit out a playoff game, but I don’t think anyone is thinking about doing that for the four teams remaining. Everyone is playing until the final game if the games actually matter for the team. Sure, there’s something to ending the year on a high note, but the scary thought of blowing out a knee costing you millions is horrifying.
Unless college football puts an insurance policy in place protecting players based on NFL Draft grades, this will keep happening. There’s no way college football will do that because the amount of time and effort that would take would be exhausting.