NCAA Football Report (Bowl Week 2)

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The bowl season continues on as teams look for that jewel in the cap of a season and players look to put in their final performance for scouts.

A lot of times these bowl games can serve a massive purpose for players as they can get one more game in to put on film.

That final game can do a lot for a lot of players as it is a chance for NFL teams to see how they rise to the occasion of a big game.

When the lights are on, how do these players react and when their team needs them can they step up and be the players they need to be?

These players take that last chance to make sure they show that they are worth a pick in the draft.

Not all players need to do this though as there are a number of players that have locked up their spots in the NFL draft long before the final game.

Those players have nothing left to prove to anyone as they are about to leave their schools and get a big payday in the NFL.

They don’t need another game to show that they can make big plays in the biggest moments because they have been doing it for a number of years.

This reality is sinking in for more players every year and as a result, the bowl season is beginning to lose some of its biggest stars.

Last year one of the biggest names in the draft was Leonard Fournette, the big body running back was slated to be the top back taken in the draft.

He had done just about everything there was to do at LSU and there was a pretty widespread thought about where he was going to end up.

So when the Tigers didn’t have the best season and ended up in the Citrus Bowl things took a somewhat strange turn.

That is when Fournette decided that he would end his career at LSU one game early as he took himself out of the Citrus Bowl.

Fournette decided that the risk wasn’t worth it as Fournette knew what it was like to have all of the hype only to see it fall off with an injury.

Earlier that year Fournette was expected to be the best back in the country until an ankle injury cut his season short.

Instead of taking the risk of suffering another injury in the final game he took himself out of the lineup to prepare for the NFL Draft.

The decision came under fire but the fact was that Fournette didn’t have a lot to play for as the Citrus Bowl is not the biggest bowl in the country.football-sidebar

Instead of playing in a bowl that truly didn’t matter and risking injury Fournette decided instead to save himself and ensure his draft stock stayed the same.

He was not the only player to do that though as Christian McCaffrey did the same last year taking two of the biggest names out of the bowl season.

It wasn’t the most popular decision made in the 2016 bowl season but it was a decision made multiple times.

To some, it meant a lack of commitment and believed that it would hurt their draft stock by questioning their commitment.

It never did that as Fournette and McCaffrey wet just about where everyone thought they were and the skipped bowl games were not even taken into account.

This year that trend continues on as the bowl season is seeing more players take themselves out of bowl games that mean very little.

The biggest name this year is Josh Rosen who won’t play for UCLA in the Cactus Bowl this year instead, focusing on the draft.

Rosen is considered to be one of the top quarterbacks in the draft this year and is likely to be taken early in the draft.

If he were to get injured his draft stock would plummet and he would no longer be taken even close to the top of the draft.

Instead of taking that risk he decided to sit out and prepare for the draft, taking the path that stars have taken in the past.

It is becoming a pattern and it will continue as the money in the NFL increases and players continue to look to their future.

Obviously, it won’t happen to the bigger bowls and the national championship but more stars will sit if they don’t deem it worth their while.

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