The toothpaste is out of the tube. It's not going back and it's on us to change how we view college football. The days of the past are the past and the present and future are a different game. Well, the game is the same, it's the business that has changed.
The era of paying players has arrived and the time of player movement is right before your eyes.
Your favorite team is adjusting. Some are better than others. Some have more money to get players than others. The NCAA is not doing anything because they can't. They lost in court and those who run the business of college football wanted a change and now have a system none of them really want.
There are no rules, at least none that anybody is following about how to pay players or when to contact them. Players lie about offers they claim to have and schools are flat out cutting deals with players using cash boosters threw into a pot- no one cares if there is a real NIL deal.
Where is all this going? No one knows. Collective bargain with the players? How? Who represents 15,000 college football players? How do you negotiate over revenue that no one really knows what that figure is? Will the SEC really agree to a CBA that includes doing things that help Washington State? No. Even if you reached an agreement with a group that represents players, why does anyone think "collectives" still won't pay the biggest recruits or transfers to come to their school?
So what is a fan to do? Adapt. Otherwise, you will hate the game you love.
Get used to the fact that a majority of players playing for your favorite team don't care about the letters or logo on the front of their jersey. They do not and won't. Oh, there will be players who grow up dreaming of playing for the Gators, Knights, Noles and other schools and proudly put on the jersey but today's game and its future means more and more players simply do not care about the logo or letters.
You will see players from your rival school jump to play for you. You will see your favorite player bounce from your school to another and you won't understand why. You will post replies on twitter wishing players leaving your team well when deep down you don't. You will get excited when a player transfers to your school thinking he is automatically better than the guy who just left who plays the same position.
You will hear numbers being thrown out about what high school recruits and transfers want or get and most of it is not true.
You will hear coaches talk about players "deserve what they can get", but privately hate this system and can't stand the fact they now have their program being run by wanna-be GMs known as boosters.
All industries go through what college football is going through. At some point a system will emerge. This one might take time and I am not sure where it's going. I do not think some of these collectives can survive. I just don't understand what return a wealthy person gets by throwing money into a pot to buy players and get no financial return. An emotional investment goes just so far.
Will the day come when schools directly pay players? I do not know and anyone who says they know is assuming too many things. I do believe players can and should get whatever they can. I also believe players have been getting a lot even before the NIL/pay-for-play world arrived.
There are thousands of real NIL deals and hundreds and hundreds of players benefitting and that's great. But most of your college football deals have nothing to do with NIL and they are just schools agreeing to pay recruits and transfers whatever the market calls for. But right now, there is no set market. Lots of players, agents, coaches and boosters throwing out numbers in a wild west world.
But it comes back to you adjusting. As a fan, the game is the same in the sense of you wanting your team to win and beat your rival and you love the history and pageantry of the sport. You will still love to tailgate and sit by your friends and see your team give you joy and break your heart. Every spring you will have optimism and every fall you will have high expectations. But can you accept a college football world where players do not stay for 4-5 years and some players will be on their third school when you cheer for them to beat your rival. Can you accept a world where those players do not have the same passion as you for your school? Can you adjust to know that recruiting and transferring is more about the cash than the desire to come to your school for the reasons you think they should? These are real questions for college football fans.
Maybe all this figures itself out in the coming years, Maybe a system emerges where all parties involved think it's fair and get along(I doubt this). But changes have happened quickly in college football and I don't mean an expanded playoff. The business has changed forever. It's really on you to adjust if you still want to love this game. Time will tell if your love can sustain itself during these changing times...
Nuggets: I just want to know who told Florida coach Billy Napier about the consecutive game scoring streak that led to him sending out the field goal crew in the 30-3 loss to Oregon State in the bowl game. Someone had to tell him about the streak...Little birdie told me one well known college quarterback with lots of starts recently told one school before he visited that the starting point was $1M. Did the school flinch? Nope, he flew in for the visit and was off to his next school the following day for a tour...Still wondering how in the 12-team playoff after the 2024 season how anyone thinks it makes sense for the top four seeds to not get a home playoff game and why does anyone think it's a good idea to ask fanbases to travel across the country three times to neutral sites?...Gus Malzahn moved quickly to replace defensive coordinator Travis Williams who left for Arkansas. Malzahn promoted Addison Williams, who was coaching cornerbacks, to DC. Williams is well respected and considered a rising star. Malzahn was not shocked that TWill got an SEC offer and he was also prepared for the move and promoted Williams immediately...South Dakota State will play North Dakota State in the FCS title game. Imagine, a 24-team playoff that no one complains about the size of the tournament or the amount of games those teams will play...Bowl games at baseball stadiums are interesting...True story, the father of a high school recruit asked if he and his son could get a steak and lobster dinner on their visit. The position coach said "not a problem". Then the dad followed it up by saying, "Good, then we can talk about how much it will cost to get my son to play for your school."- welcome to today's college football world.
Final note: There really is a North Pole. The northernmost point on earth is Kaffekluben Island, off the coast of Greenland. It is located in the middle of the Arctic Ocean and permanently covered with sea ice.