Time to let star players off the hook (Opinion)

We live in a “Playoff or Bust” World.

There are great stories like Tennessee returning to a bowl game, but a Vols win or loss in The Gator Bowl will not change the excitement going into the off season. Those emotions will be played out in Tuscaloosa, Auburn and on every campus of every team not in the College Football Playoff.

It is time to think outside of the box.

Something for the players.

Something for the schools.

Something for the fans.

Take the heat off the future NFL players who are leaving for the draft.

No more Leonard Fournette’s and Christian McCaffery’s…where fans and analysts challenge a players love of school and teammates.

Imagine Nick Saban opening up his bowl news conference by saying, “Jerry Jeudy, DeVonta Smith etc. will not play in the bowl game and it was my decision to protect their future.”

Gus Malzahn could do the same for Derrick Brown and company.

If I’m a non-playoff team, my mind is on recruiting and the 2020 season.

These players should be thinking about 2020 in the NFL and they should get the shield and protection from their head coach and school before they have to decide whether to play or not.

Nick Saban could use these 15 practices and one big game experience to work on a new fleet of receivers to replace the guys leaving.

Gus Malzahn could see who will plug the middle for the Tigers after Derrick Brown and Marlon Davidson.

And the fans get to see the future while not having to decide if “Insert Name Here” really cares about our school and his teammates by skipping the bowl game.

Some players may tell the coach they want to wear the uniform one more time. That’s great. Let him play.

But for those who don’t or are hesitant, let them move on as we move on to 2020 and another run at the playoffs or bust.

Finally, the uncomfortable public relations move by our favorite college players could become a thing in the past.

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