Running off at the typewriter …
Understandably, there is a lot of talk about Anthony Richardson leaving the University of Florida for the big money of the NFL Draft, but why isn’t anybody talking about Richardson, Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis, Heisman Trophy frontrunner Caleb Williams of USC and every other marquee college football player leaving for the big money in the transfer portal?
With the postseason portal opening on Monday, why wouldn’t every established and coveted college football player in the nation at least put his name in it, test the waters and try to get the best free-agent, er, NIL deal possible?
If coaches can parlay great seasons (or even average seasons) into lucrative contract extensions, why shouldn’t players be able to capitalize on their success? If the Gators want to keep Richardson, let them ante up and match an offer he might get from Alabama or Georgia. If the Seminoles want to keep Travis, let them dig deep and match an offer he might get from Clemson or Texas.
If some of the NIL numbers being tossed around are true, college stars who aren’t surefire first-round draft picks might make more money by staying in school than by going to the NFL. And if you’re a star player or even a quality starter at a good college program, there’s really no risk if you decide to enter the portal.
What’s the worst that could happen if, say, Travis enters the portal and doesn’t get a better deal than what he already has at FSU? Then he just pulls his name out of the portal and stays in Tallahassee, right? No harm. No foul.
It’s not like FSU coach Mike Norvell is going to immediately revoke Travis’s scholarship if he enters the portal. No, Norvell and FSU’s NIL collective will exhaust every possibility to keep Travis in the fold because the Seminoles desperately need him next year to keep the program’s momentum going.
The same with Richardson. He has so much athletic ability and upside that you would think coach Billy Napier will try to keep him. But even if — for whatever reason — the Gators don’t want to spend a bunch of money on the inconsistent Richardson, there would be no shortage of bidders who will.
Brace yourself, college football fans. It used to be National Signing Day was the most exciting time of the college football offseason, but just wait until the portal opens on Monday.
The wild, wild West is about to turn into California gold rush. …
Short stuff: Speaking of Norvell, the FSU coach called the Seminoles “state champs” by virtue of their victories over Miami and Florida, but doesn’t UCF at least belong in the conversation? Maybe we can settle this in the Cotton Bowl (if UCF wins this weekend.) … I don’t think we would be celebrating Christian Pulisic’s winning World Cup goal quite as much if he had given up his body to beat Senegal, but because the goal came against Iran, Pulisic is being hailed in the Middle East as the soccer version of General Norman Schwarzkopf. Call me a red, white and blue provincial, patriotic homer if you want, but Pulisic’s winning goal against Iran made me proud to be an American. … That resounding cheer you heard earlier this week was escort services across the SEC celebrating Hugh Freeze being back in the conference. … Mikey likes: UCF over Tulane by 4 in Upset Special, Georgia over LSU by 14, Clemson over North Carolina by 12, Michigan over Purdue by 21, Utah over USC by 4 in Upset Special II, TCU over Kansas State by 5, Jaguars over Lions by 3, Dolphins over the 49ers by 6 in Upset Special III, Bucs over the Saints by 1, Magic over Injury Issues by the New Year, Artificial Christmas Tree over Real Christmas Tree by 10 times less trouble and no needles on the carpet. …
With former ESPN analyst Jeff Saturday being hired as the interim head coach of the Indianapolis Colts and former ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer being hired as the new head coach at UAB, isn’t it only a matter of time before Schefty replaces Nathaniel Hackett in Denver? … From David Whitley of the Gainesville Sun: “Kudos to the Pitt Panthers. In beating Miami at Hard Rock Stadium Saturday night, they set an ACC record when they had more points (42) than their opponent had fans (37, not counting the two guys selling hot dogs).” … I just saw where Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes was found guilty of seditious conspiracy for a plot to overturn President Joe Biden’s election. In related news, Rhodes has been hired by Texas A&M to overturn Jimbo Fisher’s contract extension.” …
Did you see where World Cup organizers have offered refunds to visiting fans who showed up in Qatar only to find they were being housed in converted shipping containers with no working toilets or showers? Hey, it could be worse. They could be staying at the Motel 6 in Starkville. … Headline at TheOnion.com: “Nebraska finds their scapegoat for the next eight years.” … My radio pal Marc Daniels brings up a great point when he says the four College Football Playoff teams should already be set even before conference championship weekend. Writes Daniels in his blog: “Georgia, Michigan, TCU and USC are in the top four spots with Ohio State and Alabama sitting at five and six. With both the Buckeyes and Crimson Tide not playing in a conference title game, shouldn’t the playoff four be set with just pairings to be determined? How could you penalize any team playing in the top four just because they are playing an extra game that Ohio State and Alabama did not earn?” Hard to argue with that logic. … With Luke Fickell leaving Cincinnati to take the Wisconsin job, would the Bearcats possibly pursue their most famous coaching alumnus — Urban Meyer? It seems Meyer earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Cincinnati in 1986. At least that’s what he put on his résumé. …
Last word from Phil Mushnick of the New York Post on the rumor that Odell Beckham Jr. could be returning to the Giants: “That would be like paying to have your kidney stones put back.”
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hit me up on Twitter @BianchiWrites and listen to my Open Mike radio show every weekday from 6 to 9:30 a.m. on FM 96.9, AM 740 and HD 101.1-2