Skull Session: Opt-Outs Might Be a Good Thing, Ohio State's Receivers Room is Still Stacked, and Alabama Thinks It's An Underdog

By Kevin Harrish on December 28, 2021 at 5:30 am
Ryan Day is riding a chariot in today's skull session.

Large man, small world.

Word of the Day: Rend.

 THIS IS GOOD, ACTUALLY. Players opting out of non-playoff bowl games is the new normal. You are well within your rights to be mad about it (as many online have chosen to be), or you could join me in embracing a controversial truth: it's actually better this way.

Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson were never coming back anyway, so let's just look at this as the world's best scrimmage with the next-gen receiving corps. And you can say the same thing about the other guys, too – you were going to have to learn to play without them anyway, you may as well do it in what's pretty much an exhibition game against a very quality opponent.

It sounds cold and heartless, but when you really break it down, there's absolutely no practical long-term reason to even allow anybody not returning next year to see the field in a bowl game.

Now, obviously, it would be a dick move to bench a senior or early entree if someone wants to cap off their career in Pasadena (I'm not going to tell Thayer Munford to take a hike) and I'm certainly not advocating that. But that doesn't mean we can't realize that players opting out of the bowl game actually helps Ohio State in the long run.

 SAVE THE BOWLS! That said, there is an extremely easy way to make sure the stars play in these games instead of making the sound financial decision to opt-out: give them a financial incentive to play.

Personally, I think the bowls should also just award the players on each winning team a sizable cash prize. I'll tell you what – the Cheez-It Bowl would be a hell of a lot more competitive if a $10,000 check was on the line. And you can just let the networks foot the bill for saving their product and making it drastically more watchable.

 RECEIVING CORPS – STILL GOOD. Speaking of opt-outs, we've now officially seen the last of two receivers who will go down as some of the top receivers in program history. Both had legendary careers and both will certainly be first-round picks in a couple of months.

But hilariously, neither of them was even the team's top receiver this year, nor were either of them the highest-rated receivers on the team – or even second. Oh, and then there's the son of a Hall of Famer waiting in the wings, too.

Just a hunch, but I think the receivers room is going to be just fine!

 SCRAPPY UNDERDOG... ALABAMA? Alabama is entering Friday's semifinal game as the defending national champion and a two-touchdown favorite over the first Group of Five team ever to make the playoff in seven tries.

But don't tell that to Alabama!

Every coach in the history of coaches has tried to convince their team that they're the main character in a Cinderella story, but I guess I just expected a player to be more... generally aware or reality?

Whatever. If Bama wants to cosplay as an underdog, so be it. But that's not going to stop the rest of the world from laughing at you.

 SONG OF THE DAY. "Dani California" by Red Hot Chili Peppers.

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