Transfer portal is the game of college football in the game

Brian Kelly leaving Notre Dame just before the nation’s No.5 team gets an invitation to the Fiesta Bowl and LSU’s new head coach suddenly develops a bad Louisiana accent after agreeing to a $ 95 million contract?

Or the sophomore quarterback who heroically led Texas A&M to a home victory over No. 1 Alabama on Oct. 9, leaving the Aggies’ schedule weeks away from a New Years Eve bowl?

Zach Calzada hasn’t been promised $ 95 million to change schools yet, so me first Kelly is clearly the greater of the two evils.

But, my God, is this transfer portal thing going crazy.

Calzada threw 328 assists and played 12 games for A&M this season, who were a Top 10 team at the start of the season. Now, poof, Calzada is practically gone, and the highly paid Jimbo Fisher needs a starting QB for a bowl.

Quinn Ewers, currently most famous for switching programs and making money by not playing college football, is now expected to be a Texas Longhorn after briefly being an Ohio State Buckeye (mostly in name, image, and likeness ).

Bo Nix, once a big deal at Auburn, announced on Sunday that he was transferring from the SEC school which will face the University of Houston on December 28 at the Birmingham Bowl.

“I’ve made so many decisions for Auburn, and now it’s time to do what’s best for me,” Nix, a junior, said via social media. “It’s time for me to move on to the next chapter in my life. To achieve other goals, I decided it was better to be a transfer graduate and find a fresh start somewhere else. “

Spencer Rattler, a pre-season Heisman Trophy favorite for Oklahoma, left the Sooners after losing his starting contract and was transferred to South Carolina on Monday.

USC quarterback Kedon Slovis, formerly a candidate for Heisman, entered the increasingly famous portal on Monday.

I could compare Slovis to Lincoln Riley, but that would be nonsense. Riley, who recently left Oklahoma for USC, is the California version of Kelly – roughly $ 15 million.

As the college football playoff committee narrowed down the entire 2021 season to four teams and three big games, the sport’s coaching carousel has turned wild and selfish.

Mario Cristobal in Miami. Billy Napier in Florida. Kelly at LSU. Riley at USC.

Ooooh. It’s so crazy.

But it’s easy to take a step back, watch calmly, and argue that college football’s player transfer carousel is even crazier. And more efficient when it comes to immediately changing teams, seasons and careers.

Normally, I do my best to ignore TV commercials and wait patiently for the real TV stuff to return. But a recent ad promoting a well-known soft drink (Dr Pepper) captures the portal’s life-changing and program-changing potential perfectly.

A sheriff is alerted that a player is about to enter the murky and mysterious portal.

“You don’t need to transfer,” said the sheriff.

The player stops walking towards the portal and gets up.

“You saw the last depth map,” he said. “I would be lucky to play a down this year.”

Another character expertly intervenes: “But you’re just a sophomore. We still have time. “

The player responds by asserting their independence, jumping into the portal and suddenly disappearing.

Genius. Absolute genius.

Renowned college coaches coolly leave programs behind, athletes, rookies and seniors locked in all the time, running away in minutes when another school pledges an additional $ 50 million along with the honor of trying to finally defeat Nick Saban in the SEC.

Students change schools, specializations, and life plans all the time, and controversy never ensues.

Football in high school – recruiting, transferring, acquiring talent, money, etc. – is an industry.

So it’s a bit outdated as 2021 draws to a close to complain about the good old lost days of college football, especially when NIL is official … and college football has been burdened with serious problems for decades.

But it’s also fair to point out that the transfer portal has made college football even more complicated and confrontational, and there has to be a better way to run the player transfer game.

“You saw the last depth map. I would be lucky to play a down this year.

“You’re just a second year student. We still have time. “

This ad is painfully funny because it is so precise and so true.

Just when you think college football can’t get crazier, the Transfer Portal is creating alternate universes and extending playing careers that haven’t even started.

Don’t hate the gamer, hate the game, right?

But the only way to win the transfer game is to play it and play it well.

brian.smith@chron.com

twitter.com/chronbriansmith



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