I've been complaining about the changes in college football with the unholy synergy of false-NIL and no-fault transfer, and this bowl season I saw how that plays out. I speak only for myself.
First - I flew up to Syracuse from Atlanta with the kids on Christmas day, to see my folks and to let the kids see winter. We had a great time. Thursday, at the start of the Pinstripe Bowl, we were at Clay Park South, sledding. We missed almost the entire first half, and I would have been fine missing the entire game.
I hate NFL "opt-outs". It's bullcrap. Since when does a player get to say, "Sorry, I'm not showing up for work today?" When a team's best players choose not to play, to me, that is no longer the team I became invested in during the season. And a loss is a loss - if by opting out you caused the bulk of the roster to lose, you are at fault. That problem is of recent vintage, but it is compounded by the intra-season portal chumps now. Such a joke.
So as I was watching the second half of the bowl, I thought, I don't care. I could have skipped this entire game and I wouldn't care. The team on the field was not the Syracuse University Orangemen 2022-2023 squad, it was some weird interstitial pick-up squad.
I haven't watched any other bowl games. In particular, I didn't watch the CFB playoff games. I no longer have any interest in watching the "best teams" that money can buy. I will not be part of feeding that beast.
An argument that surfaced here recently, and a comment from a poster about the mindset of some previous players, struck me as specious. The gist of it is that players don't get fair value in the system, they haven't thought so for a while, and they are nevertheless stuck because there is no other alternative.
A player's objective value is only a valid concept in the totality of the system in which the player seeks to capitalize on that value. For years, the NCAA allowed a system in which players were paid in-kind for the value of their college education. You think that's not enough? Then go play in an alternative system where you can achieve your "fair value".
If that fair value had a market, it would have materialized by now. Someone would have come up with a pro feeder league outside of college athletics. The fact that it didn't means - you have no argument! You don't like it - go do something else! Advocate for whatever you want, but don't curse the hand that feeds you while you seek your golden goose.
I was in the Dome for the first game, been on this board for 20 years now, and college football has lost "it" for me. The thrill is gone.