College Football Blitz: Christian McCaffrey opens the can of worms with bowl games

Nov 12, 2016; Eugene, OR, USA; Stanford Cardinal running back Christian McCaffrey (5) celebrates his touchdown in the first quarter against the Oregon Ducks at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 12, 2016; Eugene, OR, USA; Stanford Cardinal running back Christian McCaffrey (5) celebrates his touchdown in the first quarter against the Oregon Ducks at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports /

Stanford Cardinal running back Christian McCaffrey has played his final college football game as he will sit out the Sun Bowl. This could change everything.

Football fans in Palo Alto already knew that Stanford Cardinal star running back Christian McCaffrey was going to leave school after his junior season to pursue his NFL dreams. McCaffrey wisely entered the 2017 NFL Draft as a junior, being that he plays a position with a rapidly decaying professional shelf life.

What Cardinal and college football fans didn’t account for was McCaffrey’s decision to sit out what would have been his final collegiate game: the Hyundai Sun Bowl against the North Carolina Tar Heels on December 30th.

So let’s begin the College Football Blitz for Monday, Dec. 19.

Christian McCaffrey to sit out Sun Bowl, end college career

McCaffrey’s decision to sit out the Sun Bowl to avoid an injury that could affect his 2017 NFL Draft stock is totally understandable. His NFL Draft stock will never be higher than it is after the 2016 NCAA season.

He has already proven everything he can individually at the college level for Stanford. Really the only two things that McCaffrey could strive for in his true senior season in 2017 is win the Heisman Trophy and the 2018 College Football Playoff. While those accolades would help his eventual candidacy for enshrinement into College Football Hall of Fame, he’s better off trying to do everything in his power to be drafted in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

McCaffrey is an NFL legacy from his father Ed McCaffrey, who was a standout receiver for the Denver Broncos in the 1990s. However, there is some debate about if McCaffrey’s collegiate skill set translates to the NFL. His NFL prototype is that of a Reggie Bush or a Percy Harvin, both of whom flashed at times in the NFL early in their careers.

That being said, how would an NFL scouting department best utilize his unique skill set? Realistically, teams picking in the second-half of the first round like the Kansas City Chiefs or even his dad’s Broncos would be suitable landing spots.

Is it in McCaffrey’s best interest to sit out the Sun Bowl? Absolutely, get paid what you’re worth. The problem is that this opens up that can of worms we all knew was there with would-be draft prospects sitting out meaningless bowl games. Unless a stud athlete is playing in a New Year’s Six bowl, expect players to follow in McCaffrey’s footsteps and continue to sit out bowl games. That is the college football world we now live in.

Jerry Kill un-retires to be the Rutgers Scarlet Knights offensive coordinator

Jerry Kill had been an outstanding head football coach for a long time. He had won at so many levels, most notably and recently with the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Though only in his mid-50s, Kill had to abruptly retire from coaching in 2015 due to a myriad of health concerns.

After a year working with the Kansas State University athletic department, Kill feels that he has his health under control enough to be a college coach once again. He will reportedly join Chris Ash’s staff with the Rutgers Scarlet Knights as their new offensive coordinator.

Rutgers struggled mightily under Ash in 2016, boasting a terrible 2-10 (0-9) record on the year. Should Kill finally have his health, this could be a great under-the-radar hire for Rutgers football. If Kill can get Minnesota to bowl games in the Big Ten West, he should know a thing or two to help Ash out in Piscataway in year two.

Joe Mixon domestic violence video drops. What did you think happened?

Late in the news cycle on Friday, Dec. 16, the video of Oklahoma Sooners running back Joe Mixon’s domestic violence was released to the world for anyone to see. People were outraged at the graphic nature of the video — but what did they expect?

If the Ray Rice elevator video taught us anything it is that domestic violence incidents are going to always look horrible on tape. Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops is now under scrutiny for sticking by Mixon’s side after knowing the content of the tape and still letting him play.

Do Mixon, Stoops, and the University of Oklahoma all deserve blame for trying to conceal this horrid video? Absolutely, but when are we going to realize that we don’t need video evidence to be grossly offended by domestic violence issues?

In some rural football communities, winning is more important. This incident hurts Stoops’ legacy and the Oklahoma program going forward. Expect Oklahoma to get a ton of boos in the Allstate Sugar Bowl against the Auburn Tigers. They’ve earned that right.

Final Thoughts

  1. McCaffrey doesn’t have to play in a meaningless bowl game if he doesn’t want to jeopardize his NFL Draft stock. He and LSU’s Leonard Fournette have now set a precedent. Let’s see how the NCAA responds to the actions of these two dynamic junior running backs.
  2. It’s good to have Coach Kill back in college football. He may never be a head coach again and that’s fine. Let’s hope the stress of joining a bad Big Ten program like Rutgers doesn’t compromise his health in 2017.
  3. The Mixon tape was going to be horrible. We all knew it existed and nobody did anything about it. Oklahoma will have to pay the price for Mixon’s bad decision. This could get ugly in Norman. Did we really need a video to turn on Mixon, Stoops and the Sooners?

Any thoughts on today’s college football headlines? Feel free to sound off below.