Welcome to college football free agency.
You may not have realized it, but we were already in the middle of it for more than a decade since the grad transfer rule was instituted.
But this week, it got really intense as a result of the new redshirt rule.
Think about this — if Jalen Hurts leaves Alabama, and it seems likely that at some point he will, half of the College Football Playoff starting quarterbacks from last season will be free agents.
And to that I say — so?
It just makes college football more interesting. It may make purists cringe and academicians harumph a little louder, but I have been all about players having more rights.
The redshirt rule, which allows a player to play in four games and not lose eligibility, was the latest player benefit even if it was not intended to be that way. It was put in place so that coaches could get a better look at freshmen and could turn to them if injuries hit hard without losing their eligibility.
There were some alarms that went off and this week they were clanging very loudly when quarterback Kelly Bryant left Clemson and receiver Jalen McCleskey bolted on Oklahoma State.
Players were already transferring all the time. OK, it will probably never be like it is in basketball, but it certainly is the world we live in now. Not that there’s anything wrong with it.
I thought about this the other day — it must be fun to get recruited a second time. Shoot, that may be some of the allure of transferring.
Anyway, you know what would really be cool?
If I could start getting some picks right.
You think Nebraska hit bottom last week as Scott Frost said? Maybe, maybe not. I’m hoping I reached the depths as well.
It was a miserable 5-5 for Dr. Football and as a result, The Picks are 25-15 for the year and worried about being replaced by a picker-in-waiting.
FLORIDA AT MISSISSIPPI STATE: Yeah, I know. Please pick Mississippi State. That joke never gets old. Look, Dr. Football would never pick a Florida game based on how it might affect karma or superstition. I don’t believe in luck. But I will be wearing the same shirt Saturday night I wore for all three Gator wins. Just coincidence. Here’s the deal — I think Florida is taking small steps in the right direction, but the Gators are going to run into a buzzsaw that won’t turn it over six times in Starkville. Mississippi State, 28-24.
OHIO STATE AT PENN STATE: For all of the Buckeye haters out there, this is going to be another rough week. While the Penn State atmosphere is one of the best in football, the Nittanies have yet to impress. James Franklin may want to delete this result from his cell phone. Ohio State, 35-21.
SOUTH CAROLINA AT KENTUCKY: I think there are a lot of Gator fans rooting for Kentucky this week, not because of any animosity toward Will Muschamp, but because UF looks better with every Wildcat win. That is a sentence I never thought I’d be writing. Kentucky, 21-20.
STANFORD AT NOTRE DAME: Every game is its own game, I keep telling myself, so last week’s miracle win for the Cardinal has nothing to do with this week. Except it got me to .500. Notre Dame, 34-29.
SYRACUSE AT CLEMSON: All right, Sunshine, it’s your team now. Let’s see what you got. Clemson, 38-20.
OLE MISS AT LSU: I still don’t know what to think about LSU except that it plays down to the level of the opponent. Must be a Cajun thing. LSU, 41-21.
TENNESSEE AT GEORGIA: Look, this is a big game. Have you no knowledge of the history of this rivalry? You can throw out the records, right? (Thank goodness for a breather). Georgia 51-0.
WEST VIRGINIA AT TEXAS TECH: Will Grier’s Heisman Trophy campaign must be salivating. West Virginia, 50-42.
ARKANSAS-TEXAS A&M: What do you mean I’m padding my record by picking another easy one? It’s an SEC game in a neutral site. Neutral. Kind of like where Arkansas is stuck. A&M, 38-10.
FSU AT LOUISVILLE: It just shows you how cyclical college football is that only two years ago GameDay was in Louisville for this game between two top-10 teams and now it’s two teams who are a combined 0-4 against Power Five teams. Blechh. FSU, 23-20.
Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. And follow at Twitter.com/Pat_Dooley.