We closed out week 1 of the college football season Monday night with Tennessee winning an overtime thriller against Georgia Tech. As players, coaches and fan bases head back to their bunkers and analyze the physical damage done to their beloved teams. One thing we do know for certain, is that absolutely no team was decimated worse than the Florida St. Seminoles. Not due to the number of injured players Saturday night vs Alabama, but due to the player who they lost.
Football is a Quarterback’s game. If you have a good one, you will win! Everyone knows good coaching, great special teams, and a tenacious defense may allow your team to bring a national championship trophy home. At the end of the day, there are roughly 8 to 10 teams in the country who actually have a quarterback with the talent, savviness, and leadership abilities to secure his team a spot amongst college football royalty. Deondre François, starting quarterback for Florida State, is that guy! And now, due to early season war games with college football heavyweight Alabama, Florida St. has lost their starting quarterback due to a patellar tendon injury and their championship dreams are all gone because of game one…
The pertinent question is why would Florida State schedule Alabama game one? Everyone who has watched college football for the past decade knows your team will suffer some physical casualties after lining up against coach Nick Saban’s boys. Most smart college coaches across the country will tell you that they do not want any part of the Alabama Crimson Tide unless all the marbles are on the table. One can ask last year’s national championship winning coach, Clemson’s head coach, Dabo Sweeney, who is a former Alabama wide receiver. His Clemson Tigers have had to go to war with Saban’s Tide the last two seasons. However, both games were for championship rings. Every team needs at least two weeks to recover from a game with Alabama. The same is true for the opponents of Florida State. Once again, what’s the rush for these two college football powerhouses to lock horns game one?
C’Mon smart people. We know the reason. Money!
Isn’t that what college football is all about anyway? And by the way, these week one college football powerhouse bouts aren’t going anywhere in case you were wondering. Both Florida State and Alabama received a 5 million dollar check with incentives to make the Chick Fil-A Kickoff Classic crack. We won’t discuss what Michigan and Florida made to square off week one in “Jerry’s World” down in Texas.
It’s not hard to see, there is definitely a cost of doing business as a college football heavyweight in today’s landscape whether its new facilities to entice recruits or week one bowl games against the best teams in the country. In college football today; coaches, athletic directors, and players are forced to constantly put all their chips on the table to stay ahead of the curve. Deondre François and quite possibly the Seminole’s season may have been the cost of doing big business for Florida State.
Florida St. could have been playing “Cream Puff State” their first game and Deondre François could have been injured for the entire season in such a game as well. Chances are he wouldn’t have been dodging live bullets from 5 star recruits like he was Saturday night by lining up against the Alabama defense.
Every ACC college program that figured they would have to go through Florida State for a conference championship and a chance at the College Football Playoffs, had their odds increase significantly once François was indeed ruled out for the season. You can’t forecast injuries in football, but you just know they are coming. It’s always next man up, and schools like Florida State have a stable of quarterbacks that now get their shot.
We witnessed college football commit to creating as much drama as they could in week one for the highest possible revenue in week one. We should ask the important question, “How does the player’s well-being factor into this continued pursuit of more money?”
The $5 million dollar check Florida State received for “going all in” week one now has a stain on it. It would be interesting to know if FSU would give the check back if they could have their QB back healthy for the season?
Our mission is to allow athletes to realize and have awareness of what’s taking place in the marketplace. Most certainly true, the big schools provide the biggest stage. However, there will be no extra-compensation coming your way as an athlete. You get what you get and don’t have a fit!
If there’s a way to make money, the NCAA will find it. If there’s a way to not compensate players, the NCAA will find it. Once again, these week one college demolition games are not going anywhere. So as an athlete, realize this and go get yours on and off-the-field. Hopefully, Deondre François was already on that path!
We wish Deondre François the best of luck and a fast recovery. You are a superstar Deondre. Bounce back like one!