Alabama Football: Ignore opt-out noise and focus on the Transfer Portal

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

Alabama football fans are in an unfamiliar situation, fretting over what Crimson Tide players will or will not play in the bowl game. It is possible as soon as early next week opt-out decisions will be announced.

There are strong opinions from fans about players opting out. They range from disgust to disinterest. Liking the new terrain of college football or not, all of us can see that players have come closer to being business entities than folk heroes.

Since it is only fair for players to benefit financially from their individual brands, it is also fair for them to protect their future value by not risking injury in an exhibition game. And whether we like it or not, outside the CFB Playoff semi-finals, all the bowls are exhibition games.

While the bowl games count in a team’s won-loss record, they count for little more. Yes, there is tradition to consider and the histories of certain programs in certain bowls. As Nick Saban predicted years ago, those traditions and histories are fading fast.

Alabama football fans seeking more important angst, can jump past the opt-outs and leap into the looming Transfer Portal cycle.

The NCAA. in a rare productive action, modified the Transfer Portal rules, creating two windows for transferring athletes. In football, the windows are Dec. 5 – Jan. 18, with a later window, May 1-15.

The NCAA, rightly or wrongly, chose not to approve unlimited transfers. Players having transferred once must still gain a waiver for immediate eligibility. The NCAA did pledge to be more “flexible” with waivers – whatever that means.

Alabama Football and Transfer Portal Success

Top programs like the Alabama Crimson Tide have more to gain from transfers than to lose. Very few key Alabama football players will look for a better opportunity. Most Alabama players choose to transfer to gain more playing time. They are certainly entitled to a decision based on self-interest.

If playing time was the only issue, the transfer debates would be minimal. But like much in college football, money is a major factor. The players are basically free agents in a rule-less environment. Frequent stories indicate bidding wars and NIL deals are often the deciding factors.

Will the process ever slow, and reach a more predictable stage? Don’t count on it in the 2023 cycle. A few days ago, published a story on the next transfer cycle. Quoting an unnamed SEC staff member, the expectation among programs is “total chaos.”

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So Alabama football fans, don’t worry about the opt-outs and instead follow the Transfer Portal news very carefully. Bama Hammer will try our best to help.