ESPN analyst Todd McShay is proposing a mini-season for draft-eligible college football players, and he wants it to be played in Mobile.
McShay’s proposal is in response to what he sees as a lack of opportunity for players facing canceled college football seasons, as well as his opinion that a spring football season is unreasonable.
As one of the primary NFL draft analysts for ESPN, McShay has said he wants to create resume-building opportunities for players in conferences who have canceled their seasons.
McShay outlined on the “Ryen Russillo Podcast” on Tuesday exactly how essential the Senior Bowl is to his pre-draft scouting.
“Nothing more do I benefit from than the three practices in Mobile, Alabama,” he said.
In controversial moves last week, the Big Ten and Pac-12 have canceled their football seasons. The SEC, ACC and Big 12 moved forward with plans to play beginning in September.
With many players losing the ability to add to their game tape, McShay explained how he reached out to an old friend to see if there was a way to help both players and talent evaluators.
“What I proposed to Jim Nagy, who is the executive director of the Senior Bowl, and I worked with him when I was an intern coming out of college and we’ve been friends for twenty years now, is expanding it,” McShay said. “I would love to see three weeks, maybe only two weeks. Whatever it is, creating a bubble in Mobile.”
Expanding on the existing Senior Bowl format, his proposal includes a mini-season of practices and multiple games between a select group of draft-eligible players, all of which could be televised.
Citing a benefit to players and NFL teams, as well as a potential television deal, McShay concluded, “Everyone wins if this happens.”
In the midst of pressure from players and their families, and its member institutions, there are reports that the Big Ten is formalizing a proposal to play football beginning in January.
McShay expressed his doubts that such a proposal will end up becoming a reality.
“It’s just not going to work … any big-name player you are thinking about who is draft-eligible, cross them off, he’s not playing,” he noted. “I’ve seen the proposals … none of it works.”
He said having to play what could amount to 26 games in nine months would put too much of a toll on players’ bodies, so would advise any player who projects in the first four rounds of the NFL draft to not play in the spring.
Rece Davis, ESPN College Gameday host and University of Alabama graduate, offered similar sentiments earlier in the week on the ESPN “College Football Podcast.”
When asked about the Big Ten’s plan for a spring season, Davis remarked, “I think the notion is ludicrous because so much has gone into player safety.”
He asserted that strength and conditioning programs are not designed to prepare players for two seasons in a single calendar year.
“It doesn’t make any sense to try to condense two seasons [into 2021] even if they’re truncated, unless you ridiculously truncate them like four games in the spring and ten games in the fall,” Davis said. “Then maybe that’s a different thing but I’m not sure anyone is signing up for that to begin with so I don’t think we’re going to see college football played in the spring.”
While the Big Ten is struggling to come up with a coherent message or plan, Davis said leadership in the SEC has been steady.
“I think that Greg Sankey has been prudent and wise and patient more than anything else,” he observed.