For a guy who doesn’t work anymore, my favorite part of the year begins soon. In just a few moments, college football starts and many a Saturday will be wasted with guys and some girls zoned in front of their TVs or at their favorite bars rooting like crazies!
Surprise, surprise, the Florida Gators are the most favored #1 pre-season pick in history due to the return of Tim Tebow and an enormous core of returning starters. You’d think that winning the Heisman and two National Championships are good enough, not to mention the millions waiting, but not for Timmy. Rounding out the Top 10 include: #2 Texas, #3 Oklahoma, #4 Southern California, #5 Alabama, #6 Ohio State, #7 Virginia Tech, Mississippi, #9 Penn State and Oklahoma State also tied at #9.
It’s good to see the Pac 10 get SOME love, with California coming in at #12, Oregon at #16, and Oregon State scratching in at #25 or #26. After all, the Pac 10 conference is the only one to boast an undefeated 5-0 bowl record in 2008-09. This compares favorably with the ACC’s record of 4-6, MAC at 0-5, and The Big 10 at 1-7! But none of the experts care. The Pac 10 will always be underrated because the weather is too nice out here.
Let’s forget the ranking injustices for now, and focus on the monetary aspect at hand!
MONEY MONEY MONAY, MONAAAY!
College football is big business, and individual stars entering the NFL means financial security for life. When both Sam Bradford of Oklahoma and Tim Tebow of Florida decided to forgo the NFL to play another year of college football, what did they forgo financially? My estimate is roughly $12 million a year for 5 years! The New York Jets signed USC’s Mark Sanchez to a $28 million gaurantee and up to $60 million with incentives for 5 years. Meanwhile, the #1 overall pick from Georgia, Matthew Stafford signed a 6-year contract worth up to $78 million, with $41.7 million in guarantees!
Despite USC’s head coach being infuriated for Mark leaving after his sophomore year, Mark seized an opportunity due to low QB draft competition and took it. Bravo Mark because if Tim and Sam were in it, you’d be making at least 20% less! On the flip side, what are you thinking Tim Tebow?! You’ve already got two national championships, and a Heisman, why on earth would you risk $30-50 million over the next 5 years by playing one more year of college football? One wrong pivot, or one head first bull rush into your knee and SNAP, your career is over and off to being Florida’s QB coach you go.
WHY STAY TIM?
The easiest theory I have for Tim staying is that Florida brainwashed him. “Stay in school Timmy. We love you. A degree is important, and you can’t go through life without one. We are family Timmy. We need you. If you come back, we will dominate again. Do it for honor, and for the love of the game Timmy. If you stay, you’ll make much more money!” If Urban Meyers (coach) and the Florida community really loved him, they would tell it to him straight and let him go. Yes, we all know that alumni donations and booster support is vital to maintaining a top college sports program, but come on guys, it’s not like there aren’t thousands of other kids dying to play for Florida or Oklahoma! In this case, Florida and Oklahoma wins, and USC loses.
Imagine this scenario. North Korean Dictator Kim Jung Il says you can have a guaranteed $50 million if you leave his country now and never show the world the pictures you took of his impoverished country. “Gimme those negatives boy!” Kim Jung Il also says you can have $60 million and a chance to get your name in the local newspaper for being only the 2nd American to get out of North Korea alive, if you are willing to see if you can last in the jungles for a year! Which option do you choose?
What about this scenario. Do you cash in your $50 million winning lottery ticket today, or do you rip it up, and pay another dollar to see if you can win $60 million with a 90% probability according to your state lottery official? Even though the math says to gamble again because 90% X $60 million = $54 million…. the answer is HELL NO!
Tim had the golden opportunity to lock in at least $20 million over the next 5 years and he blew it. If Timmy blows out his knee this year all the football pundits are going to then say he should have left. Some rich Florida alumni isn’t going to suddenly feel sorry for Timmy and give him $50 million. Florida is a football factory, and once Timmy is no longer productive, another Timmy will come along.
You might think secretly I’m some bitter Ohio State, Oklahoma, or Texas fan vying for the National Title, but I’m not. I’m just a partial observer who is thinking rationally. Timmy can always go back to school, or study part-time if he wants his 4-year college degree. College is a means to an end, and you know he’s had more fun than most anybody who’s ever gone to college has ever had. To Timmy, and all those who could have gone to the NFL but didn’t, good luck to you this season. For those of you who are thinking rationally, shoot me an e-mail and let me represent you in your negotiation talks!
Changing jobs or careers is a lot like entering the NFL. The most important thing to realize is that we are all replaceable, and that if you don’t take the opportunities, or at least thoroughly think things through, you may NEVER have that opportunity again. There will always be some hotshot nipping at your heels, and you only have a limited time to build your NUT before some bigger squirrel takes it away.
College football fans, what are your thoughts? Should guys like Timmy have left to the NFL or stayed? Do the coaches and fans really have their best interests at heart?
Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries