So football season is finally over with the thrilling conclusion of Super Bowl 52 which saw The Philadelphia Eagles defend the defending champs, The New England Patriots. I’m a Patriots fan (I don’t care, sue me) so I wasn’t too happy, but I’ll admit, it was a great game. I wanted Tom Brady to win his sixth ring and finally be known as the Greatest Quarterback of All Time.” Obviously, it didn’t work out that way, he put up a great fight, but was bested by Eagles and Nike Foles who became the starter after Carl Wentz went down late in the season.
A month earlier in college football, the Alabama Crimson Tide fulfilled all expectations and won the National Championship against the Georgia Bulldogs. Of course, no big game is without its drama. After the first half of the game starting QB, Jalen Hurtz was struggling to sustain any signs of offensive stability. He made erred passes, bad reads, and couldn’t seem to figure out the stout Georgia defense. So, at the start of the second half, down 13-0, Head Coach, Nick Saben made the that will be talked about for a long time. He benched Hurtz and started a true-freshman named Tua Tagovailoa, who brought them back and won the game, 23-20.
So now both winning teams are now in an interesting position. The Eagles just drafted Carl Wentz two seasons ago, and he was on pace to have an MVP season before he got hurt. So what do they do with backup, Nick Foles, the one who led them to their first Super Bowl victory ever? And what does Alabama do with Jalen Hurtz, who led the Tide to the National Championship the year before, and who has had a winning season since he’s been a starter?
I already know both head coaches will say the same rehearsed statements, “each player will have the chance to compete for the starting job” Blah Blah Blah…
The NFL and NCAA are different of course. The Eagles can use Foles has a huge bargaining chip to negotiate with other teams. They can get significant value for a player who just beat out Tom Brady for a Super Bowl. It may sound harsh for the Eagles to let Foles go, but they have already invested their future in Wentz. The NFL can be a cruel place, but players have been moved around for the bigger picture. The Eagles won't move him immediately because of how it would look to the public, but I suspect he’ll be moved by the trading deadline.
In Bama’s case, however, I genuinely believe that they will have a QB battle for the starting position. Each player has the choice of whether they want to stay at Alabama to play for the Tide or if they want to transfer to a different program. The only problem is that Alabama has an elite program which almost always in contention for the National title. Both players wouldn’t be blamed for wanting to stay. Jalen Hurtz and Tua Tagovailoa will battle it out in the spring and the summer. I’m not sure who wins, granted a decision will be made based on performance but the thing is we know coaches have their preferences. Hurtz has been a starter for two years and led Alabama to two straight National Championship games, BUT, and this is important, in the game the Crimson Tide won, he wasn’t able to show up when his team needed him most. He was benched and had to watch a freshman win his national championship.
What are both teams to do? Difficult decisions must be made, but they will be different because, in the NFL, teams have leverage, in college the players do.
Malcom X. Bowser is a writer, curator, and founder of Urban X.