Is the Transfer Portal Good or Bad for College Football?

Call me Mr. Vain, or insane, but I absolutely love that College Football has the transfer portal. I think it’s hilarious to see coaches like Nick Saban (Alabama Crimson Tide) and Lane Kiffin (Ole Miss) who complain that it’s harmful for the game, yet, they are the same coaches who use it and gloat about how many players they take from the portal. What’s up with that? I mean, Ole Miss has 15 transfer portal commits and it boasts the number one rated transfer portal class in 2022. Alabama transfers are as highly rated as their recruits, but they add five to their roster, when they already bring more five star recruits than any other program.

Congratulations to both Jimbo Fisher and the Texas A&M Aggies who knocked out Alabama for the number one recruiting class in the 2022 cycle. Now, both Saban and Kiffin are questioning whether A&M’S class is legit? Wow, they are both self-righteous now, don’t you think?

Creating More of an Equal Playing Field

In October 2018, the NCAA introduced a game changing system that to me is the equivalent of the premiere of 2001: A Space Odyssey back in 1968. I wish I could have gone back in time and played that famous theme song on YouTube back then, but I remembered I was a college student at Saint John Fisher College and none of my classmates would have even known that theme song nor even hear of the movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey.

But any way, who wants to know what this game changing system was? The NCAA announced it would be called, “The Transfer Portal”.

The Transfer Portal was designed so that players could leave their current institution, and then submit their name online to move over or transfer to another school. Why do these players want to leave and just transfer whenever they want? It’s mostly due to playing time, lack of academic resources, or it could be they’re homesick and want to move back home and play at a D-1 college.

If you ask self entitled head coaches like Saban and Kiffin, it was designed for spoiled coaches to cry about the NCAA adding a new rule, then use it for their own personal gain. That my friends is what we call, “hypocrisy.”

How the Transfer Portal Works

The Transfer Portal allows student athletes to submit their name in an online program declaring their request to transfer. Athletes first inform their current school and express that they want to transfer to another program. The school then has two business days to enter the athletes’ name in the database. Coaches and staff are then allowed to be in contact with the athlete to introduce them to come visit their facility and accept a scholarship. The portal was originally created for schools, players, and coaches to be more transparent about how an athlete should transfer and to enable players to announce their decision to transfer.

In 2021, new rules were added to the transfer portal regarding the student athletes eligibility. They allowed the athletes to utilize the portal once and change schools without having to sit out a year and lose eligibility after transferring.

How it effect Teams

The next best thing about the transfer portal is the potential effect it could have on powerhouse programs like Alabama or Georgia. Saban and Kirby Smart are right now the two dominant coaches based on the fact both teams are founded on stacking their teams with 5 star recruits. People tend to forget that at one point these two were inseparable, as Smart was a longtime assistant under Saban when he coached the Miami Dolphins and then Alabama. Smart was a defensive coordinator during many of Saban’s championship teams, and I feel that he doesn’t get the equal credit for playing his role in creating the “Crimson Tide Dynasty”.

Then, after the 2016 CFP National Championship, Smart left Alabama for a head coaching position for another dominant football program in the SEC, the Georgia Bulldogs. This would go down as a gamechanger as now the two are rival head coaches and Smart currently has the bragging rights of finally beating his former boss to claim the “2022 CFP National Championship”.

See what’s happening now? There are two Championship teams that have to be overthrown in the College Football World. And you also have up and coming programs in the SEC like Texas A&M who handed Alabama its only lose in the regular season at College Station last year.

How it Effects the Players

In the middle of December 2021, former quarterback Kedon Slovis was reminded by his dad, while working out in Arizona to ask USC to put him in the Transfer Portal.

Already 4-8 and out of a bowl contention, Slovis already had moved out of USC and he then texted his USC compliance officer. Slovis’ phone then rang and colleges were calling him up the ying-yang to come visit their campus’. But there was one coach in particular that he was waiting to hear from; he picked up his phone and answered it, and it was no other than Pat Narduzzi of the Pittsburgh Panthers.

Just five days after entering the transfer portal he had committed to play for the Panthers. They had just won the ACC Championship and he was already enrolled in classes starting in January.

“Having the opportunity and freedom to look at my options, after a staff change, to find the best place for me as a football player and a student was huge,” Slovis quoted. “College football has changed a lot since I was a freshman and getting recruited out of high school, so being afforded the opportunity, I’ve been very, very lucky to have it.”

It’s nice to know that Slovis likes the Transfer Portal, because he now has a chance to replace Kenny Pickett at the Quarterback position. He and the team can now take the Pittsburgh Panthers to another level. He is taking advantage of a “new type” of free market-capitalist system that is equivalent to free agency in the NFL.

The Recruiting Process

Here, you have an Ole Miss team coached by Kiffin, who like Fisher at Texas A&M is also a former Saban assistant trying to beat him in the SEC. So how do programs like them find a way to jump up atop the college football throne? Texas A&M has one part down, now they have the number one recruiting class in the country. Ole Miss has decided to go for broke by snagging all the top transfers like how Saban does for recruiting. Before that, it was harder for programs like Ole Miss to consistently compete with the big boys in the SEC, but now, Kiffin has his own secret weapon of stacking his team. That is of course, The Transfer Portal.

Some people make not like the Transfer Portal, but others including myself do. Either way, the current format is here for now and the long haul until reformed otherwise. There is nothing we can do to change it ourselves, but we can learn to get along with it by adapting to how it works.

One thing we can all agree on, it will never hinder Americans from getting together on Saturdays and watching college football for the next decade. From, “Rocky Top” in Knoxville, Tennessee to the “Big House” in Ann Arbor, Michigan”, this is college football, and it’s here to stay!


9 thoughts on “Is the Transfer Portal Good or Bad for College Football?

  1. Thank you for explaining to your readers how the transfer portal works and how it effects those involved! College sports is changing so much. I am interested to see where we are at in the next ten years! Not sure it’s all for the better.

  2. Whew, what an article, I had no idea these portals were in existence let alone use! Educational to say the least. A new normal fog the institution’s. Students, coaches, and interested fans. So many opportunities within simple touch points. Amazing the evolutions in this past/current decade. Can only begin to imagine what’s to come in our next decade. Go College Football and likely most other collegiate and perhaps professional venues. The future is bright, sometimes blindingly so. Stay focused and keep your visor handy!! Great learning, well Written and crafted article!! 👍

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