Updated list of college football stars skipping bowl games for 2023-24

There once was a time when playing in a bowl game was considered to be an honor for college football teams.

However, the prestige of those events has fallen since the advent of the College Football Playoff. Add in the frequency of transfers in the game and the contests that were once considered college football’s biggest stages have become glorified exhibitions in many cases.

As such, fewer high-end players want to participate in the bowl games, especially those with an eye on the future. Whether it’s looking toward their next season, next school or next league, the list of players willing to skip these bowl games seems to grow yearly.

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It makes sense for players to avoid bowl games, especially those looking to declare for the NFL Draft. After all, why risk injury when you’re not competing for a national championship? They get to move on while some of the younger players in need of reps get playing time in these postseason contests.

While it’s a win-win for players, the fans get the shorter end of the stick, as those who sit out are often higher-end draft prospects. Even so, those players will be on the field soon enough, as the college all-star games and NFL Combine are right around the corner.

But which players are choosing to sit out their bowl games for the 2023-24 college football postseason? Here’s what to know about the top players who won’t be in action in December and January.

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College football players skipping bowl games 2023-24

  • USC QB Caleb Williams

Caleb Williams’ decision not to play in the Holiday Bowl was announced by USC coach Lincoln Riley the day after the team’s bowl game was announced. It wasn’t a surprise, as Williams is widely expected to be one of the first players selected in the 2024 NFL Draft — should he declare.

Williams’ decision to sit out the bowl game points toward that happening. So, he can start preparing for the NFL while Riley and Co. plan for the post-Williams era.


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