OPINION: The Transfer Portal is revolutionizing college football


Sean Blevins headshot

Sean Blevins

The college football world has been turned upside-down over the past month with the opening of its transfer portal. This portal has essentially started a free agency period in college football now, which is amazing for fans.

Coaches will probably grow to hate the transfer portal — if they don’t already — but this portal is a great thing for players that decide to leave their respective program.

By deciding to transfer, it may seem like some players are giving up on their team, but that’s not the case, they’re just trying to find a better opportunity to showcase their talents. We often forget that athletes are people too and they are just doing what is best for them; a decision we need to accept.

The college football landscape has already changed dramatically in January. A myriad of quarterbacks have already announced their transfers: Jalen Hurts to Oklahoma, Justin Fields to Ohio State, Tate Martell to Miami, Kelly Bryant to Missouri, Brandon Wimbush to UCF, and Austin Kendall to West Virginia, and those are just the transfers that made headlines.

This portal has changed the college football world. Not only can teams recruit players whose names are in the transfer portal, but players can put their name in and decide not to transfer.

The first few weeks of college football free agency have been wild, with the elite programs only getting better. It’s almost a given that Clemson, Alabama and Ohio State will be fighting for the College Football title next year, which makes sense, the teams that win have the best chance to get the top talent that enters the transfer portal.

I’m all for the frenzy that this “free agency period” will bring to college football. Players can now get second chances, but will also need to think hard about their decisions to transfer, since a second misstep or transfer could waste their eligibility.

The prevalence of this portal also puts some of the onus on the NCAA to change some of its outdated rules, primarily the one that states that, barring a waiver, non-graduate transfers have to sit out a season. Athletes shouldn’t have to sit out a year for seeking out a better opportunity. This seems to be helping the bigger programs get richer and as an Ohio State fan, I have no problem with what has transpired so far. Quarterbacks are leading the charge and this could could change the whole landscape of recruiting, with teams electing not to recruit players out of high school and instead attempting to land ‘free agents’ to fill their empty spots.

This most likely will have a negative impact on smaller schools, as it seems as if players who dominated mid-major conferences may opt to leave and join more higher-profile universities. This has led to some coaches and schools to complain to the media about how these new transfer rules are causing players to run from competition, which is correct in a sense.

We don’t necessarily know if the prevalence of the transfer portal is good for college football, but if future off-seasons are anything like this one, we’re in for a treat.

Sean Blevins is a columnist. Contact him at [email protected].