College football has come to a crossroads with many possible paths, all of which are roads less traveled. Players have seized their opportunity to stand up to one of America's most powerful institutions and demands have been made. The PAC-12 started by asking for everything and now enough high-profile players from other Power Five conferences have gotten involved that they now have a movement that could reshape college football as we know it.
So what the hell is the NCAA supposed to do now? What do colleges do? What do these huge, money-making conferences do? One option is let these high-profile players walk away. College football fans are already locked in to watching an inferior product with lesser athletes, so losing stars should not hurt them. If Trevor Lawrence had left Clemson this winter, another recruit would be there waiting.
It appears that the NCAA is in denial that there is anything they can do besides protect the status quo. College football players playing for free is apparently so integral to amateur sports that if something happened to it, the entire system would collapse. So it's time to ask who benefits from college football and see if they can help.
Like the NFL, for instance. With this movement towards player empowerment the league could drop the age of eligibility and invest in a real farm system. Or, since the NFL has used college football as its feeder system for the better part of a century and it hasn't cost them a dime, maybe it's time they had some skin in the college game.