The current landscape of bowl games in college football has drastically changed from the past, as players have now regularly opted out to pursue their NFL Draft dreams or enter the transfer portal and find their next home.
But, for Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Tanner Mordecai, that wasn’t an option.
Mordecai will suit up and play for the Badgers when they face off against the LSU Tigers in the ReliaQuest Bowl in Tampa, Florida on January 1st.
However, the group that he trots out with will look very different, as the Badgers will be without starting running back Braelon Allen, receivers Chimere Dike and Skyler Bell, and center Tanor Bortolini, leaving room for younger players to earn more reps.
How has Mordecai approached the changing landscape of bowl games?
“Yeah, I mean, the whole atmosphere around bowl games has definitely changed,” Mordecai said. “Obviously, it’s an opportunity for guys to get in the portal and go somewhere else or opt out for the next step in their life.”
“So it is a little bit different than maybe eight years ago? Eight, nine years ago. I mean, that’s just an interesting beast. I’ll be ready to go with whoever we got and I’m looking forward to it.”
Like other players, Mordecai has NFL aspirations and will use the bowl game as another performance to potentially prove himself one last time on the college platform.
“Of course, [it’s another opportunity to showcase my talents],” Mordecai said. “I think every game that I prepare for is an opportunity to showcase who I am, but I’m ready to play again with my guys.”
The Badgers will finish off their season with the bowl game against LSU, where they’re currently seen as 9.5-point underdogs, even without star quarterback Jayden Daniels suiting up.