Would any normal person take a winning lottery ticket worth millions of dollars and burn it over an open flame? The answer is obvious. However, it wasn't so obvious when Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson decided to do something very similar.
In a normal world, going to college should only improve a person's ability to make a living. However, college football is no ordinary world, and Tyler Wilson's choice to remain at Arkansas has probably cost him some zeroes.
If Wilson would have entered the NFL Draft last season, he probably would have gone in the first round and found himself with a pretty decent contract. Right now he would be on an NFL roster somewhere, going over a game plan for Sunday. Instead, he is trying to heal up from another horrible loss.
At the time, the decision to stay at Arkansas didn't seem like a bad one for Wilson. The team was poised to have a great year, possibly contend for an SEC title and maybe even a national title.
As if the year wasn't starting tough enough, Wilson didn't do himself any favors by criticizing his own team in a game that he missed because of injury.
Sitting on the sidelines during the 52-0 Alabama beat down of the Razorbacks after a concussion suffered the previous week, Wilson formulated an opinion. He would then let the world know what that opinion was.
Al.com quoted Wilson as saying the following:
Do I feel like we at times gave up out there? Yeah. Absolutely. And as a leader, it sucks to see people not do their jobs and things go wrong. There have been a lot of things that have gone that way.
Call it frustration. Call it the results of a head injury. Whatever you call it, you can add "ill-advised" to the explanation of his comments. They didn't help his team or his status.
As far as doing his own job, Tyler Wilson hasn't been all that different than he was last season—at least statistically. His completion percentage is 60.6 compared to 63.2 last season. His quarterback rating is 149.8 in 2012, which is just above the 148.4 rating in 2011.
In nine games this season Wilson has thrown for 2526 yards, 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He is averaging 315.8 yards per game and 9.1 yards per attempt.
Compare that to 2011 when his per game average was 279.8 yards and he averaged 8.3 yards per attempt. On paper, it doesn't look like the kind of numbers that cause the draft stock of a quarterback to plummet.
However, if you look at another set of numbers on that page, you quickly understand the sinking value.
On the season Arkansas is 4-6 overall and 2-4 in the SEC. Saturday was another disappointing defeat for the Razorbacks, as they fell to No. 8 South Carolina 38-20.
Last season, Tyler Wilson led his team to an 11-2 record and a Cotton Bowl victory over Kansas State 29-16. He had the statistics, the momentum and the record in 2011, but in 2012 only his statistics remain, and those have been tainted by injury and insult.
So what will happen to Wilson when the NFL Draft comes around next year?
Look for a team that is looking for a bargain to snag the Arkansas quarterback. Wilson is still a very talented player, and while he might not go in the first round, he would be a bargain in any other round.
There are a lot of things that have happened to the Razorbacks this season, and you have to believe those hard lessons have only helped forge Wilson into a much better leader.
In life it isn't the mistakes a person makes that define them, it's what a person does after those mistakes that proves who they are.
Look for Wilson to land on his feet somewhere in the NFL. Sure, it might be minus a few zeroes, but he will have a chance to make those up.