Surprise! Andrew Luck, the All-World QB with the Stanford Cardinal, shocked citizens of the college football world by announcing today that he will remain in school and bypass the 2011 NFL Draft.
Architectural Design is more important to him than being the No. 1 pick in the first round or receiving millions of dollars now rather than later.
Seriously, the announcement comes as a shock to many who thought it was a guarantee that he was coming out.
Obviously, the Carolina Panthers are the losers with this decision since they have the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, but who is/are the winners?
Let's take a look.
You would think that the Stanford Cardinal football team is thrilled to have Andrew Luck back for another season.
They may not have their head coach back, but they will have their stud QB back.
It wasn't that long ago when Stanford was the door mat of the Pac-10.
Back during the 2006 season, the Cardinal went 1-11 overall and 1-8 in conference play. Then Jim Harbaugh came along and, well, you know the rest.
Jim Harbaugh is making the rounds listening to job offers from Miami to San Francisco to Denver.
Now that Andrew Luck has announced that he's staying for another season in Palo Alto, perhaps this gives Harbaugh a reason to stay at Stanford for at least one more season.
Jimmy Clausen fell into the third round before finally getting drafted by the Carolina Panthers. He was expecting to be picked up in the first round, but reality set in hard and fast.
The Panthers were the worst team in the NFL in 2010, and Clausen was thrown in the mosh pit earlier than expected. With all the injuries and John Fox's lame duck season around him, Clausen's play was less than spectacular.
Carolina was expected to take Luck with the first pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Now that Luck has said "no" to the NFL in 2011, the Panthers will look for the next best pick.
Speaking of the next best pick, Nick Fairley of the Auburn Tigers is a top selection to become the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft if he chooses to leave early.
If you haven't seen Fairley play, then watch the BCS Title game against the Oregon Ducks. He will leave his mark guaranteed.
Jake Locker was thought to be the No.1 pick of the 2010 NFL Draft if he decided to come out, but like Luck this season, he decided to stay another season.
Some argue his stock has dropped because of that decision, but now he's the top QB coming out of the Pac-10 in 2011.
Ryan Mallett is a beast in the SEC, and the junior has not yet announced his intentions to enter the 2011 NFL Draft. Once with the Michigan Wolverines, Mallett decided to transfer to Arkansas to play under the tutelage of head coach Bobby Petrino.
Mallett didn't look very sharp in the Sugar Bowl against Ohio State, but he is still a lock to go in the first round. He may be the first QB to be taken in the 2011 NFL Draft now that Luck is staying put.
Why is Drew Brees a winner in the Andrew Luck decision? Simple—he doesn't have to worry about facing him if the Carolina Panthers drafted him in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Seriously, I'm sure Brees wouldn't lose sleep if Carolina drafted Luck, but he already has Matt Ryan to face twice a year. Luck, whenever he does join the NFL, will become a serious competitor at QB.
Matt Ryan too is a winner in the Luck decision, and for the same reasons as Drew Brees (see previous slide).
However, for Ryan, he's already the new sensation in the NFC South, and he soon will have to fight off Josh Freeman of Tampa as well as Drew Brees. He didn't need Luck as the fourth macho QB in the division.
Josh Freeman is exceeding expectation across the NFL board in Tampa. Along with brash relative newcomer head coach Raheem Morris, Freeman should be happy that Luck decided to stay in college one more season.
Freeman has a bright future ahead of him and if Tampa continues to get better, you can bet that he will enjoy the spotlight. Luck being in the same conference could have taken some of the limelight.
Perhaps Andrew Luck is a winner in this decision.
He wants to earn his Bachelor's degree in Architectural Design, and is scheduled to do so in the Spring of 2012.
Remember when college football players actually stayed through their senior seasons and graduated with a degree?
There have been a few that stayed through their senior seasons—some did well when they finally came out, and some did not.
A few who stayed—Peyton Manning, Matt Leinart, and Sam Bradford.