Have Colts Clinched Suck for Luck Sweepstakes? What It Means for the Draft

Adam OdekirkContributor IINovember 13, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 13: Dan Orlovsky #6  of the Indianapolis Colts fumbles the ball after being hit by Jeremy Mincey #94 of the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 13, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Jaguars won 17-3.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Alright Indy, we get it. If the "Suck for Luck" sweepstakes were a horse race, you would be Secretariat at the Belmont, over 30 lengths ahead of everyone else.

The Colts have also forced the league to seriously consider naming the Most Valuable Player trophy after Peyton Manning, as it's now so painfully clear that he is the most important player to his team that it is no longer fun to debate.

Looking ahead at the schedule, there is little chance that the Colts will muster the two wins needed to tie with Minnesota, Miami, Carolina and St. Louis and so as Adam Schefter has tweeted:

"The Colts are just about on the clock."

The million dollar question for the NFL now is what will happen with the first overall pick of 2012?

The uncertain status of Peyton Manning will have many Colts fans begging for the team to take Andrew Luck as an insurance policy that guarantees success for the franchise in the real "Post-Manning Era."

Can you blame them? If this is an indication of what Colts football will become when No. 18 truly hangs up his spikes, then anything that can be done to guard against that must be done.

However, the other side of the debate has equal merit and their course of action is to have the Colts acquire a king's ransom for the first overall pick and load up the team for a final Super Bowl push with Peyton.Why risk the possibility that Luck might be a bust when the team already has arguably the greatest quarterback ever still able to play no matter how hobbled he may be?

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 13:  Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts watches the game action in the Colts 17-3 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 13, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The debate may begin in earnest now that the Colts have dropped to 0-10 and the Dolphins have scored their second victory, and both sides make compelling arguments.

Is something being overlooked, though? It just feels like the Colts have been in the position to draft a surefire franchise quarterback out of Stanford before. In fact, if memory serves, the best laid plans of the Colts did not take into account the prospect himself.

That prospect was John Elway and he decided that he was simply not interested in playing for the Colts and forced a trade. Could Andrew Luck be headed for the same fate?

If the NFL is lucky, it won't matter because Andrew Luck can, and should, decide to stay at Stanford for one more season.

There is no good that can come from Luck being drafted by the Colts and sitting behind Manning. The eventual departure of Manning would almost certainly be messy and tarnish the legacy of a player the Colts owe a lot to and, no matter how Luck's career turns out, there will always be the memory of how it started.

Now assume that the Colts make a trade for the pick. The trade may result in short-term success for the Colts and could net another Super Bowl victory for Manning, which would be richly deserved. What then becomes of the Colts after Manning rides off into the sunset?

It could be that the team was prepared and did receive a cache of draft picks in the trade that they used wisely to build with, but more likely that the trade was made for short-term players who would be likely to leave after Manning retired.

Maybe this is not the first time that a player has held so much power in his hands before even starting his NFL career, but with all the madness that Luck has caused this season, maybe he has the power to teach a lesson.

That lesson would be for every team to worry about the season that they are playing, and not the draft that is coming the next year. Luck can teach that lesson by deciding to stay at Stanford and chase a national championship, showing that assuming something is going to happen gets you nowhere.

Perhaps then, next season will come around and every team will have learned that they cannot control anything but their own fate on the field. Then if all goes well, a team will emerge as the right landing spot for the once-in-a-decade prospect.