Yesterday, I woke up to a few tweets explaining that the Texas vs. Nation Game (which was called The NFLPA Game in 2011) has been cancelled until 2013. The one-year hiatus is claimed to be the result of stadium construction. Besides Pro Days and the NFL Scouting Combine, college football all-star games are excellent venues for graduating seniors to show off their skills in front of NFL scouts. This coming off-season, agents will not be focusing on placing their clients in the Texas vs. Nation Game, but there may be some worthy alternatives.
Historically, the Senior Bowl has provided scouts with the best senior talent. The Senior Bowl is followed by the Shrine Game. The Texas vs. Nation Game, was known as the third best option, pitting some of the best seniors from Texas against seniors from the rest of the United States. Neil Stratton of InsideTheLeague.com believes that an Arizona-based all-star game co-owned by former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach could take the place of Texas vs. Nation Game as the next best opportunity for players not invited to the Senior Bowl or the Shrine Game. Last year, the Arizona game was called the Eastham Energy College All-Star Game, but with a new sponsor (the Casino Del Sol resort), expect a new name for the game.
Further, Justin VanFulpen, who has experience working for the Texas vs. Nation Game, tweeted that there will be a new college football all-star game announcement this Friday. Perhaps that new game will be separate from the aforementioned Arizona game and will actually be a more desirable destination for college seniors. Time will tell.