Kids, man.

Where do they learn this stuff?

From coaches.

Save your faux outrage over Maalik Murphy opting out of Texas’ Playoff semifinal or Caleb Williams opting out of USC’s bowl game, or any other player skipping any other bowl game and remember: Players didn’t invent the opt-out game. The coaches invented — and perfected it — decades ago.

There are far too many examples to include, but here are 10 highly successful Power 5 coaches who opted out of a bowl game to further their career, starting with the GOAT.

1. Nick Saban

Michigan State had plenty of reasons to party in 1999.

In October, Tom Izzo’s basketball team began a season that ended with a national championship.

In December, Saban’s football team was 9-2, coming off a signature upset of No. 13 Penn State and preparing for a date with Steve Spurrier’s Florida Gators in the Citrus Bowl.

Saban opted out of coaching that game, however, after accepting the head coaching job at LSU, doubling his salary in the process.

Michigan State won anyway, with assistant Bobby Williams leading the way.

2. Mack Brown

Brown largely put UNC football on the map during his first stint in Chapel Hill. He won 10 games 3 times — and after the 3rd time in 1997, he left to become the head coach at Texas.

Brown opted out of the 1997 Gator Bowl. Carl Torbush coached the Tar Heels to a victory and became the Tar Heels’ next head coach.

3. Brian Kelly

In 2009, Kelly led Cincinnati to a 12-0 regular season, the Big East championship, a No. 4 ranking — and a spot in the prestigious Sugar Bowl against Tim Tebow and Florida.

Kelly decided to opt out, anyway, after accepting the head coaching job at Notre Dame.

History repeated itself 12 years later, when Kelly opted out of the Irish’s Fiesta Bowl game against Oklahoma State after being named LSU’s new head coach.

4. Urban Meyer

Does anybody spend more time talking about leadership, loyalty and accountability than Meyer? He literally wrote a book about it.

In 2004 — just his 2nd season — he led Utah to a 12-0 record, No. 5 ranking and invitation to the Fiesta Bowl.

Meyer didn’t stick around to complete the perfect season, though.

He opted out of the Fiesta Bowl after accepting the head coaching job at Florida. It worked out OK for the Utes, however. Interim Kyle Whittingham stepped in, won the bowl game and has been on the sidelines ever since — easily becoming the winningest coach in program history (162 and counting).

5. Lincoln Riley

Riley has enjoyed a meteoric rise through the coaching ranks, beginning as East Carolina’s innovative offensive wunderkind who undressed several higher-profile ACC programs.

In 2017, Riley was named the head coach at Oklahoma, hand-picked to take over for Bob Stoops.

Riley went 55-10 in 5 seasons, reaching the College Football Playoff 3 times, and producing 2 Heisman Trophy winners and very nearly a third (Jalen Hurts).

Oklahoma is a destination job, but apparently it’s not USC.

Riley accepted the head coaching job with the Trojans and skipped the Sooners’ Alamo Bowl game against Oregon. In an odd and fun twist, Stoops returned to coach that bowl game and added another victory to his Hall of Fame career.

6. Luke Fickell

Nobody won more games at Cincinnati  than Fickell — and that’s saying something considering Brian Kelly, Butch Jones and Mark Dantonio all used the program as a resume-builder, too.

Fickell finished with 57 wins in just 6 seasons and could have posted a 4th 10-win season in 2022.

But he opted out of the Fenway Bowl after transferring to Wisconsin — in time to help coach the Badgers in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl.

Can you imagine if a player wanted to do that? Fickell didn’t even need an NCAA waiver or threat of a lawsuit.

7. Matt Campbell

Campbell started his head coaching career at Toledo as a fill-in for Tim Beckman, who skipped the 2011 Military Bowl after leaving for Illinois.

Campbell ended his 5-year Toledo stint by following Beckman’s lead: Campbell opted out of the Boca Raton Bowl after accepting the head coaching job at Iowa State.

8. Eli Drinkwitz

No, Drinkwitz wasn’t Appalachian State’s coach the day the Mountaineers shocked Michigan — and the college football world in 2007.

But Drinkwitz was App State’s coach in 2019 — when the Mountaineers won a program-record 13 games.

Drinkwitz won 12 of them, but he opted out of the New Orleans Bowl after accepting the head coaching job at Missouri.

9. Bret Bielema

Bielema spent 7 years as Wisconsin’s head coach, smoothly and skillfully accepting the reins from legendary coach Barry Alvarez.

No surprise that they rank No. 1 and No. 2 in all-time program wins.

It was a bit of a surprise, however, when Bielema left Wisconsin after the 2012 regular season to become Arkansas’ head coach.

Bielema opted out of the Rose Bowl. The Rose Bowl! Alvarez stepped in, but the Badgers lost 20-14 to Stanford.

Interestingly enough, 2 years later, when Gary Andersen quit Wisconsin for Oregon State, Alvarez again stepped in to coach the bowl game. This time, the Badgers beat Auburn in the Outback Bowl.

10. Willie Taggart

Other coaches have opted out of 2 bowl games — but give Taggart some credit.

He opted out of back-to-back bowl games at 2 different schools.

In 2016, he led USF to its first 10-win season in program history. He cashed in and accepted the head coaching job at Oregon. The Bulls won the Birmingham Bowl without him to finish 11-2.

He spent 1 season with at Oregon — leading the Ducks to the Las Vegas Bowl.

He skipped that one, too, after being named the head coach at FSU.

He didn’t need an NCAA waiver, either. Imagine that.