There are a number of easy candidates to point to as far as the most underperforming or disappointing teams in 2019 but in terms of the top spot — or lowest one, depending on how you want to order things — it might be hard to top Houston in their first season under Dana Holgorsen.
The Cougars were expected to challenge for the AAC crown and be among the top Group of Five teams after luring their head coach over from West Virginia with a hefty Power Five-caliber contract this offseason. Though they went just 8-5 a year ago, there was plenty of talent returning on the roster and there was even a budding dark horse Heisman campaign for starting quarterback D’Eriq King.
Things have not turned out that way however as UH has sunk to 3-6 on the season after getting trounced by UCF on Saturday and it will be an uphill battle to even make it to a bowl game. King sat out the game, as he has for the last several at Houston given that he curiously decided earlier this year to announce he was redshirting with the intention of returning to the team in 2020.
Only you’re not going to believe this, but it appears the signal-caller might not be back with the Cougs current dumpster fire after all.
Per a report from Yahoo! Sports on Saturday night:
There’s little chance that King will return to Houston, as he’s expected to enter the transfer portal in the postseason and garner interest from top programs like LSU, Georgia and Florida State. (Former Houston OC Kendal Briles is the offensive coordinator at FSU, and wherever Briles is coaching next year would loom as a potential landing spot for King.) Don’t discount LSU, which will need to replace Heisman favorite Joe Burrow.
Such a move is hardly unexpected, as it was widely speculated on as soon as it was announced that King was going through such a move. He should have one season remaining as a grad transfer in 2020 and is coming off his last full season under center having thrown for 36 touchdowns and rushed for 14 more. While he’s not quite Jalen Hurts-caliber coming to the grad transfer market, he’s certainly up there and a good reason why programs like the Tigers and Seminoles seem likely to gauge his interest in joining them next year.
Thanks to a Nebraska football player, we won’t have to go through an entire day without a portal post. Hurray?
Late this past week, Tony Butler announced in a very classy, heartfelt post on Twitter that he will be entering the NCAA transfer database. The move would serve as the first step in a departure from the Nebraska football program.
The cornerback could also return to the Nebraska football team if he so desires.
That said, Butler would be leaving the Cornhuskers as a graduate transfer. The 2020 season will be his final year of collegiate eligibility.
“In 2016, I came here as an 18-year-old kid lost and looking for a home. Nebraska, you became my home and brought me in with open arms,” Butler wrote. “This place became very special. …
“Nebraska, you have done an incredible job at helping a lost boy become a man. My family and I are forever grateful for this opportunity.”
A three-star 2016 signee, Butler was rated as the No. 22 player regardless of position in the state of Ohio. He took a redshirt as a true freshman.
The past three seasons, Butler played in 27 games. Four of those appearances came in 2019, which was likely the trigger for the decision to transfer. Most of the games played came on special teams.
Butler is the third player to leave the Nebraska football program in a week.
Linebacker Pernell Jefferson, a three-star 2016 signee, entered the portal Wednesday. Days before that, offensive lineman John Raridon decided to retire from football to pursue a career in architecture.
The Florida Gators football program is the latest to benefit from Ye Olde Transfer Portal.
In late November, Justin Shorter took the initial step in transferring from Penn State by entering the NCAA database. Two months to the day later, the wide receiver took to Twitter to announce that he has committed to continuing his collegiate playing career as part of the Florida Gators football team.
As of yet, UF has not announced Shorter’s addition to the roster.
A five-star member of the Nittany Lions’ 2018 recruiting class, Shorter was rated as the No. 1 receiver in the country; the No. 1 player at any position in the state of New Jersey; and the No. 8 recruit overall on 247Sports.com‘s composite board. Only defensive end Micah Parsons was rated higher than Shorter in Franklin’s class that year.
Limited to four games as a true freshman in large part because of injuries, Shorter caught three passes for 20 yards in 2018. In 11 games this season, Shorter caught 12 passes for 137 yards.
Barring the unexpected, Shorter will have to sit out the 2020 season to satisfy NCAA transfer bylaws. He would then have two seasons of eligibility beginning in 2021.
As is the case across the entire world of sports, college football is reacting to the devastating news involving Kobe Bryant.
Sunday morning, Bryant was one of nine people killed — initial reports had the number at five — in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on his way to a travel basketball event. The former NBA superstar, who retired from the sport following the 2015-16 season, was 41.
Adding to the devastation, one of Bryant’s daughters, who was also a player on her father’s travel basketball team, 13-year-old Gianna Maria Bryant, was killed in the crash as well.
Kobe and Gianna are survived by wife/mother Vanessa and three daughters/sisters. The oldest is 17, the youngest will turn one in June.
In the hours after the heartbreaking news was confirmed, the world of college football mourned the passing of Kobe Bryant. Below is just a sampling.
Ever since California’s SB 206 passed last September, more than a dozen states followed with their own versions of the Golden State’s Fair Pay to Play Act, to go along with a number of concurrent pushes in Washington. No matter your stance on the pay-for-play issue or what side of the political aisle you sit on, it seems we can all agree that politicians are not the people to solve this issue, and yet the NCAA kept dragging its feet, and dragging its feet, and draaaaggging its feeetttt and, well, here we are. And Sandra Scott‘s bill a large reason why.
Scott, a state representative in Georgia (D-Rex) has introduced HB 766, a type of compromise bill that will make no one happy.
The appeal, at least from the outside, of California’s SB 206, is that it would allow college athletes to capitalize on their popularity during the lifetime of that popularity while costing the school very little money, since the money would come from third-parties.
Scott’s bill does neither. In fact, it goes out of its way to do the opposite.
According to HB 766, Georgia would require its schools to set aside a third of all monies earned in postseason play into an escrow account, which would then be given to players upon graduation.
Read for yourself below.
To recap, Scott’s bill would cost the schools millions of dollars and also shut out a lot of the players who generate those millions. Why should, say, Jake Fromm be barred from having a hand in the money he produced for Georgia just because he went pro?
In short, Scott’s (well-meaning) bill would anger both schools and athletes while continuing the overly paternalistic attitudes adults have adopted toward college athletes that applies to no other demographic in college sports.