Once again, Tulsa has pulled in a Power Five football transfer. Officially added, we should state.
In a tweet, Anthony Watkins announced late last month that he has committed to Tulsa and will continue his football career with the AAC school. The erstwhile Missouri running back had entered the NCAA transfer database in mid-April.
Late this past week, the Golden Hurricane confirmed the running back’s addition to the roster in a release. It’s expected that Watkins will have to sit out the 2020 season. That would leave him with three years of eligibility starting with the 2021 season.
Watkins was a three-star member of the Missouri football Class of 2019. Baylor and Texas Tech were the Texas native’s only other Power Five offers.
In his lone appearance as a true freshman, Watkins ran for 19 yards on six carries.
Watkins is the fourth Power Five transfer added by the Golden Hurricane this offseason.
Way back in January, Tulsa reeled in a trio of Power Five football transfers. Two were former Texas A&M football players — linebacker Brian Johnson and running back Deneric Prince — while one was from Oklahoma State — tight end Grayson Boomer.
Tulsa is coming off a 4-8 football campaign. That marked the third straight losing season for the Golden Hurricane since they won 10 games in 2016. In bringing back Montgomery for a sixth season, though, the program made it clear that it’s a bowl game or bust in 2020. Whether the pandemic alters that mindset remains to be seen.
The SEC has decided on the direction its football season will take. If there is a college football season, that is.
Following a meeting of the league’s presidents and chancellors, the SEC announced Thursday that it will go with a 10-game, conference-only schedule for the 2020 college football season. Originally scheduled to start the weekend of Sept. 5, the SEC has now pushed back the season’s kick-off back to Sept. 26. Additionally, the conference championship game will be played Dec. 19.
John Talty of al.com was the first to report the development. In confirming the report, the SEC added that each team will have two bye weekends during the regular season: one mid-season (different dates for different schools) as well as a league-wide bye the weekend of Dec. 12. That, of course, is the weekend prior to the league title game.
“This new plan for a football schedule is consistent with the educational goals of our universities to allow for the safe and orderly return to campus of their student populations and to provide a healthy learning environment during these unique circumstances presented by the COVID-19 virus,” commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement. “This new schedule supports the safety measures that are being taken by each of our institutions to ensure the health of our campus communities.”
It had been expected that the SEC would follow the ACC’s lead and add a plus-one to the schedule, a non-conference matchup that was previously on the schedule. Instead, the move means games such as LSU-Texas, South Carolina-Clemson, Florida-Florida State and Georgia-Georgia Tech are officially off the schedule for the 2020 season.
The 14-member SEC will play its six division rivals as well as the regularly-scheduled pair of crossover games. The additional crossover games that will fill out the 10-game conference slate will be announced at a later date.
The Big Ten and Pac-12 as previously announced that those leagues would be going to a conference-only schedule. That leaves the Big 12 as the only Power Five to have not signaled its scheduling intentions.
Below are all of the non-conference games for each SEC school that will be canceled:
- Alabama — USC, Georgia State, Kent State, UT-Martin
- Arkansas — Nevada, Notre Dame, Charleston Southern, Louisiana-Monroe
- Auburn — Alcorn State, North Carolina, Southern Miss, UMass
- Florida — Eastern Washington, South Alabama, New Mexico State, Florida State
- Georgia — Virginia, East Tennessee State, Louisiana-Monroe, Georgia Tech
- Kentucky — Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Eastern Illinois, Louisville
- LSU — UTSA, Texas, Rice, Nicholls State
- Mississippi State — New Mexico, NC State, Tulane, Alabama A&M
- Missouri — Central Arkansas, Eastern Michigan, BYU, Louisiana
- Ole Miss — Baylor, Southeast Missouri State, UConn, Georgia Southern
- South Carolina — Coastal Carolina, East Carolina, Wofford, Clemson
- Tennessee — Charlotte, Oklahoma, Furman, Troy
- Texas A&M — Abiline Christian, North Texas, Colorado, Fresno State
- Vanderbilt — Mercer, Kansas State, Colorado State, Louisiana Tech
Missouri is the latest Power Five football program to feel the wrath of the portal. Or, at least, a bit of a sting to its depth.
According to 247Sports.com, Antar Thompson has set up shop in the NCAA transfer database. That would serve as the defensive tackle’s first step in leaving the Missouri football team. But, certainly, not the last. Maybe.
Now, for what’s seemingly becoming a daily disclaimer when it comes to transfers.
As we’ve stated myriad times in the past, a player can remove his name from the portal and remain at the same school. At this point, though, other programs are permitted to contact a player without receiving permission from his current football program.
NCAA bylaws also permit schools to pull a portal entrant’s scholarship at the end of the semester in which he entered it.
The move to the portal comes three months after Thompson was arrested on a pair of charges, including resisting arrest. That charge is a felony. At some point after that, Thompson was removed from the Missouri football roster.
Coming out of the junior-college ranks, Thompson was a three-star Missouri football Class of 2018 signee. The 247Sports.com composite had him rated as the No. 11 JUCO defensive tackle. The 25-year-old Thompson actually signed the first time with Mizzou in 2013. Thompson, who has a young son, left the sport of football for a while before resurfacing at Highland Community College.
Since returning to the Missouri football program, Thompson has appeared in eight games.
Thompson graduated from Mizzou in May, which would allow him to play immediately at another FBS school in 2020. Provided he can get past his off-field issue, of course.
Illinois continues to make hay when it comes to the Power Five end of the football transfer portal.
On Twitter earlier this month, Khmari Thompson confirmed that he is leaving the Missouri football program. Or, at least, entering his name into the NCAA transfer database. The wide receiver also ran track at Mizzou.
Monday, Thompson used the same social media vehicle to announce his impending arrival with the Illinois football team.
“New Journey. New Family. New Number. New Opportunities,” the receiver wrote. “I’m ready for it all, can’t wait to wear that orange and blue.”
Thompson was a three-star member of the Missouri football Class of 2018. The Georgia native didn’t catch a pass for the Tigers.
Barring an unexpected development, Thompson would have to sit out the 2020 season if he transfers to another FBS school. He would then have two years of eligibility starting in 2021.
With the presumptive addition of Thompson, Illinois has now added eight transfers to its football roster this offseason. Six of those have come from Power Five programs.
In mid-March, ex-Alabama linebacker Christian Bell tweeted that he was moving on to the Illini. Shortly thereafter, we noted that an FCS All-American offensive lineman had opted to transfer into the Illinois football program. New Mexico State wide receiver Desmond Dan did the same. As did Miami wide receiver Brian Hightower. And Mississippi State offensive lineman Brevyn Jones as well in early May And Louisville defensive back TreSean Smith last week mid-May. And Cal defensive tackle Chinedu Udeogu that same month.
The sports world, including college football, had essentially screeched to a halt in the spring as countries around the world battled the coronavirus pandemic. As such, there was a dearth of college football news as the sport went into a COVID-induced hibernation. Slowly, though, the game is coming back to life. Hopefully.
That being said, we thought it might be fun to go back through the CollegeFootballTalk archives that stretch back to 2009 and take a peek at what transpired in the sport on this date.
So, without further ado — ok, one further ado — here’s what happened in college football on July 20, by way of our team of CFT writers both past and present.
(P.S.: If any of our readers have ideas on posts they’d like to read during this college football down-time, leave your suggestions in the comments section. Mailbag, maybe?)
THE HEADLINE: Big Ten could realign divisions yet again, according to PJ Fleck
THE SYNOPSIS: One year later, there’s been zero movement on any such change.
THE HEADLINE: After inheriting only 38 scholarship players, David Beaty hopeful Kansas is up to 70 in 2018
THE SYNOPSIS: That is still an astonishing number. 38. When the scholarship maximum at the FBS level is 85. Beaty, though, was fired four months later by the Jayhawks.
THE HEADLINE: Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze resigns after discovery of phone calls to escort service
THE SYNOPSIS: Two words: Burner. Phone. Freeze bounced back, though, as he was named as the head coach at Liberty in December of 2018.
THE HEADLINE: With Big 12 expansion oncoming, AAC commish Mike Aresco bracing for the inevitable
THE SYNOPSIS: The American braced for nothing as the expected poaching never transpired. Houston, Memphis and UCF were the AAC schools most connected to an expanded Big 12.
THE HEADLINE: Notre Dame in the College Football Playoff? Not in Gary Pinkel’s world
THE SYNOPSIS: The then-Missouri head coach kicked up quite the kerfuffle over the football independent. “They don’t have independents in NFL,” Pinkel stated.
THE HEADLINE: Jameis Winston on paying players: ‘free education… enough for me’
THE SYNOPSIS: Suffice to say, most college football players don’t share the former Florida State quarterback’s opinion on the subject.
THE HEADLINE: Bobby Petrino feels the pieces are in place for SEC, BCS title run in 2011
THE SYNOPSIS: The Razorbacks did tie a school record with 11 wins that season, so Petrino wasn’t far off.