Falcon Points

With bizarre D'Eriq King announcement, UH is playing the long game. Will it work?

Photo via Houston Cougar Football/Facebook

When the news broke on Monday, it made little sense. Sensational senior quarterback D'Eriq King and receiver Keith Corbin announced they were redshirting thanks to a new rule that allows players to do so after four games. It was confusing, in that some reports had King planning to transfer.

As of now, he says he is staying. But should he decide to transfer, he will be a hot property. On the surface, punting on the season seems bizarre. But if it really plays out this way and he is back at UH next season, the move makes a lot of sense.

Rough start

King is under his third coach in four years. When Dana Holgorsen came in, it seemed to be a godsend for the program, a successful Power Five coach with a knack for offense. But a tough early schedule that included games against Oklahoma and Washington State led to a 1-3 start. The killer was a loss at Tulane, a game in which UH blew a 21-point lead. Even with King and Corbin, the Cougars have little shot at anything more than a bottom feeder bowl game.

Does it make sense?

Make no mistake, the Cougars are tanking. It's not something we have seen in college football. But if King does return, it makes sense. Holgorsen has several high profile transfers sitting out this season, and the roster will be in much better shape in 2020. King can work on his craft for another year and come back ready to make a run at a conference title; maybe more. Or he can graduate and go to a bigger school. His accuracy was not the same this season; time off to work on it could help.

Bare cupboard

The Cougars collapse began last season, and culminated in an ugly bowl loss to Army, one that cost Major Applewhite his job. Other than King and a few quality players, Applewhite left a fairly bare cupboard, especially on the defensive side of the ball. The decline actually started in Tom Heman's final year, and got worse under Applewhite.

The Cougars are better than they were at the end of last season, but the record does not reflect it. Truthfully, they aren't good enough to compete for a conference title. So why not get some young players experience and come back strong next season?

Serious impact this year

With King, the Cougars might have been favored in three or four games left in the season. They would need five wins to get bowl eligible. As it stands? They will likely only be favored in one, against UConn.

They opened as 1 1/2 point favorites at North Texas; now they are seven point underdogs. Clayton Tune has some experience at quarterback, filling in when King got hurt last year. He won't be a disaster. But the Cougars will not be nearly as good.

People who bought season tickets on the Holgorsen hope can't be happy. This is not what they were sold on. It also means the Cougars better have some success in 2020, or Holgorsen's seat will get hot fast. He is likely headed for a losing season at a place that brags about firing coaches for eight win seasons.

Now that will have to happen in 2020, when they have games at Washington State and at BYU. But who knows how it will all play out? The bizarre move does not guarantee them anything. But despite how it looks on the surface, it does make some sense.

Welcome to tanking in college football. To quote Dodgeball, "That's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off."


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Born with a comic book in one hand and a remote control in the other, Cory DLG is the talent of Conroe's very own Nerd Thug Radio and Sports. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio show at www.nerdthugradio.com!

LAST WEEKEND

The Aggies continued their offensive expressions of dominance against South Carolina, who went home trying to figure out who they made so angry to cause a 30-6 game and how do they apologize? Georgia beat Auburn in a good game and has slowly crawled its way into the top 4 nationally giving the Bulldogs a shot at the playoffs as the season winds down. Alabama's season took a turn for the worst as state treasure Tua Tagovailoa's season ended abruptly and painfully Saturday with a dislocated hip. LSU continued its reign of terror over the SEC as they scored 58 against Ole Miss.

STARS OF LAST WEEKEND

Christopher Rodriguez Jr, Runningback of Kentucky: Nn a game Kentucky needed desperately their stud running back ran for 129 yards and two touchdowns on only 15 carries. Moby Dick couldn't be a bigger monster than this kid last weekend.

Georgia's Defense: Seriously they were playing Auburn and held them scoreless through three quarters of football and then after Auburn got a little momentum going, they were able to rally and get a couple of late stops in the game to help keep the lead late and secure the victory.

John Rhys Plumlee, quarterback of Ole Miss: OK obviously, Ole Miss lost and Joe Burrow continued his Heisman hunt with five passing touchdowns but I feel like if I don't act least acknowledge Plumlee's 212 yards and four, yeah, FOUR touchdowns on 21 carries then it's a crime against good football. So Burrow was great, but Plumlee was amazing.

WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND

This week Texas A&M takes on the role of heartbreakers looking to stop Georgia's low-key end around past Alabama in the rankings. Georgia got the biggest gift in the world with Tua going down and now the rankings aren't as in love with Saban's Crimson Tide as they were a week ago. The Aggies are on the road but they can ruin The Bulldogs perfect storm of a season. Also worth watching is West Carolina coming to Alabama, now before you say anything, hear me out. Alabama's defense hasn't been up to championship standards all year and the team has looked vulnerable for the first time in a while, heck they lost a regular season game! They need a good game to remind themselves that they are Alabama, this is either going to be a masterpiece in coaching and head games or actually tough to watch. LSU hosts Arkansas and unless the Razorback offense can hold the ball for 30 minutes themselves this game, the Tigers will probably hang 50 on them.

THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH

Isaiah Spiller, Runningback of Texas A&M: So this season Kellen Mond was supposed to be the leader but by now it looks like they need someone else on crucial downs and plays and a great running game can control the tempo of a game and keep the other team on their heels. Long drives, touchdowns to finish and then defensive stands are how A&M can bury the Bulldogs.

D'Andre Swift, Running back of Georgia: This is the week where they don't want mistakes or turnovers. All they want to do is go out there and in their last big test of the season just execute the plays and rack up the yards and the scores.

Joe Burrow, Quarterback of LSU: Honestly by now this is almost just personal, I like this kid and would like to see him win the Heisman. LSU is having a magical run and he's hitting 78.6% of his throws, he's making great reads and handling the rising pressure week after week as the spotlight intensifies.

Feel free to check out my brand-new comic book Another Day at the Office or buy a shirt from Side Hustle Ts where some proceeds help people struggling with cancer or listen to Nerd Thug Radio. Thoughts, complaints, events and comments can be sent to corydlg@gmail.com.

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