<
>

Firing up the college football trade machine

play
Ex-Texas A&M QB Allen transferring to Houston (2:37)

ESPN college football reporter Adam Rittenberg discusses Kyle Allen's move to Houston and what it says about the job Tom Herman is doing with the Cougars. (2:37)

Former Texas A&M quarterback Kyler Murray transferred to Oklahoma last month, and this week former Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight announced he'd become an Aggie.

So Oklahoma and Texas A&M essentially traded quarterbacks via transfers. We could wring our hands over this, or we could celebrate college players seeking their manifest destinies as all Americans should.

Or -- OR! -- we could throw out four other college football trades that will never, ever happen. They could be an assortment with varying degrees of irrelevance and irreverence, which you could chew up, spit out, or fume over our implications.

Sounds like a perfect way to occupy the days in advance of the national title game on Monday.


1. Alabama trades LB/DE Tim Williams to Baylor for QB Jarrett Stidham: This is perfect: Two elite teams trading hugely talented backups to address weaknesses! Williams was listed No. 3 on the Crimson Tide's Cotton Bowl depth chart, but he was a high-impact guy against Michigan State. A pass-rush specialist, Williams had only 19 tackles this season, but 10½ were sacks and 12½ came for a loss. Think about that ratio. And his skill set would be a better fit in the pass-happy Big 12. Heck, after the Tide crushed the Spartans 38-0, Williams said, "We thrive on guys who like to throw the ball." So welcome to the Big 12! As for Stidham, he came off the bench for Baylor this year and played well as a true freshman, passing for 12 touchdowns and just two interceptions. You might have noticed that QB play has been Alabama's one question mark of late, and Stidham would finally give the Tide a multi-year starter who is more than a game manager. Baylor can spare him because Seth Russell will be back in 2016 and Chris Johnson looked like at least an adequate backup. And, really, we're not convinced that Art Briles doesn't just mold QBs out of the dirt surrounding McLane Stadium.

2. Penn State trades WR Chris Godwin to Pittsburgh for OT Adam Bisnowaty: Penn State surrendered 83 sacks over the past two years, including 39 this year. That many sacks can turn an all-world talent at quarterback into mush, which is often what we saw from Christian Hackenberg, who is now off to the NFL while his limbs are still attached. The Nittany Lions are desperate for offensive linemen, and Bisnowaty was first-team All-ACC. He'd suddenly give Penn State a solid tackle tandem with Andrew Nelson. So the Nittany Lions giving up their best receiver, a second-team All-Big Ten selection, wouldn't feel so bad. Meanwhile, the Panthers' passing game was mediocre, averaging less than 200 yards per game this season, and they must replace leading receiver Tyler Boyd, who announced his intention to enter the NFL draft a year early. Further, with the transfer of QB Chad Voytik, Pitt will be all-in with Nate Peterman, who is going to need some weapons. Finally, these two programs could use a little conviviality, considering they will renew their once-bitter rivalry this season after a 16-year hiatus.

3. Notre Dame trades QB Malik Zaire and a national title to Oregon for Phil Knight: Oregon needs a quarterback -- again -- but what it really needs is one of those elusive national titles. The Ducks have done everything but win one of those coy little things. Meanwhile, the Fighting Irish have two good quarterbacks with starting experience in Zaire and DeShone Kizer, and, with 11 recognized national titles, they have plenty of those to spare. While Notre Dame is hardly lacking in resources, Knight, Nike's founder, could boost things to a whole new level. You can bet Irish coach Brian Kelly could think of plenty of football toys and trinkets he'd like to see constructed or upgraded, including his and his staff's salaries. Knight certainly could help make some of that "Kelly to the NFL?" talk go away. Of course, he'd probably want Notre Dame, which recently made a lucrative switch in apparel contracts from Adidas to Under Armour, to get on board with Nike. Landing the big Notre Dame contract would be the allure here for Knight, and presidential candidate Carly Fiorina already showed us this bowl season that opportunism comes before loyalty to one's alma mater.

4. Iowa trades coach Kirk Ferentz to Alabama for Lane Kiffin: Ferentz's and Kiffin's stocks haven't been higher in a long time, yet both clearly need a change of scenery. Until this season, the Hawkeyes were eager to run Ferentz out of Iowa City, but his contract buyout would have been too expensive. Until this season, Kiffin was mostly viewed as the college football coaching nexus of Eddie Haskell and Kim Kardashian. Both, however, had great seasons. Yet can such good fortune last without the spark of relocation? We say no way. Kiffin let loose in Iowa would become a "Field of Memes," likely to break Twitter. He also could help Iowa fans loosen up. For instance, he could explain to them the Stanford band is hilarious and that their booing of that upstanding crew of musicians at the Rose Bowl made them seem like the exact thing the Stanford band was making fun of. Then imagine the wonderful marriage of Ferentz and Nick Saban. For one, Ferentz, an old offensive line maestro, would run the ball up the middle over and over again, which would make Saban happy. Secondly, these two laconic grumps could communicate almost entirely through dour expressions and guttural noises. How much fun would that be?