After some reported "miscommunication" with the Texas Tech coaching staff, quarterback Baker Mayfield is transferring.
Where he will end up is to be determined.
On Thursday, Danny Davis of the Austin American-Statesman reported that Mayfield is planning to enroll at Oklahoma in January and join the Sooners as a walk-on quarterback—just as he did at Texas Tech.
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, however, told the Sports Animal later that day that he hasn't pursued any transfer quarterbacks, as tweeted by ESPN's Jake Trotter.
Just now on the @sportsanimal OU coach Bob Stoops said the Sooners are happy with their QB situation, and haven't pursued any transfers— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) December 19, 2013
Trotter also tweeted that Oklahoma has not received permission—or sought permission, for that matter—to contact Mayfield. Nothing is preventing Mayfield from enrolling and walking on at Oklahoma, but the Sooners don't appear to be interested.
Even if that changes, the end result may not be worth it.
Per NCAA rules, Mayfield would still have to sit out a season if he transfers to Oklahoma (or any other FBS school). Furthermore, Big 12 rules state that if a player transfers within the conference, he or she will lose a year of eligibility. In other words, Mayfield would theoretically enter 2015 as a junior instead of a redshirt sophomore.
It's not uncommon for programs to "block" a player from immediately receiving a grant-in-aid to other conference schools. Unless Mayfield can get an exemption, this sounds like it would be more trouble than it's worth.
Here are some schools where Mayfield could transfer and possibly have a legitimate chance to play.
Rice was one of a handful of schools to actually offer Mayfield a scholarship out of Lake Travis High School. Quarterback Taylor McHargue is a senior this year, so the Owls will be going in another direction at that position in 2014, when Mayfield would have to sit.
Still, head coach David Bailiff saw something in Mayfield before, and he would probably have an opportunity to compete for playing time in 2015. Ball security was an issue for Mayfield, but he still won five games as a starter. That should warrant at least a look.
The Cougars also expressed interest in Mayfield coming out of high school. Starting quarterback Connor Halliday is a redshirt junior, so Wazzu will be looking at a new quarterback in 2015.
Mayfield would also be familiar with Washington State's offense, since Texas Tech's head coach Kliff Kingsbury was a former quarterback under Washington State coach Mike Leach.
Transferring to Washington State of the Pac-12 would also allow Mayfield to keep playing at a top-tier conference.
The Mustangs had some success with Texas transfer Garrett Gilbert, though they finished 5-7 in 2013. Freshman Neal Burcham, who started the final two games while Gilbert sat out with an injury, was so-so with two touchdowns and four interceptions.
Unless Burcham or someone else runs away with the job in 2014, Mayfield could have a chance to earn playing time. Also, SMU's passing game coordinator is Hal Mumme, the father of the Air Raid offense, of which coaches like Leach and Kingsbury are disciples.
Since SMU does not play Texas Tech on any future schedules, there shouldn't be a transfer issue.
If things don't work out with Oklahoma, Mayfield may be able to find a home with a coach who knows the Sooners well. Indiana's Kevin Wilson served as an offensive coordinator under Stoops from 2002 to 2010. The Hoosiers have yet to go bowling under Wilson, but they've been progressively better and ranked in the top 20 in scoring offense in 2013.
Indiana's quarterback depth is a bit crowded with Cameron Coffman, Nate Sudfeld and Tre Roberson. However, Coffman is a senior next year, and Sudfeld and Roberson will be juniors. Mayfield may have to wait his turn, but he could have a shot at landing the starting job down the road.
Consider this an off-the-radar destination.
The Falcons just hired Dino Babers from Eastern Illinois, where he led the Panthers to a quarterfinal appearance in the FCS playoffs. Babers has been in the coaching game a long time, including four years at Baylor under head coach Art Briles. In a recent Q&A with Sports Illustrated, Babers said Briles had the biggest impact on him as a coach.
Babers will probably have quarterback Matt Johnson for another two years, but the Texas connection to Briles and Baylor may be enough for Babers to give Mayfield a look.