Transfer Portal Nightmare Potential Scenarios: Avery Johnson to Texas A&M

Dec 28, 2023; Orlando, FL, USA; Kansas State quarterback Avery Johnson (2) runs for the touchdown against NC State in the second quarter at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

The post-Spring transfer portal window is coming, and many voices around college football are warning folks that a storm is coming.

Being of Midwestern descent, I know that anytime the storm sirens come on, it’s time to get to the cellar or take cover in a small room in the innermost section of my home. Well, it’s time to start doing the same thing in preparation for the upcoming portal window, as there’s a good chance some of your most beloved players could be on their way out the door, window, or whatever opening they can find.

Josh Pate has warned us on multiple occasions that something big is coming to college football, and it could be what finally sparks change in the sport. So, what kind of things would we have to see to make the Kadyn Proctor Saga forgettable? We’re talking about the stuff of nightmares for some fanbases.


So, in the spirit of the season, I decided to paint some hypothetical nightmare scenarios out of jest with Big 12 superstars at the center. Today’s scenario?

Avery Johnson to Texas A&M

After losing offensive coordinator Collin Klein to Texas A&M after the 2023 season, it appeared that the Aggies might’ve been hoping to get Avery Johnson as part of a package deal.

Well, it didn’t happen as Johnson reassured K-State fans that he wasn’t going anywhere and is locked in with Chris Klieman and the Cats.

But that was before Texas A&M struck a multi-million dollar deal to make Johnson one of the most valuable NIL players in the country. We’re talking truly life-changing money. So, after much deliberation and talking with his coaches and family, the Kansas native follows in his OC’s footsteps and leaves home for a much, much bigger paycheck and you had to find out about it on social media.


“…This is the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make in my life, but after talking with my coaches and parents, I will enter the transfer portal with three years of eligibility remaining,” part of Johnson’s announcement reads.

After the initial shock and awe wears off, Kansas State fans realize that there is still a football season to be played, and they have to find an answer at quarterback. Despite some intriguing names becoming available, the Wildcats aren’t able to lure the right fit into Manhattan, and they’re left to rely on senior Washburn transfer Kellen Simoncic as the starter.

Before losing Johnson, K-State was listed as a co-favorite to win the Big 12 alongside Utah (+350), but can they make it happen without their dynamic playmaker?

A Stagnant Offense Dooms the Cats to a Middling Finish

After a 44-3 win over UT-Martin in the season opener, it appears that Kansas State is going to be just fine offensively with DJ Giddens leading the way. Simoncic also has a good game, tossing a pair of touchdowns before taking the bench to let Jacob Knuth get some work.

Heading into Week 2, the Wildcats are feeling pretty good about things, but a 20-17 win over a Tulane team gutted by the transfer portal and graduation raises a few red flags around town. Giddens is able to keep the offense from being totally ineffective, but the offensive line’s lack of experience definitely shows against better competition.

In Week 3, K-State fans start to worry after a Top 15 Arizona team comes into Bill Snyder Family Stadium and wins convincingly behind big performances from Noah Fifita and Tetairoa McMillan, 34-17. The loss completely shakes up the expectations around Chris Klieman’s team.

With all kinds of controversy surrounding the quarterback position, the Wildcats head into Provo as just a 6.5-point favorite, and thanks to another big game from Giddens, they scrape together a 23-20 win and get back home with a 3-1 record and a 1-0 mark in Big 12 play. However, Oklahoma State comes to Manhattan the following week and gives K-State back-to-back home losses for the first time since 2021.

At 3-2 (1-1), Kansas State falls out of the Top 25 before consecutive road trips to Colorado and West Virginia. The Wildcats split road trips to Colorado and West Virginia before returning back home to take on Kansas. The Jayhawks, who are rolling under a healthy Jalon Daniels, finally break the streak and take down Kansas State, and in Bill Snyder Family Stadium, no less. At 4-4 (2-3), this is the low point for the Wildcats, as they’ve now lost three of their last four games and are forced to sit Simoncic and give Jacob Knuth a chance to start.

After a much-needed win over Houston, K-State gets a bye week to get straight. With wins over Arizona State and Cincinnati in the next two weeks, they get to 7-4 and have some momentum heading into Farmageddon. Unfortunately, they can’t get it done on the road, falling to 7-5 on the year.


Johnson Leads Aggies to Nine Wins, Bowl Victory Over K-State

While things all but collapse in Manhattan, Avery Johnson’s reunification with Collin Klein proves a great move for both, as his unique skillset gives Mike Elko’s squad a dynamic offense to go with a well-equipped defense. After an upset win over Notre Dame to begin the year, Johnson and the Aggies sprint out to a 5-0 start before hosting Missouri.

With losses to Missouri and LSU in a matter of three weeks, it looks like things are about to come off the rails, but Johnson is able to hold the Aggies together and lead them to wins over South Carolina and New Mexico State to get to 8-2. Unfortunately, they fall at Jordan-Hare and head into their matchup with Texas, with their dreams of appearing in the SEC Title game now lost. Quinn Ewers and the Longhorns give A&M one more loss to bring them to 8-4 on the year, but in Mike Elko’s first year, fans are feeling pretty good. With Elko at the helm and a contingent of young players looking to prove something, the Aggies are able to avoid mass opt-outs and carry the majority of their team into a Texas Bowl matchup with… Kansas State.

There, Avery Johnson lights up his former team for 400 all-purpose yards and five touchdowns in a 38-21 win for the Aggies, moving them to nine wins on the year. While there arent any hard feelings between Johnson and his old teammates, the stellar performance further rubs salt into the wound, making many wonder: What could’ve been?

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