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Houston's D'Eriq King. Photo: Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Houston senior QB D'Eriq King will not play the remainder of the season so that he can redshirt and preserve his final year of eligibility, the school announced yesterday. Senior WR Keith Corbin will do the same.

Why it matters: This is an unprecedented decision that takes advantage of a rule change implemented last year that allows players to take a redshirt after participating in up to 4 games in a season.

  • This change has benefited players (freshmen can get game experience without forfeiting a year) and coaches (can get a look at young players or use them as late-season injury replacements without burning their redshirt).
  • But there's also been an unintended consequence: high-profile upperclassmen transferring to retain a year of eligibility (think Kelly Bryant, who departed Clemson for Missouri).

The intrigue: King's situation is completely different. Unlike Bryant, who transferred after Trevor Lawrence took his job, King is firmly entrenched as Houston's starter and easily the team's best player.

The big picture: It's unclear if King, who set the American Athletic Conference record with 50 TD last season, will return to Houston next season or enter the transfer portal and play his final season elsewhere.

  • If it's the former, it would appear that Houston head coach Dana Holgorsen is playing chess while everyone else is playing checkers — recruiting his own players to bail on a disappointing season (currently 1-3) in hopes of doing something special next year.

And if it's the latter, and King is in a different uniform next year? Add him to the growing list of superstar QBs who have transferred in recent years. It's crazy...

  • The last 2 Heisman winners: Baker Mayfield (Texas Tech to Oklahoma) and Kyler Murray (Texas A&M to Oklahoma).
  • 3 of the top 4 Heisman favorites: Joe Burrow (Ohio State to LSU), Jalen Hurts (Alabama to Oklahoma) and Justin Fields (Georgia to Ohio State).

Go deeper ... By the numbers: Week 5 of college football

Go deeper

4 hours ago - Health

Fauci: Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in U.S.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, cautioned on Sunday that the COVID-19 Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in the United States.

Driving the news: Fauci, Biden's chief medical adviser, told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" that U.S. officials will meet with colleagues from South Africa later on Sunday to try to determine the severity of the cases, as countries scramble to learn more about the variant.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Dems fear supply-chain blame

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As supply-chain kinks drive up prices and disrupt holiday shopping, Democrats are scrambling to show action and deflect blame.

Why it matters: With their party controlling both the White House and Capitol, vulnerable Democrats worry supply-chain snafus will hurt them in next year's midterms.

6 hours ago - World

Scoop: Germany urges Congress not to sanction Putin’s pipeline

Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

The German government has urged members of Congress not to sanction the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, arguing that doing so will "weaken" U.S. credibility and "ultimately damage transatlantic unity," according to documents obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: At a time when roughly 100,000 Russian troops are massing at its border, Ukraine views Nord Stream 2 as an existential threat to its security. The pipeline would circumvent Ukrainian transit infrastructure and deliver Russian gas directly to Germany, eliminating one of the last deterrents Ukraine has against an invasion.