Understanding that, yours truly is still not dissuaded. I’m ready to make my first ironclad proclamation of the season.
2023’s Heisman Trophy winner shall be . . .
. . . Sam Hartman.
I know, I know, the Middies didn’t put up much of a challenge for the Irish QB’s four TD tosses. But he shall have a plenty against Notre Dame’s schedule. Even against the more formidable foes such as Ohio State, Southern Cal, Pitt, Clemson and the Cardinals.
But there’s the peripheral positives for him to hoist that trophy in NYC in December.
His hair is perfect.
He toils in South Bend, where lesser lights have won the thing in that position. John Huarte, I’m talkin’ about you. Plus the Golden Boy on a horrid 2-8 Notre Dame team over such as, oh, Jim Brown of Syracuse.
*Not that he’s the best player in the land, mind you, even if his TD/ Pick ratio is 52/ 1. That would be the guy at Southern Cal. Not so fast my friend, not him. Zachariah Branch is The Dude.
As for my other picks on Week O, an appetizer of a slate less satisfying than one of those wedding receptions of your third cousin’s daughter, where they serve Ritz crackers and Cheese Whiz in the basement of St. Basilica of Verona.
The Irish prevailed. So too, Vandy and Southern Cal, though neither was especially dominant when they should have been.
I knew there was going to be an upset. There always is. Unfortunately, I predicticated the wrong one. Ohio’s Bobcats were not able to best the Aztecs of San Diego State.
And New Mexico State fell to UMass, which has been the most woeful squad in the land for a number of seasons now. Such that they have been dubbed UMess by Ryan McGee in his must read deliciously snarky weekly entry at espn dot com, “Bottom 10.”
So, 3-2. Admittedly a mediocre start for the year. But, hey, on the day I made those picks last week, the Feel Like Fahrenheit in my neck o’ the woods was 117. Hardly grilling brats in an asphalt parking lot weather. Meaning, I wasn’t feelin’ any autumnal vibe.
This week’s sure fire winners:
Florida @ Utah. Supposed Sure Thing hire Billy Napier learned success doesn’t come quite as easy in the league where they care more than they do at Louisiana. (Where the denizens of bayou country do care a lot, but you know what i’m sayin’.) Rookie year in Gainesville: 6-7 for the campaign and a huge 3-30 L to PAC4 power Oregon State in the Las Vegas Bowl. Napier surely wants to let what happens in Vegas stay in Vegas. Except that his new TPQB is one Graham Mertz, who formerly roamed the gridiron at Camp Randall. Where he was, let’s be generous here, woefully mediocre. Traveling to the Beehive State for a rematch with the itching for revenge Utes does not bode well for the Gators to get off on the good foot. Utah stings ’em.
Colorado @ Texas Christian. Big Noon Kickoff meet Coach Prime, the grande experimenter in Boulder, who is grabbing most all the college pigskin headlines. Prime hates turnovers. Except when it comes to roster makeover. One supposes there are so many new faces in the locker room since spring, they’re still wearing name tags. Well, all the hoopla might be in for a comeuppance in Fort Worth against the defending national runner up. Given the number of new faces Sonny Dykes sees across the room, nobody expects him to match his übersurprising 13-2 record of last season. But he’s got enough to school the Buffaloes.
North Carolina vs. South Carolina. This will be the 60 gridiron battle between the Carolinas. Yet it is a rivalry without any catch name, or trophy I’m aware of. How, uh, untraditional. Tar Heel coach Mack Brown is in the twilight of his career, don’t you think? He’s like 127 years old. But even the Energizer Bunny runs outta juice eventually. While Shane “Son of Frank” Beamer is an up and comer and beloved by Gamecock fans, especially after last campaign’s scintillating finish to the regular season. Ws over Tennessee and Clemson, both Top 5 at the time. In the Civil War, North beat South. In this
Battle for the ????, South beats North.
Ball State @ Kentucky. Yeah, so the usual joke I pull out when these Cardinals are on the slate is something about famous alum, that Letterman guy. Which lame-o attempts to bemuse are as stale as last week’s Wonder Bread. But here’s something else that has nothing whatsoever to do with the game. The Ball in the school’s name is to honor benefactors, the Ball Jar folks. One of the heirs of whom lives here in Louisville. Pretty damn dazzling. huh? As for the game, the only real question is whether this year’s UK TPQB Devin Leary will be better than last year’s, that guy whose name I’ve already forgotten? Won’t matter in this one. Cats roll.
Georgia Tech vs. Louisville. The Cardinals are 0fer the Fried Chicken Sandwich with a Pickle Kick Off Bowl. 0-2. The Cardinals are 0fer ever against the Ramblin’ Wreck. 0-2. The Yellow Jackets were on such a downward spiral last season after going 3-9, 3-7, 3-9, then starting 1-3, they parted ways with the HC, Coach Whosenameislongforgotten. Brent Key went 4-4, and Interim tag was removed from his status. GT’s new TPQB is Haynes King, late of Texas Aggies. Musta notta wanta lotta Bobby P. Jeff Brohm recruited him at Purdue. Will he outduel U of L TPQB Jack Plummer? No. Good Guys start 1-0.
— c d kaplan