Welcome to the Monday Skull Session.
I have to smile when JK Dobbins scores touchdowns. Takes me back to hearing Gus Johnson say “JK ALL DAY” on the 2018 and 2019 FOX broadcasts.
If he plays the Ravens vs. Steelers would have called, he would have made that call a few times, including during this touchdown run:
Guess who’s back @Jkdobbins22
— Ohio State Soccer (@OhioStateFB) December 11, 2022
Let’s have a good Monday, shall we?
A HEISMAN MOMENT. When I started to Eleven warriors, I didn’t think I’d have to watch Desmond Howard’s words and actions so closely, but man, he says and does a lot of things that leave you scratching your head. Not true?
By now you may have seen Saturday’s latest “Desmond Howard is at it again” moment, but if you haven’t already, I’ll give a quick rundown.
At the Heisman Trophy ceremony, when Stroud was introduced as the only returning 2021 finalist, he took the stage and shook hands with the first two former winners on the podium before passing Howard. Our own Josh Poloha went viral with the clip.
While being introduced at the Heisman Trophy ceremony, CJ Stroud shook hands with the first two Heisman winners on the podium. He stopped at the third man, who happened to be Desmond Howard. pic.twitter.com/eNXxPxpa5K
— Josh Poloha (@JorshP) December 11, 2022
There are two ways to look at this situation. The first is that Stroud dismissed Howard by not shaking his hand as he walked by, and the second is that Howard deliberately turned away from Stroud in the direction of Robert Griffin III so that he would not interact with the Ohio State quarterback while he walked on stage.
Ask RGIII, and he’d probably say the first outcome happened. At least that would be apparent from his reaction on stage and tweet later in the evening.
— Wade (@Wade_B_) December 11, 2022
— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) December 11, 2022
Ask any Ohio State fan in Josh’s Twitter entries or on Saturday’s social media, and they’d dispute the second outcome.
Ask me, and I’ll tell you I have no idea what to make of what happened.
But I do know this: Howard has had his fair share of wild comments about the Buckeyes since Michigan beat Ohio State in 2021, including his “better than his offensive linemen” quote to Stroud at last year’s Heisman Trophy ceremony, the “when they play a team with a pulse, they struggle” quote from earlier this fall, and a shot at Ryan Day for The Game this season.
Soooooooo, the always respectful and well-mannered Stroud who rises as a grown man on national television, orrrrrrrr the man who has waged a vendetta against the Buckeyes for as long as I can remember and stood up an Ohio State player on national television?
Maybe you should take the last one there. What do you think?
HAPPENING WITH THE BEST OF US. Ahead of the Heisman Trophy ceremony and the odd (lack of?) interaction with Howard on Saturday, Stroud was featured in a tweet from Express — a fashion company that sponsors the Ohio State quarterback — in Times Square wearing a full scarlet suit.
— EXPRESS (@explicitly) December 10, 2022
Stroud, however, wore a completely different suit when he arrived at Lincoln Center for the ceremony.
— Ohio State Soccer (@OhioStateFB) December 10, 2022
What’s the story there?
Stroud explained the dress change in an interview shortly before the ceremony began.
“I had a little mix up. I had to wear an Express suit but I have some stuff on it. … I had to wear this (new suit) for the playoff. I think it looks good too” I had to wearing an Express suit so shout out to Express. I’m sorry my suit got messed up so I had to come and get another one, and my husband literally flew in from Texas at the last minute, so it’s been good.”
A reporter then asked critical follow-up questions: What did Stroud get on the suit? Did he spill some food or drink on it?
“Yes, I was eating pizza. I feel comfortable.”
And then, folks, I learned that Stroud and I have common ground.
As Dan Hope is best described on Twitter, I can’t empathize with every aspect of life as an Ohio State quarterback, but I can empathize with the occasional spill of food on clothing, including expensive clothing. But on the other hand, I can’t relate to having a “dude” fly in from Texas with a new suit at a moment’s notice, so as soon as Stroud and I connected about the spill, it went away.
All in all, the whole situation was hilarious. Stroud made the best of a messy situation – I’m sorry, I had to – and looked pretty good. However, for all his efforts, he still didn’t look quite as feisty as the only two-time Heisman Trophy winner, Archie Griffin. But honestly, who could?
— Ohio State Soccer (@OhioStateFB) December 11, 2022
HEISMAN HOPE. To continue today’s Skull Session Heisman-themed discussion, I’ll be reviewing a recent ESPN article featuring current backup quarterback Kyle McCord and star receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. were on the list of top contenders for the 2023 Heisman Trophy.
Yes that’s right. We’re already at the point of making “much too early” predictions for the 2023 Heisman Trophy winner, because…why not? The 2022 winner was announced on Saturday, so let’s start talking about who will win it in just under a year!
According to ESPN’s Bill Connelly, McCord and Harrison — a former quarterback and wide receiver connection at St. Joseph’s Prep in Philadelphia — are two names to watch, with McCord as an up-and-comer and Harrison as an ‘momentum player’. ”
Here’s what Connelly had to say about the Buckeyes:
Consider this a placeholder for anyone becoming Ohio State’s – or Alabama’s! — starting quarterback next year. There may be some twists and turns in both QB fights, but we know McCord was CJ Stroud’s backup this season, and we know he was super sharp in small amounts. He finished the regular season going 16-for-20 for 190 yards and a touchdown, and he has the recruiting pedigree (No. 33 overall recruit in 2021, No. 6 pocket passer) to suggest he could put up something that’s in the comes close to Stroud-like numbers. for a full season if called for, especially with the skills corps options he will have at his disposal.
Marvin Harrison Jr.
The Heisman is generally a quarterback award for obvious reasons, but who was the only non-QB to win in the last seven years? A Receiver (DeVonta Smith, 2020)! And who later emerged as the scariest receiver in the country? Harrison. The sophomore had 1,157 yards and 12 touchdowns for the season, but improved his game late, averaging 112 yards per game and 16.4 yards per catch over the final five games of the regular season. He’s got the pedigree and the production, and he’ll be on just about every preseason All-American list starting in 2023.
I think Connelly’s expectations are fair and accurate for both players. However, I can see them both in an uphill battle to claim a seat in New York next year. The field will be competitive, with 2021 winner Caleb Williams returning to USC for one more season and 2021 top-10 finalists Michael Penix Jr. from Washington and Drake Maye from North Carolina, who also do it with their squads.
McCord will first have to beat Devin Brown and whatever other league is on the roster next fall before he not only plays well enough to retain his role as a starter, but excels at an extremely fast pace. Meanwhile, Harrison will have to be even more superhuman than he was this season to qualify for a Heisman since we all know it’s only for quarterbacks these days.
If both can do that, then there is a chance. And yes, I say there is a chance.
THANK YOU, CAPTAIN AMERICA. They say there are three guarantees in life: death, taxes, and Kyle Snyder winning gold medals.
In the wee hours of Sunday night, the former three-time National Champion Ohio State wrestler defeated three-time World Champion Kamran Ghasempour in a 5-0 decision to earn his fifth career gold medal at a global tournament and the World Cup for the United States.
We don’t call him Captain America for nothing!
Kyle Snyder’s win is World Cup winner for Team USA!!!
— FloWrestling (@FloWrestling) December 12, 2022
The Americans defeated Iran 6-4 in a 10-game duel. Snyder told The Gazette after his win over Ghasempour that he cherished the opportunity to play a closer role for Team USA.
“My number one option is 10-zip USA, but then my number 2 option lets me be closer,” said Snyder. “I wanted to be closer. Sandman. Go in. Put them to sleep.”
And that’s exactly what Snyder—affectionately dubbed “Captain America” by the team’s American wrestlers and fans—was able to accomplish over the weekend as he continued his dominant run as one of the best grapplers on the planet.
Call this a hot take, but I believe Snyder is one of the greatest athletes Ohio State has ever produced. He may even push for a spot on Mount Rushmore with the likes of Jesse Owens, Jack Nicklaus, Archie Griffin and Jerry Lucas. That might be considered profanity on some Buckeye message boards, so I can retract that claim, but he sure is a special talent and Buckeye Nation would love to claim him as one of his own.
Thanks for another World Cup for the US of A, Captain America. Keep bringing home the gold.
SONG OF THE DAY. “love.” by Kid Cudi.
CUT TO THE CHASE. It’s all downhill for 300 skiing Santas, a Grinch and a tree…Pricey pants from 1857 go for $114k, raises Levi’s questions…Santa’s visit brings joy to an icy Alaskan village Inupiat…State Coach Mike Leach of Mississippi hospitalized with ‘personal health problem’.