Welcome to the Monday Skull Session.
It makes me smile when JK Dobbins scores touchdowns. Takes me back to hearing Gus Johnson saying “JK ALL DAY” on the FOX broadcasts back in 2018 and 2019.
If he were calling the Ravens vs. Steelers game on Sunday, he would have made that call a few times, including on this touchdown run:
guess whos back @Jkdobbins22
— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) December 11, 2022
Let’s have a good Monday, shall we?
AT HEISMAN MOMENT. When I started at Eleven Warriors, I didn’t think I would have to keep such a keen eye on Desmond Howard’s words and actions, but man, he says and does a lot of stuff that makes you scratch your head. Doesn’t he?
By now, you may have seen the latest “Desmond Howard is at it again” moment that occurred on Saturday, but if you haven’t, I’ll provide a brief rundown.
At the Heisman Trophy ceremony, as Stroud was introduced as the only returning finalist from 2021, he took the stage and shook hands with the first two former winners on stage before passing right by Howard. Our very own Josh Poloha went viral with the clip.
While being introduced at the Heisman Trophy ceremony, CJ Stroud shook the hands of the first two Heisman winners on stage. He stopped at the third guy, who just so 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 intentionally turned away from Stroud toward Robert Griffin III so that he wouldn’t interact with the Ohio State quarterback as he walked on stage.
Ask RGIII, and he would probably say the first took outcome place. That’s at least what his reaction on stage and tweet later in the night would indicate.
—Wade (@Wade_B_) December 11, 2022
—Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) December 11, 2022
Ask any Ohio State fan in Josh’s Twitter mentions or across social media on Saturday, and they would argue the second outcome.
Ask me, and I will tell you I have no idea what to think about what happened.
But I do know this: Howard has had his fair share of wild comments toward the Buckeyes since Michigan beat Ohio State in 2021, including his “better than his offensive linemen” quote toward Stroud at last year’s Heisman Trophy ceremony, the “if they play a team with a pulse, they struggle” quote from earlier this fall and a shot at Ryan Day before The Game this season.
Sooooooooo, the always respectful and well-mannered Stroud standing up a grown man on national television, orrrrrrrrrr the man who has had a vendetta against the Buckeyes for as long as I can remember standing up an Ohio State player on national television?
Might have to take the latter there. What do you think?
HAPPENS TO THE BEST OF US. Before the Heisman Trophy ceremony and the strange (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 an all-scarlet suit.
— EXPRESS (@express) December 10, 2022
However, Stroud was wearing an entirely different suit when he arrived at Lincoln Center for the ceremony.
— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) December 10, 2022
What’s the story there?
Stroud explained the change in attire in an interview shortly before the ceremony began.
“I had a little mix-up. I was supposed to wear an Express suit, but I got some stuff on it. … I was supposed to wear this (new suit) for the playoff. I think it looks good, too . I was supposed to wear an Express suit, so shout out to Express. I apologize that I got something on my suit, so I had to come and get another one, and my guy flew in from Texas, literally 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?
“Yeah, I was eating pizza. It was bad. I felt super bad. I had no backup, so I felt terrible, and I feel terrible now. I think I still look pretty nice. I think that’s all that really matters. I ‘m feeling comfortable.”
And that, folks, is when I learned that Stroud and I have some common ground.
ace Dan Hope best described on Twitter, I can’t relate to every aspect of life as an Ohio State quarterback, but I can relate to spilling food on clothing, including expensive clothing, from time to time. But then again, I can’t relate to having a “guy” who can fly in from Texas with a new suit at a moment’s notice, so as quickly as Stroud and I connected on the spilling aspect, it went away.
All in all, the whole situation was hilarious. Stroud made the most of a messy situation – sorry, I had to – and looked pretty good doing it. Despite all his efforts, though, he still didn’t look as snappy as the only two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin. But honestly, who could?
— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) December 11, 2022
HEISMAN HOPEFULS. To continue with the Heisman-themed discussion of today’s Skull Session, I will turn to a recent ESPN article that included current backup quarterback Kyle McCord and star receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. on its list of the top Heisman Trophy contenders for 2023.
Yes, that’s right. We are already at the point of making “way-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 a little under a year from now!
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 a “momentum player. ”
Here is what Connelly had to say about the Buckeyes:
Consider this a placeholder for whoever becomes Ohio State’s — or Alabama’s! — starting quarterback next year. There could be some twists and turns in both QB battles, but we know that McCord was CJ Stroud’s backup this season, and we know that he was super sharp in tiny doses. He finished the regular season 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 approaching Stroud-like numbers for a full season if asked to, especially with the skill 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 past seven years? A receiver (DeVonta Smith, 2020)! And who emerged as the scariest receiver in the country down the stretch? Harrison. The sophomore had 1,157 yards and 12 touchdowns for the season but raised his game late, averaging 112 yards per game and 16.4 yards per catch over the final five games of the regular season. He has the pedigree and the production, and he’ll be on just about every preseason All-American list to start 2023.
I find Connelly’s expectations to be fair and accurate for both players. However, I see both of them being 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 another season and 2021 top-10 finalists Michael Penix Jr. of Washington and Drake Maye of North Carolina also running it back with their squads.
McCord will first need to beat out Devin Brown and whatever other competition is on the roster next fall before not only playing well enough to keep his role as a starter but excelling at an extremely high rate. Meanwhile, Harrison will need to be even more of a superhuman than he was this season to be considered for a Heisman, as we all know it is a quarterback-only award these days.
If both can do that, then there’s a chance. And, yes, I’m sayin’ there’s a chance.
THANK YOU, CAPTAIN AMERICA. They say there are three guarantees in life: Death, taxes and Kyle Snyder winning gold medals.
In the late 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 clinch his fifth-career gold medal at a global tournament and win the World Cup for the United States.
We call him Captain America for a reason!
Kyle Snyder’s win wins the World Cup for Team USA!!!
—FloWrestling (@FloWrestling) December 12, 2022
The Americans beat Iran, 6-4, in a 10-match dual. Snyder told The Gazette after his victory over Ghasempour that he cherished the opportunity to be in a closer role for Team USA.
“My number one option is 10-zip USA, but then my No. 2 option is let me be the closer,” Snyder said. “I wanted to be the closer. Sandman. Enter in. Put them to sleep.”
And that’s exactly what Snyder – affectionately called “Captain America” by the United States wrestlers and fans of the team – was able to accomplish over the weekend as he continued his dominating run as one of the best grapplers in the world.
Call this a hot take, but I believe Snyder is one of the best athletes Ohio State has ever produced. He may even push for a spot on Mount Rushmore with people like Jesse Owens, Jack Nicklaus, Archie Griffin and Jerry Lucas. That could be considered blasphemy on some Buckeye message boards, so I may pull back on that claim, but he’s certainly a special talent and Buckeye Nation should be glad to claim him as one of his own.
Thank you for another World Cup for the US of A, Captain America. Keep bringing home the golds.
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, raise Levi’s questions… Santa visit brings joy to a frosty Alaska Inupiat village… Mississippi State Coach Mike Leach hospitalized with “personal health issue.”