We need to talk about Heisman winner Caleb Williams, and why USC losing three games this year might be the best thing for college football in 2023.
Caleb Williams is electric. He might be the most elusive quarterback behind the line of scrimmage of all time. That’s right, I said it. All time.
He’s an elite passer, has game changing speed, absurd pocket awareness, and is one of the most sound decision makers in all of college football.
The thing I like most about Caleb Williams is that he has the mindset at all times that no one is going to outcompete him.
Every good story needs a villain, but the best villains are the ones you secretly like.Stephanie Garber
Now, I’ve been accused of being a USC hater, so to some, this is going to sound like I’m celebrating the Trojans demise after Tulane scored 46 points in the Cotton Bowl, despite only EIGHT pass completions, to move Lincoln Riley to 1-4 all-time in New Year’s 6 Bowl games.
I’m not celebrating, but I’m also not mad about it.
USC losing that football game, as well as losing twice against Utah in 2022, sets college football up for an incredibly compelling narrative heading into the 2023 season.
There’s a Stephanie Garber quote that says “Every good story needs a villain, but the best villains are the ones you secretly like.“
In a vacuum, it’s impossible to hate Caleb Williams, or to think of him as a villain. But when you put his 11-3 season, and Heisman run in context, you see Williams’ villain arc come into focus.
Everyone is a villain to somebody, so of course USC’s natural rivals, Notre Dame and UCLA both have a reason to hate Caleb Williams. And of course the entire Pac-12 is sore about USC heading to the Big 10, so there’s 10 more teams rooting on Williams’ demise. But when you add in Williams fingernails being painted to say F ASU and F Utah, you now add an extra bit of spice to those games next year.
Plus, let’s not forget all of Sooner nation praying on Williams downfall for following Lincoln Riley from Norman to Los Angeles. And you know that Texas fans haven’t forgotten Caleb Williams coming in down 28-7 in the Red River Showdown and leading the Sooners on a 48-20 run, and a win. I can’t imagine Longhorn fans are rooting for Williams just because he left Oklahoma.
And I’ve heard from enough Tennessee and Texas Christian fans that think Caleb Williams shouldn’t have even been the Heisman winner, and when you consider that Williams had the lowest percentage of available points for any QB winner since Robert Griffin III, it would seem that a decent amount of this country’s sports media agrees with that sentiment.
2023 is setting up to be a high stakes revenge tour that that we probably wouldn’t have gotten if USC had made the college football playoff in 2022. Williams still having a year of eligibility left, with the target on his back of being the defending Heisman winner, and the surefire #1 overall pick in 2024, in the Trojans last year in a conference filled with players poised to make their own Heisman runs in Bo Nix and Michael Penix Jr, and with Utah returning as the bully on the block?
You couldn’t script a better drama than this.
Get your popcorn and your fancy fingernail polish ready, because next year’s fixing to be a movie.
Let that sink in.