Second Thoughts: Buckeyes begin march to the big trophy

I stopped at Kroger to pick up a few items, including coffee — always coffee, Jill lectures — and I did a double-take. They have Halloween junk all over the place. A check of my iPhone confirmed that it is August. When’s the Thanksgiving stuff come out?

Halloween, Thanksgiving … well this week is Christmas. College football kicks off in earnest, highlighted by Ohio State at Indiana on Thursday night. The Buckeyes should roll, despite recent scares in Bloomington. I predict new OSU offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson will put a spanking on his former employer. Buckeyes, 42-17. Some other predictions for the season:

• Michigan smokes Florida on Saturday at Jerry’s World after the Gators announce that half the team is suspended. BTW, former Knucklehead James Robinson, who was busted for pot on his recruiting trip to Ohio State, was busted for pot in his on-campus apartment in Gainesville.

• ESPN dreamboat Kirk Herbstreit announces he’s moving from Nashville back to Columbus after picking the Buckeyes to beat Alabama in the national championship game. Way to go out on a limb there, Herbie. It’s safe to come home now.

• Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, whose legs resemble sequoia trees, wins the Heisman Trophy. There’s a reason Trace McSorley looks like a great QB. It’s Barkley, one powerful reason the PSU-Ohio State game on Oct. 28 could be a blockbuster.

• Clemson decides its new $55 million football center, which includes a bowling alley, barber shop and slide, isn’t enough. Ground is broken for the Dabo Swinney Casino & Entertainment Center.

• Nick Saban extends his streak of not smiling at a news conference to 141 straight games. The Alabama recruiting machine would be more likable if he didn’t look like he was coaching at Last Chance U. As Sgt. Hulka said in Stripes: “Lighten up, Francis (or Nick).”

• Texas puts together an 8-5 season under first-year coach Tom Herman and is feeling as arrogant as ever. The Longhorns decide the Big 12 isn’t good enough for them and create their own conference. It will have one school: Texas. Because the world revolves around Texas.

• Florida State president John Thrasher, who said the Seminoles are going to beat Alabama “pretty bad,” goes into hiding after a 35-14 FSU loss. He issues a news release about FSU’s incoming freshman class. It has an average ACT score of 29 — 13 points higher than Thrasher’s best effort.

• North Carolina State shocks the world and makes the College Football Playoff. TV cameras converge on Louisville. Mark Ennis, a radio guy from that city, says he’ll “eat a live animal” if N.C. State makes the playoff (really). The world lets out a collective “boo” when he swallows a goldfish.

• Wisconsin bullies its way to the Big Ten West title and meets Ohio State in Indy. Determined to avenge a 59-0 loss in 2014, the Badgers fight valiantly before falling 31-21. I’m tempted to pick Wisconsin in an upset, but I think J.T. Barrett will be on a mission this season. I usually favor underdogs, but I’m with Herbie: Ohio State will win another national title.

Trending up: Kirk Ferentz, Trevor Siemian, Japan Little League. Iowa’s football coach and his wife, Mary, donated $1 million to the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. Ferentz, who is in his 19th season at Iowa, will have another Big Ten contender this season.

Trending down: Ian Kinsler, Andrew Luck, Jon Jones. Kinsler’s rant about umpire Angel Hernandez earned him a $10,000 fine. I think the Tigers’ second baseman is just upset because he’s on a bad team and he’s batting a career-low .245.

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