Canzano: All is fair in love, war and... college football?
My Week 1 predictions, picks and thoughts.
SALT LAKE CITY — It caused a stir this week when a reporter from The Associated Press who works in Florida joined a Utah radio station and dropped a juicy tidbit.
Florida apparently tried to poach Utes quarterback Cam Rising.
Mark Long told KSL radio that the Gators were in a panic after losing three quarterbacks in the span of a month last December. Anthony Richardson declared for the NFL Draft, Jalen Kitna got arrested and Jayden Rashada’s $13 million NIL deal unraveled like a ball of yarn.
“They kicked the tires on a bunch of guys hoping they could get a transfer quarterback to come and bail them out,” Long told the radio station.
Florida wanted Notre Dame quarterback Sam Hartman and also made a run at Tulane’s Michael Pratt. But Long revealed that Rising was one of Florida’s other targets. And why not? He’s a two-time conference champion and nearly beat the Gators last season in The Swamp.
“From what I understand they at least made an inquiry into if he was looking to transfer,” he said.
I spoke with Rising a couple of times in the offseason. We talked about his knee surgery and he told me about a trip he took to Puerto Rico in the early summer. He likes to snorkel and salsa dance, he said. But our conversation eventually wandered toward seven-figure NIL deals and how sketchy some of those arrangements sound.
It’s the stuff of John Lyly’s novel “Euphues” — the origin of that “All is fair in love and war” quote. Basically, the rules don’t apply with either one. Lyly wrote the passage in the 1500’s as he recounted the romantic adventures of a young man, but it also holds up in the world of college football in 2023.
We did not specifically talk about Florida, but Rising expressed some relief that he was getting out of college before it got too complicated and cut-throat.
“It’s all back-door kind of deals and all that,” he told me. “…I’m just glad I’m not making those rules that have to manage it. I know it’s a tricky situation. It’s kind of a slippery slope.”
Rising is not expected to play on Thursday against the Gators. But that little story adds some drama and intrigue to what is already huge Week 1 game in Salt Lake City.
Last football season I printed my thoughts, picks and predictions for the Pac-12 games every Thursday. I had a red-hot win streak vs. the spread in the heart of the season that left me with a solid overall performance.
My 2022 season record vs. the spread: 54-40 (.574)
My 2022 straight-up record: 74-20 (.787)
My Week 1 thoughts, picks and predictions…