3. The Media: He also needs the media on his side. And by media, I mean ESPN. The Worldwide Leader starts hyping their TV show, the Heisman presentation, in August. They set the early leader board and plug those guys all season. But the ESPN kingmakers have also shown they are willing to change the narrative when the need arises.
In 2011, Robert Griffin III had his coming out party against TCU in Waco on Friday of opening weekend. The next morning, Griffin was on-set for College Gameday in Fort Worth (for the LSU-Oregon game). ESPN fell in love with RG3 and he eventually rode it to Heisman glory. When no one pulled away late in the season, Griffin was in the right spot at the right time (the same can be said for LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu, whose coming-out party in the Oregon game at JerryWorld on ESPN helped him get to New York City as well). Ed will need the preseason hype to neutralize the fact that UH doesn’t play any marquee games this year.
This would also require Major Applewhite to become Ed’s most ferocious salesman, taking more opportunities to promote his player. Major isn’t terribly comfortable doing that but, to his credit, he’s been better at it in 2018.