Louisville Cardinals Decommitment; Mars Blackmon, the Culprit?

dunikcard“It’s gotta be the shoes.” — Mars Blackmon

Because, in these parts, basketball recruiting trumps all news — other than hoops itself — we are now obsessed with ***** Antonio Blakeney’s abdication of his intention to matriculate for his higher education on the Belknap Campus of the University of Louisville.

ISIS. Ferguson. McConnell vs. Grimes. The Who Is The Baddest Boy Ray Rice vs. Adrian Peterson Pay Per View Smackdown. Reappearance of the Polar Vortex.

Fuhgettaboutit. If local reaction is a gauge, Blakeney’s decommitment is bigger than all that. And tomorrow’s vote for Scotland’s independence too.

So, U of L fans are looking for a culprit.

Why else would a kid come for a visit, say yes, he’s wanted to be a Cardinal forever, and then, ten days later, say, uh waitaminute?

If one were playing “Clue,” there would be an obvious guess.

Coach Cal. In the Blue Room. With a fistful of NikeĀ®Bucks. Continue reading

Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week IV

foot1I got the memo.

I simply ignored it. At my peril, it became oh so very clear as the weekend’s games played out.

“The Big Ten sucks,” it read. “Predicting wins by its members, except when competing against other conference schools, in which case one has no choice but to choose one league member or the other, shall leave one open to legitimate ridicule.”

Mea culpa. Maryland, despite the Star Spangled unis worn by its players, did not beat West Virginia, as I incorrectly predicted it would. Had I read the memo, had I made a more prudent prognostication, my slate last weekend would have been, as they like to say in those border towns, “muy perfecta.”

Uh, wait a minute, I just double checked my score sheet. Okay, actually, so addled am I about the debacle that happened in Charlottesville, I now realize what I wrote above is not true. So, forget that “muy perfecta” crap. Continue reading

Louisville Card File: Virginia

cardsEvery once in awhile you get a game like this.

One of the teams plays really bad, as if it has no intention nor inclination to win the game, and does everything it can along the way to make sure that happens.

That would be Virginia.

But they are playing a team performing even worse, a foe with more resolve to fritter away victory opportunities, its intention to make sure that no matter how bad its opponent is performing, it’s going to do even more to not win the game. It beats itself.

That would be Louisville.

U.G.L.Y. 23, U.G.L.I.E.R. 21. Continue reading

Hump Day Huzzahs & Humbugs: Ray, Roger & Recruiting

thumbdownI know that U of L Cardinal fans, at least the ones who remember the days before T Will and E5, have a memory of Danny Ferry.

1986.

National Championship game in Dallas.

The horn was sounding as Denny Crum’s Cardinals had just “upset” Duke for U of L’s second title of the decade.

A loose ball landed in Jeff Hall’s hands as the clock struck midnight for the Blue Devils.

At which moment, the aforementioned Ferry, now the beleaguered GM of the Atlanta Hawks, then the pivot man for the loser, clotheslined Hall with a forearm shiver.

He was a loser then.

He’s a loser now. Continue reading

Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week III

foot1The Hilltoppers, certainly the equal of the politically incorrect Fighting Illini, couldn’t close in Champaign-Urbana, letting another embarrassment for the Not So Big Ten slip away. Which allowed frat boys and sorority sisters at the school where WKU boss Jeff Brohm used to coach to slip into Saturday night reverie with a W.

Coach Charlie Strong’s Longhorns not only didn’t finish, they never started. Texas was gobsmacked by Book of Mormon, 7-41.

If not for those two setbacks, the kid here would have celebrated a perfect weekend, because U of L, UK and the Oregon Quack took care of biz.

Sigh.

Well, after an unsatisfactory 5-5 record so far on the young season, I’m getting my rhythm back. Uncle Mo’s back in town. So I’m ready to provide five sure things for this coming weekend.

Here goes: Continue reading

MMQB: College Pigskin Shaking Up, Coaches Feeling Heat

footballoldJoan Rivers’ funeral was not the only one conducted yesterday.

Headlines across the cybergalaxy and print media alike trumpeted the demise of the Big Ten Conference.

Once known as the Big Nine Conference, born as the Western Conference, and now, if one is inclined toward arithmetical correctitude, the Big Fourteen Conference, the league has been been pronounce DOA this early on in the campaign with such headers as “Big Ten Busted After Two Weeks,” or “The Big Ten’s Really Awful, Horrible, Horrendous Weekend.”

I’ve seen the numbers, folks, and will admit, they ain’t pretty.

Wolverines 0, TD Jesus 31.

Hokey Pokey 35, Bucky Buckeye 21.

Central Michigan 38, Boilermakers 17.

Northern Illinois 23, Michael Wilbon U. 15.

The Cornhuskers needed a miracle with 20 ticks of the clock left to escape the clutches of, gulp, McNeese State.

And, what might be the most telling of all — okay, that’s hyperbole — Illinois got away from Jeff Brohm’s WKU Hilltoppers late, 32-24, but the Galloping Ghosts ghosts were really no better than the gang from Bowling Green.

Yes, a pretty dismal weekend it was, but not fatal . . . yet.

On the other hand, Bo and Woody and Crazy Legs Hirsch are not walking into the locker room this week to make it right. Continue reading

Louisville Card File: Murray State

cardfootballAre there any takeaways at all from what was essentially a glorified scrimmage in front of 50,179 last evening at Papa J’s?

A few things perhaps. But it’s simply hard to extrapolate meaningfulness when the opponent is so much smaller, so much slower, so much less talented and less well coached.

I mean the Cards had their way with the Racers, like a French premier and a Paris lady of the night.

U of L went three and out on its first possession. Then scored nine consecutive times it had the ball.

Murray State scored on that 57 yard pass on a trick play against a confused Cardinal defense with 6:17 to play in the opening period. But only had 36 yards on the thirty other plays it ran in the opening half. After that score, the visitors had 29 yards total offense on the next 22 snaps.

But, always looking for something to muse about, here are a few of things. Continue reading

Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week II

foot1I knew I was in trouble opening night, if not from the opening kickoff.

My pick in the season’s first game with an FBS school was Abilene Christian, an FCS school of little note, which was hanging on to a couple point advantage with the clock running down. Georgia State, a newcomer to the ‘BIG TIME,” which had gone Ofer ’13 — zero Ws — had the ball. A field goal would win it for the home standing Panthers on their Georgia Dome turf.

And put me, prediction-wise, behind the eight ball from the get go this season.

The Panthers’ final offensive possession was fitful. Though my main man, cousin AJ Kaplan Sr., a 2d team All Sun Belt LG, was doing his best to seal the W for AC. First, he almost stalled the drive with an illegal procedure. Then, on a play where G State scored, he held while protecting his QB Nick Arbuckle Jr., taking the winning points off the board.

But his transgressions weren’t fatal. Sigh. No extra gelt in cuz AJ’s Hanukkah stocking this year. You gotta close the deal, son.

The Panthers tallied a field goal, winning their first battle since ’12.

Abilene Christian started the season, 0-1.

More importantly, so did I. Continue reading

Louisville Card File: Miami (Fla)

cardsIf there was any doubt that Bobby Petrino has returned to the Louisville sideline, and that Bobby Petrino is large and in charge — and there really wasn’t any doubt, but, work with me here — if there had been any doubt, it was smashed to smithereens with 1:43 left on the clock.

Up a relatively safe 24-13, the Cards gained possession at their own 33 with 9:30 to play, after holding the driving Hurricanes on downs. Eating up clock, U of L then proceeded relatively methodically down field, thwarting Miami’s hopes for a comeback with each gain, each down, each tick of the clock.

Eleven running plays later with 1:49 to go — and two necessary but not in your face passes to keep the drive alive — U of L, which hadn’t done anything but run it between tackles for several downs, was 3d & 2 at the Miami 10. The ‘Canes called timeout.

Which play stoppage obviously provoked the easily irked Petrino.

Soooooooo, after that break, he ran play action. QB Will Gardner found his favorite target Gerald Christian in the end zone, for a take-that-Al-Golden-don’t-be-callin’-a-late-timeout-on-me TD. Which ran the margin, after conversion, to 31-13.

In the press box, a member of the U of L athletic department asked nobody in particular, “Isn’t that running up the score?” Continue reading

Baylor’s New Football Stadium Tells All

foot2The Oregon wannabe Baylor Bears whomped up on old rival SMU last night.

The score was 45-0, or something like that. It’s really beside the point.

So too that former president George W. Bush flipped the coin. Though it was a nifty gesture. And W seemed to be having a grand ol’ time, such events being truly his default mileu and all.

It was the inaugural game at McLane Stadium the school’s spanking fresh new football palace. Continue reading