Louisville CardFile: Marshall

cardfootballThe question that must be asked for perspective on U of L’s somewhat dissatisfying 59-28 beatdown of Marshall is one heard so often in the world of sports it has become cliché.

If before the campaign you knew you’d be ranked #3 and heading into your second Game Day of the still young season against another Top 5 foe, and you’d just won on the road by 31 points to a feisty opponent that had beaten you four times in a row, and your Flavor of the Month star had done nothing to diminish his Heisman hype, wouldn’t you be satisfied and have said “I’ll take it?”

The answer is, “Of course.”

Yes, we knew, at least most of us, that this was a classic trap of sorts. Even though the Thundering Herd were throttled the week before, there was no way Doc Holliday’s squad wasn’t going to be ready to give maximum effort against the Cards on their home turf. It was an encounter fraught with peril.

Louisville, despite a gnawing post-game discomfort — at least, for me — survived triumphant, relatively unscathed.

Yet there are some warning lights flashing that must not be ignored. This despite the presence of much of the excellence that fans have come to expect in this surprising season to remember. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Marshall

Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week IV

endimagesCorrected 9/21 8:30.

There was a bit of regression last week.

Unfortunately, it is to be expected as the season sorts itself out. Besides, I can’t anticipate that I’ll pick ’em all correctly every week like Week II.

Plus, when it’s Notre Dame that loses on the gridiron, one can’t be all that sad. Especially when it’s ever underrated Sparty that spoils the party in South Bend. I have only myself to blame on the other miscalculation. Should have realized this year it is Bummer Sooner in Norman, that Bob Stoops is looking more and more like his brother Mark on the sidelines, which is to say doobish. (“Doob,” as explained to me by a UK fan who used it in a recent conversation describing his team’s coach, translates as “big dumb bear.”)

But the Cats held on and prevailed over New Mexico State. Alabama did what the Tide does, and prevented Ole Miss from becoming the first school to beat lovable Nick Saban thrice in a row. And the Louisville Cardinals squeaked by Florida State, in case you’ve been asleep.

Three up. Two down. 10-5 on the season.

This week’s picks: Continue reading Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week IV

Louisville CardFile: Florida State

cardfootballIt is you (oh yeah)/ It is you, you (oh yeah)/ It is you (oh yeah)/Cause a pressure drop, oh pressure/ Oh yeah pressure drop a drop on you/ I say a pressure drop, oh pressure/ Oh yeah pressure drop a drop on you/I say when it drops, oh you gonna feel it/ Know that you were doing wrong.
— Toots & the Maytals

Gobsmacked!!!!

Florida State’s players and coaches certainly were. Florida State fans were also. They thinned out way early. Jimbo Fisher was more than a bit stunned during his post game comments.

As were, to be frank, the U of L players, who were and are now justifiably a confidant bunch, but who said they never expected anything like this.

Nor did even the most optimistic Cardinal fans.

So, yeah, the Cardinal faithful are reveling in a joyous tizzy. Gobsmacked.

The biggest loss ever by a second ranked team. Florida State’s biggest L ever in the ACC.

The Cards pressure dropped the Seminoles.

Louisville 63, formerly #2 Florida State 20.

As TV announcer Chris Fowler said, “It wasn’t that close.” Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Florida State

Saturday is U of L Cardinals’ Next Chicane

cardfootballAmerica used to be baseball, the national pastime now past its time, bucolic, nostalgic pastoral fantasies of our country’s perceived yesteryear.

Football is now the soul of America, the representation of its character.

Football. Endemic to our consciousness, encased with a filigree of pageantry, argumentative, brutish, the recreational predilection of a combat-prone nation not long past puberty inclined to settle matters by force. The sport’s bruising skirmishes commencing face to face, inches apart, Gettysburg on the gridiron.

We herald the warriors, extol the virtues of their courage. With valor comes victory. Flags wave. Trumpets sound. Drums beat. Hail, hail alma mater.

So has it evolved that autumn Saturdays have become the featured stage, full with trappings and traditions. Regardless of any other communal intent, when the stakes of the game are raised, we are swept up by the allure, swallowed in its maw.

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So it has come to pass as many thought it inevitably would that football, if only for this one shining moment, has become our burg’s conscience.

On this the third Saturday of College Football 2016, the eyes of the denizens of the pigskin universe are trained on our town. More famous for speedy spindly-legged thoroughbreds, more inclined to imbibe in mint juleps and beaten biscuits than brats and beer, our hoops addicted populace, stamped now with the imprimatur of significance, has turned over under sideways down for University of Louisville football. Continue reading Saturday is U of L Cardinals’ Next Chicane

Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week III

endimagesMore confidant than I had any reason to be, I was sure my less than stellar 2-3 performance in Week I was an aberration.

The proof, to coin a phrase, is in the proverbial pudding.

Tennessee, Pitt, Ohio, Florida and Louisville all won. Just as yours truly advised they would last week in this very space.

It was also a weekend which, strange as it sounds given how Kentucky spit out the bit in Gainesville, should provide some reason to smile a bit for UK fans. Watching way more of the Ohio Bobcats victory over Kansas than any human who savors good health should have, it became obvious that Kansas is easily the worst Power 5 team in the land.

So, Kentucky Wildcat fans, you got that goin’ for you. Which is nice.

Anyway, 5-0 for the weekend puts me at 7-3 for the young season, and raring to go again.

This week’s winners: Continue reading Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week III

Louisville CardFile: Syracuse

CardHelmetOn a precisely launched bomb of 72 yards from Lamar Jackson to James Quick, Louisville scored on its first play from scrimmage, the first snap of the game. (Bobby Petrino’s modus operandi is to take the ball to start, an absolute about which the announcers were apparently unaware.)

Syracuse: 3 and out.

On U of L’s fourth play of the game, Jackson tallied from 7 yards away.

Syracuse: 3 and out.

On U of L’s 5th play of the game, the Cards again scored from 72 yards away, this time a juke and pivot jitterbug from the aforementioned Mr. Jackson.

Four minutes and 43 seconds had elapsed. Louisville’s lead was 21 zed.

Somewhat distracted due to the immediate early blowout, announcers Adam Amin and Mack Brown launched into the evening’s incessant promo for Saturday night’s Sky King & Penny SongBird Pilot Flying J Battle at Bristol Speedway between the Vols and the Hokies . . . while there was action taking place on the Carrier Dome turf.

At that juncture, the Professor, ever the pessimistic cloud-enshrouded Joe Btfsplk, opined “This game’s not over.”

Which, of course, it was. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Syracuse

Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week II

endimagesThere is no explanation frankly how such a savvy predictor of pigskin as I would end up after the first weekend of the season already behind the 8 ball at 2-3. I daresay it shan’t happen again.

I should have known that Kentucky would spit out the bit. It’s what the Wildcats do. I should not have put my trust in North Carolina. Any team that wears baby blue on the gridiron is suspect. And why didn’t I recognize that Houston is, well, truly good. With a coach who is going to be the Flavor of the Month in perpetuity until he steps up the ladder. Or stays with the Cougars when they move to the Big 12.

There is some comfort in knowing that my weekend was not as bad as that suffered by the Family Stoops. Then again, Brother Mark added a term to the glossary of sports, which should enhance his resumé when he’s looking for his next job. Which despite his big buyout will be sooner rather than later. (On the other hand, should he continue to give playing time to Matt “Humpty Dumpty,” Stoops’ rep as some sort of defensive expert, such as it was, shall become ever more suspect.)

It’s a new week. Undaunted I forge ahead, confidant of erasing the red ink on the books. Continue reading Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week II

Seedy K’s MMQB: Who Survives the Deluge?

passimagesTrojan corpses are still washing up on the beach at JerryWorld.

(I know, odd metaphor, but work with me here. It’s been a long weekend, my pupils are shaped like footballs and there’s still the Seminoles and Johnny Rebs tonight.)

Guys with funny DeMilleian helmets, armor on their chests, alleged **** and ***** warriors, drowned in that Crimson Tide that seems to swell up like hurricanes in the Gulf every year come autumn.

Leaving lovers of college pigskin to wonder, is there any school out there with enough ballast to survive the deluge?

Is this to be another sequel? “Scourge of the Crimson Tide: Return of the Son of the Bride of Houndstooth XVII”?

Are we destined for another Bama coronation come January? Another heyday for Harvey Updyke?

And, if it’s not to be, whither the interloper? Could it be, might it be, will it be that not so little ol’ school from Texas?

No not Matthew McConaughey’s Burnt Orange Hook ‘Em Horns. I’m talking about the upstart non Power 5 guys, who can slip over to Ziggy Gruber’s deli for some knishes when they need to carbo load, the Houston Cougars. Who are led by a man child on D named Ed Oliver, who is the fiercest, most agile and mobile frosh big un I believe I’ve ever seen on the gridiron.

Stick with it, folks. If Week I is a harbinger of things to come, it’s going to be too fuhrshlunginer even for Alfred E. Neuman.

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How crazy so far? Continue reading Seedy K’s MMQB: Who Survives the Deluge?

Louisville CardFile: Charlotte

cardfootballBecause the Cardinal stats for this 70-14 evisceration of Charlotte are so glossy, thanks to the 49ers ineptitude, we must be careful not to read too awfully much into them. Given how awful the visitors were, this could be a false positive.

It is what happens when a school plays a money game to open the season. Instead of battling Kentucky or Miami or Auburn as in the recent past, or Notre Dame or Alabama or even down on its luck Purdue as will be the case in the seasons to come.

It’s a reminder of the norm during what should be the best opening weekend in memory. Big School pays a patsy to come and play victim. It’s been going on at least since the 19teens, when Georgia Tech coach John Heisman — Yes, that John Heisman — paid Cumberland $500 to visit and be tackling dummies for his Ramblin’ Wreck, turning Atlanta’s Grant Field into a 222-0 abattoir.

Louisville’s victory last evening wasn’t quite that decisive. But it certainly could have been, had mercy not been on display after the break.

Card coach Bobby Petrino is a pedal to the metal mentor. He called a timeout with seconds to go before halftime, so QB Lamar Jackson could get some red zone experience. The tally just before the whistle gave U of L a 56-0 lead. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Charlotte

Hump Day Harrumphs & Hurrahs: 8/31

foot1Hurrah: Tomorrow is kickoff. Just over 24 hours until toe hits pigskin.

How dandy that the U of L Cardinals are among the few who play Opening Thursday. Which shall allow we obsessives not to miss any of the other boffo games on the first weekend’s slate.

Harrumph: Teddy B goes down. Not much more to say about this.

Just too sad for a great kid, who is a warrior but seems injury prone.

What makes it even sadder from my perspective is the report from NFL Pundit Laureate Peter King, who just finished a month long tour of all the NFL camps. In his report at MMQB, he weighed in on the best this and best that he observed during the look see.

He wrote this: Continue reading Hump Day Harrumphs & Hurrahs: 8/31