Category Archives: Football

Critical Year for U of L Cards, Part I: How We Got Here

Warning: Some content contained herein may be painful for diehard Louisville Cardinal football fans. 

November 9. 2006.

It was the moment Cardinal Faithful had believed would arrive since The Schnell had proclaimed it inevitable years before.

The Cardinals were not only on the cusp of a seemingly implausible dream come true, they had breached the perimeter.

Yes, Schnellenberger, not as wise about the future of college football as he thought, had jumped ship in a pique. He didn’t like that the school prexy had joined a conference. So The Pipe left for a one and done campaign as Supreme Commander Sooner Nation.

Yet his promise remained in the hearts of the loyal, though the vision faded somewhat in the campaigns right after he abdicated. There was the immediate and precipitous decline under Ron Cooper. A revival of belief under John L. Smith. But he too didn’t buy in entirely, going AWOL in Mobile during a bowl game after some success.

Enter the savant. Bobby Petrino 1.0. Continue reading Critical Year for U of L Cards, Part I: How We Got Here

U of L Football Media Day Takeaways

To a greater or lesser degree, most guys on the sidelines, be they in charge or just assisting, develop a facility for coachspeak.

It allows them to meet and greet the media, appear as if they’re passing along info with some gravity, while not revealing much anything of value.

If abysmally hapless when it came to coaching, former Cardinal mentor Steve HisLastNameShallNotBeUttered was a true master when it came to prattling on in an imperious manner that sounded like football genius while saying absolutely nothing of consequence.

(For the record, while he can prevaricate, Cardinal head man Bobby Petrino, is less a coachspeaker than most in the profession. His responses are generally less cliché-filled.)

One way the lingo phenomenon manifests itself is through the use of vaguely descriptive code words. Take Tight Ends Coach Chris Klenakis for example. Not a Q & A can pass without him extolling how his charges are “grinding.” Which, one must assume, is to say they are working hard but still have a way to go to be where they need to be.

New Defensive Coordinator Brian VanGorder, with a resumé as vast and glossy as any coach ever to don a Cardinal crested Climalite polo — SEC, Big 12, South Bend and my dad’s alma mater Wayne State — has developed his ability accordingly.

“Ascending” is the word he kept invoking, when what it seems like he was really saying is his defense is still in the early stages of learning his system. Which is better to hear, one supposes than the antonym, but not as heartening as, oh, “I’m really pleased, they’re really getting it.” Continue reading U of L Football Media Day Takeaways

Seedy K’s Take It To The Bank Pigskin Final Four

Considerably more football fans than any reasonably intelligent person might have guessed have surprisingly inquired what teams I think will make the CFP (Formerly known as BCS) playoff this upcoming season.

Their wish, etc, etc . . . so, after the following bit of introductory tomfoolery, Seedy K’s Pigskin Final Four shall be revealed.

My original intent for a hook was to co-opt a term oft used by Louisville’s first Heisman winner Paul Hornung back in the early days of cable when he had a weekly wagering show.

That term is “unbuckle.” Which was his way of saying he felt a pick was a lock against the spread, a sure thing, a no way the game will come out any other way.

There are two reasons why I’m not using that term, though I’m certainly killing time here advising you why.

One, “unbuckle” took on a whole new meaning vis a vis Hornung when in October ’06, while he was delivering a pep rally speech before his alma mammy Notre Dame battled UCLA, his pants fell to his ankles. Literally. Fortunately he was behind a rostrum, though those sitting behind him took it in, which we know from a photo displaying their muffled but obvious bemusement.

(In case it might come up on Trivia Night, the answer to the question that’s crossed your mind is “boxers.”)

The second reason for not using the term is that my personal counselor at the bar (who FYI has taped every one of our conversations to cover his buttocks) advises I don’t have enough insurance to pay any potential claims, should an unwitting reader rely on my prognostications to his/her financial detriment.

Which is to say to you loyal readers, “caveat emptor.”

Legal counsel now having confirmed that with the above disclaimer, I have effectively covered my own ass, let’s have at it.

Presented hereinafter, in alphabetical order, the four schools that shall, one guy’s shaky opinion, be competing in the Orange Bowl and Cotton Bowl on December 29, with the victors competing for the “national championship” ten days later. Continue reading Seedy K’s Take It To The Bank Pigskin Final Four

Seedy K’s Premature Preseason Pigskin Presumptions

Unless you have a Phil Steele shrine in your man cave — votive candles, incense, 8×10 glossy of college football’s reigning guru, all nestled atop your Lamar-signed game jersey — you probably have no clue who Ed Marynowitz is.

OK, maybe you do . . . if you grab lunch regularly with the HVAC dudes in Roll Tide t-shirts and the plumbers in houndstooth ballcaps at the Popeyes on McFarland Road in Tuscaloosa. Even then that former administrator who has now moved on from his spot on the Crimson Tide football staff was never nearly as close to well known as, say, once beloved but now a hated rival Kirby Smart or don’t let the door hit you in the butt Lane Kiffin.

Obscure as Marynowitz duties as associate AD for football were, they inform why Nick Saban is a very very very very very good, great actually, and duh successful college football coach — arguably the best ever — and the mentor of your school, even if his name is Meyer or Fisher or Swinney or Patterson, is good and somewhat successful but a cut below.

Marynowitz’s duties were primarily to track other school’s assistant coaches and coordinators across the land, gather info and develop dossiers so that Saban will be way ahead of the curve when it comes time to replace his own assistants who move on. Like this off season, when he had about a half dozen empty seats in the coaching staff meeting room. Continue reading Seedy K’s Premature Preseason Pigskin Presumptions

Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Championship Week

That deafening silence you hear is the lack of braying by my all of a sudden nowhere to be heard nettlesome naysayers.

Imagine my surprise.

The kid’s on a roll. The second 4-1 week of the last three. 11-4 since the aberration of Week X. 41-29 on the season.

Last weekend’s boffo predictionation included the Stanford and Auburn upsets, along with the Buckeyes, who smote their arch rival to the north, and the University of Louisville Cardinals who emptied Grocery Store Field faster than if there had been hurricane warnings, and turned the remaining members of the BBN into a bulging eyeballed, frothing mouthed Ralph Steadman caricature.

Only Boise State let me down, but more about that in a second.

I have read that this Saturday will be the first time ever with five battles on the same day featuring two Top 25 teams. And there’s a sixth in the PAC12 on Friday night between Stanford and Southern Cal.

Stock up on supplies, ye pigskin perennials, you don’t want to need to be running off to the corner market while the ball is in play. And that’s gonna be all day and all night.

Enough verbosity.

In championship form myself, here are five sure winners: Continue reading Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Championship Week

Louisville CardFile: Kentucky

In retrospect, there was a single play that indicated how inevitable U of L’s payback victory over its hated arch rival really was.

The outcome of the smackdown was already a given when the Cardinals, up 37-10,  started a drive at their own one yard line with 12:58 to play.

Lamar Jackson, who has blamed himself for last season’s loss because of his game-denying giveaway late in that battle, fumbled on first down. In the end zone. But, as cool as he was all day — and make no mistake, LJ has never been as collected and in charge as he was Saturday in Commonwealth Stadium — Jackson picked up the ball, intuited where there might be a crack through which to escape, found it, foraged for yardage and Heismaned his way for a 15 yard pickup.

This one was never in doubt. That play was typical of how U of L rose to the occasion every moment.

Two and half minutes later, U of L finished the 99 yard journey when Jackson lofted a TD pass to Jaylen Smith.

For all the incredible feats of legerdemain that Jackson has performed while at the helm of the Cards, his demeanor and flawless performance against the Wildcats Saturday stands at the top of the list for me. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Kentucky

Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week XIII

Who should know better about taking advantage of wayfaring strangers traveling across country than the descendants of Joseph Smith at Brigham Young University? That’s right, nobody.

Nonetheless, the nomadic Minutemen of UMass prevailed in Provo. I never saw it coming. Neither apparently did the Cougars.

Texas also seems to be improving under the tight rein of Tom Herman. Something else I didn’t figure on. Picking West Virginia was not smart.

But the Hilltoppers, UGa Bulldogs and surging Cardinals won.

3-2 for the weekend leaves me 37-28 for the campaign

And down the stretch they come. Welcome to Playoff Elimination time.

The Fighin’ Irish, Buckeyes and Tigers — Auburn and Clemson — sit in a precarious position. Ls shall seal their fate on the outside looking in.

And the winners, at least some of them, are: Continue reading Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week XIII

Louisville CardFile: Syracuse

Before we get to Reggie Bonnafon and Malik Williams and the shutdown defense and the ascending offensive line and that guy who plays quarterback, let’s give credit to the entirety of University of Louisville football for staying resolute, focused and committed after a midseason malaise.

It is not uncommon in the world of college pigskin for teams with high expectations that suffer early adversity to simply start mailing it in as a season winds down.

In a precarious position with the campaign on the brink, the Cardinals did just the opposite.

After disappointing Ls to Wake Forest, NC State and BC, U of L kept grinding. Of course, UVa and Syracuse weren’t as competitive, but that’s not the point. Which is that the Cards returned to playing to their capabilities.

Hats off to the squad and Bobby Petrino and his staff for staying the course. It’s never a given.

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Since it is assumed that Lamar Jackson has played his last game at Papa J’s, the Red & Black Faithful are conscious of and savoring how blessed they have been to cheer on such a transcendent talent, the school’s first Heisman winner. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Syracuse

Thursday’s U of L Cardinal Conversation

There’s a singular question/ complaint I’ve heard way more than any other this week.

And I suppose, bless her heart, it’s all Asia Durr’s fault. Interest in the women’s team has rocketed skyward, after her school record scoring blast last Sunday.

“How come there’s no story in The Courier-Journal about the U of L women’s game?” (I’m hangin’ on the “The” and hyphen, though I don’t know why.)

“The paper didn’t even run the box score of Louisville’s win at Ohio State.”

Etc, etc, etc.

While the once great newspaper has some reporters that are good, are professional and care about getting the stories and reporting them, both in the sports department and on the news side, the C J sucks.

It is full of typos. What news there is, for the most part, is sparse. It is as if Gannett doesn’t want you to buy and read the paper edition. I haven’t subscribed for years. It is seriously sad.

It’s become bird cage liner.

The paper covers the men and football and UK pretty well, Louisville FC, but that’s about it for sports. The web site administrators seem hell bent on cornering the market on pop up ads.

As for women’s sports, others too, if you’re a Cardinal fan, head to gocards.com, the school’s site. There will always be some stories, and the box scores. And, I’ll always be around here at seedyksports.com for pithy commentary, and at Mike Rutherford’s cardchronicle.com, which covers the U of L scene with a gangsta lean.

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Interesting doings down Arkansas way that could possibly affect U of L. Continue reading Thursday’s U of L Cardinal Conversation

Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week XII

Who’s your daddy now?

It was a weekend when the so-called experts were so very sure the Fighting Irish would finally expose Miami, teach the ‘Canes what playing a real football team entailed. And were proven oh so very wrong in the Chain vs. Rosary battle to the tune of Miami 41 Notre Dame 8.

Who advised you in advance what was really going to happen? Need I say his name? I don’t think so.

It was a weekend when Kirby Smart’s Bulldogs were going to steam roll Toomer’s Corner, proving they deserved the #1 ranking, but were gobsmacked 40-17.

Who advised in advance that toilet paper would be a flyin’ in Roy Moore Country? Need I say his name? I don’t think so.

He’s the same dude who assured you the Badgers were real, when skeptics were saying it was time for a Hawkeye comeuppance. The same prognosticator par excellence who continued to have faith that the Louisville Cardinals weren’t done yet.

Of course, Kentucky did what Kentucky does. Which is remain totally quixotic, incapable of empirical assessment. Winning when they should lose and versa vice. So He Who Obviously Hasn’t Lost His Touch had a 1 on the right hand side of the ledger. 4-1 for the weekend. 34-26 for the campaign.

The kid is back on track.

Here we go again, ye faithful followers: Continue reading Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week XII