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

Louisville CardFile: Omaha

So wonderstruck was I with the defense perpetrated by the U of L women’s team in their smashing beatdown of Michigan, I have been extolling the team’s virtues to any and all I’ve encountered who might care a whit about college basketball.

A couple of fans who have been following the distaff Cardinals through the years more intensely than I have admonished me to curb my enthusiasm somewhat. “It’s still early,” they caution, “let’s see what happens against Oregon and later in the year when Duke and Notre Dame come to town.”

Suggestion taken to heart.

With that in mind, I have taken to warn myself not to run and pull every alarm I see, not to call the Haz Mat squad, after watching the most disappointing performance by the U of L men in memory.

The descriptor starting with a “d” that’s probably more apt is “disgusting.”

From the Summit League, far from one that immediately comes to mind when considering college hoops, the conference bottom-dwelling Mavericks were 0-3 coming into the Yum!. They’d lost by 9, by 19 and by 32. For an average margin of defeat of 20 ppg. They had given up 89,108 and 103. That’s 100 ppg.

They were averaging 19.3 turnovers, ranking them 330th in the country.

Which, though they played last night like Peyton Manning was audibling their name toward victory, is to provide empirical statistical data that Omaha is, let us be kind how we say it, not a very good basketball team.

Neither are the University of Louisville Cardinals. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Omaha

Distaff CardFile: U of L Bashes Michigan

I am not an expert on women’s hoops.

Which doesn’t mean I’m shy about weighing in on Louisville’s dominating takedown of Michigan in the WNIT semi-finals.

74-49 was the final.

It wasn’t that close.

Even though the Cards were down 32-37 at halftime.

Then the Cards went all Charles Dickens on their prey. You know, a tale of two halves, the worst of times, the best of times.

Continue reading Distaff CardFile: U of L Bashes Michigan

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

Louisville CardFile: (George) Mason

Oh how very appropriate was U of L’s fitful, opening game triumph over (George) Mason, 72-61.

The situation was dire most of the afternoon, and still in doubt with a minute and a half until the buzzer. Given all that’s going on, all the questions about the program and this season’s prospects, it was just fitting that the Cards needed to dig deep, show some grit and gut out the W against the feisty visitors.

Of the many questions that need to be answered, some were and some weren’t. Such as it always is after opening tipoff.

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Favorite Moment #1:

Mason (And I purposely leave off the George, because their SID provided game notes left off the George. I guess it’s a rebranding thing.) was forced to call a halt to play with 8:53 left. At the moment they were down 46-49, after playing ahead most of the game.

Not so many ticks before, at the 12:01 mark to be exact, the Patriots forged ahead 46-40 on their ninth layup of the tilt.  Continue reading Louisville CardFile: (George) Mason

Louisville CardFile: Virginia

Some things do not change, no matter who’s in charge.

Within seconds, okay minutes actually, after U of L’s solid, generally impressive, extra game insuring W over already bowl eligible UVa, the school’s athletics marketing department  sent out email notices heralding that the Cards are “BOWⱢ BOUND.”

Geez, guys, what took you so long?

So, if you’re a diehard Louisville Cardinal fan and decembering with the spouse and in-laws and kiddos in Motown or Shreveport or Annapolis or The House That Ruth Built or some other balmy clime is your wassail, your stocking’s been stuffed and it ain’t even Turkey Day yet.

Place your orders now. Plenty o’ good seats to be had. Travel packages available.

Yes, I know that’s a bit of a snarky opening. But, feeling good about the noticeable improvement the Cards showed, and flush with the season’s most satisfying victory, I couldn’t help but be bemused that the school didn’t even allow the fans time to savor a victory pizza and some brews before rifling through the faithful’s wallets.

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So, what do we call U of L’s ascendent running back duo? Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Virginia

Louisville CardFile: Bellarmine

Updated 11/08 6:25 am

About midpoint of the second half, right around the time that Bellarmine coach Scotty Davenport put on display his oft appearing sideline immaturity by getting a T called after berating a ref, when Deng Adel clanked two of four free throw opportunities just seconds after making a stirring reverse slam on a drive from the right corner (one of the few times he drove the ball without losing his dribble), right about then, when U of L’s mediocrity had been on display as if in tape loop for 30 minutes of action, I jotted this down in my game notes:


(Yes I printed it, not cursive, all caps, exclamation point.)

It wasn’t just that Adel proved for all his incredible athletic prowess that he still can’t be trusted dribbling the rock. He committed high 5 turnovers. Or that VJ King’s decision making is still suspect. He also committed 5 turnovers. Or that their team high 21 and 14 points respectively seemed, I dunno, less that satisfying.

It wasn’t simply that U of L gave it away 20 times, and, not working the ball crisply on offense like the Wesleyan tilt, only had 11 assists. Or that the Cards only had three blocks and three steals against its smaller, lesser crosstown DII foe. Or that the slower but more savvy Knights had at least ten wide open layups on the night. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Bellarmine

Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week XI

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

And I’m not talking THE Ohio State University.

But I digress with that hint o’ schadenfreude so loathe am I to face reality. But I cannot ignore my own failings any longer, as I face a season on the brink.

Last weekend I was 1-4, the worst slate ever in the history of SDKPPP. 30-25 for the season. Woe is me.

So, I’ve taken the steps that any right thinking head coach on the Dead Man Walking list would take. I’ve fired my entire staff. I’ve scrapped my system and gone back to the drawing board. I cleaned out my hard drive. Put new batteries in my wireless mouse and keyboard. Taken a meeting with Joey the Vig in search of encouraging words. Listened to tapes of Nick Saban’s press conferences for the last decade. Asked Jim Bakker for a special blessing. Donned a hair shirt with the logo of every school Lane Kiffin has coached.

I am not deterred. I forge ahead.

This week’s winners:

Georgia @ Auburn. Now this one is Real Big Time Football. At least that’s what the Paul Finebaum acolytes would have us believe. At least the ones who don’t own 75 Roll Damn Tide ballcaps. And, truth be told, they’d be right with this one this season, though we’re really tired of hearing how good the SEC is. Kirby Smart appears the real deal. His Bulldogs haven’t lost. Even left South Bend after delivering a haymaker to TD Jesus. But, Auburn is not, as my mother would say, chopped liver. The Plainsmen’s only two Ls were in Death Valley I and Death Valley II. So topsy turvy has this season turned out, I’m thinking another spoiler is upon us. Toomer gets toilet papered.

Iowa @ Wisconsin. Here’s a battle between a couple B10 schools that always seem misunderestimated on the gridiron. The Hawkeyes appear to beat some top squad every year. At least when they play them in Iowa City. The Buckeyes last weekend. The Wolverines last season. But this encounter with the undefeated and underappreciated and — some say — untested Badgers is at Camp Randall. Where, it must be pointed out, Iowa won during its magical ’15 campaign. Wisconsin’s signature W of its nine this year was over, uh, well, nobody really. OK, Northwestern. In regulation. The Badgers have been consistently excellent for half a decade now, without much acclaim. Which the Big Cheese Nation craves. Wisconsin. Meaning they’ll be celebrating in New Glarus at Glarner Stube, home of the world’s largest urinal.

Notre Dame @ Miami. How did this ever get scheduled? We’ve all seen the 30 for 30. Oh yeah, the Irish are obligated to play so many ACC schools every season, even though they remain :independent” but capable of stealing a league bowl slot. And, begosh and begorren, this turns out to be a legit Top 10 battle. Notre Dame lost only once, by a single digit, to the top team in the country. Miami’s record is unblemished, and somewhat enhanced after besting the Hokies last week. Because ND always always always gets the benefit of the doubt, and because the punditocracy still doesn’t fully believe in the ‘Canes, the South Benders are looked upon as faves, even though the game is in FLA. Because, Mark Richt is a nice dude, and Brian Kelly is a putz. Convicts.

Kentucky @ Vanderbilt. The Wildcats always do what they always do, thus UK is never — never ever — a safe bet. Kentucky has lost twice this season on the last play of the game. The Gators. Ole Miss. And would have had a the hat trick were Rocky Top not so inept and had one more play. Kentucky is bowl eligible and sits at 3 up 3 down in league play. Vandy is ofer the SEC, and needs to win 2 of 3 against UK, Mizzou and the Vols to make it the AAMCO Depends Famous Poulan Weedeater Asparagus Bowl. Not only are the Commodores hungry for some post season swag, but they are slight faves in NashVegas where they’ve beaten the Cats thrice in a row. Derek Mason would be on the hot seat, were there any such creature on West End Avenue. Based upon nothing whatsoever, not even a hunch or coin flip, I say ‘Dores.

Virginia @ Louisville. Here’s a game, despite the presence of the most exciting player still in college pigskin, that’s got the whole pigskin planet yawning. The Cards have lost three out of four, and haven’t tackled an opponent since the turn of the century, surrendering 31 ppg, which ranks a lowly 93d in the land. The Wahoos season is impossible to figure out. Just a few weeks ago, they stood 5-1. Then proceeded to be throttled by BC and Pitt — I dunno, you tell me — then upended Georgia Tech. The Cards had last weekend off for R & R. If they lose, the fan base will immediately turn its wandering eyes to hoops, which tips off on Sunday. The Cards will win. The fans will still turn to basketball.

— Seedy K


Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week X

So, yeah, feeling the bad karma I brought upon myself by picking the Cards to lose weekend before last — U of L prevailed over Florida State by the hair on its chinny chin chin — I returned to normal last time out, picking Louisville to defeat the Demon Deacons.

Of course, the feckless Cardinals were crushed by Wake Forest, a school’s student athletes in revenge mode. Sigh.

TCU also lost. To my new favorite upstart Iowa State. So I didn’t feel too bad, despite how it hurt my W/L record.

Kentucky, rising Boston College and resilient Ohio State won as predicted.

Which gave me my second positive weekend in a row at 3-2. For the year: 29-21. Mediocre frankly but, feeling the best is yet to come, I trudge ahead as BCS Shakedown Season is upon us.

Louisville has this weekend off, allowing me time to seek treatment for my schizophrenia over whether it’s OK to pick against them when I feel they’ll lose.

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