Apologies for the lack of prescience, but this week is going to be rough so you're not going to get the best of me. Or really even the 11 drinks deep trying way too hard to be funny in front of more sober people me. You're getting the too sick to talk, watching Charmed on the CW at 3:30 in the afternoon me.
Enjoy the ride.
While the performance of the Louisville players on Saturday exceeded just about every expectation I had, I'm sorry, I just can't get overly excited about a close loss to a below average Kentucky team. Especially when said loss resulted in the program's first three-game losing to streak to UK in nearly a century.
When all of this started three years ago, I said that regardless of how bad things got this fan base would never be be able to return to where it was in 1998 when being invited to the Motor City Bowl felt like a Final Four. Considerably raised expectations go hand-in-hand with the taste of big-time success, and a a couple of sub-par seasons doesn't change that. None of us should be making toasts in Steve Kragthorpe's name because he almost beat a once-dominated rival for the first time.
I believe that the 2006 Kentucky team that Louisville dismantled by 31 points would handle this group of Wildcats with relative ease. To make matters worse, the '09 Cats didn't play anywhere near their potential four days ago and still escaped with a victory over their biggest rival.
Am I more optimistic about the season ahead? Yes. Was I pleasantly surprised by the way this group of Cardinals played? Absolutely. Am I going to celebrate the fact that we kept a game with Kentucky close? No.
Justin Burke could not have done more to lead his team to victory, and I'll fully admit it, I could not have been more surprised. Seeing extended action in a live game for the first time since 2005, in his hometown and against his team's biggest rival, the guy who the coaching staff probably didn't want to be in this position played with incredible poise, making clutch throw after clutch throw and almost guiding the Cards to an enormous upset.
There is no greater reason to think that these guys just may be able to hang in the Big East than the play of Burke on Saturday.
Again, I really, really don't want this to become one of those sites where we talk about how bad the head coach is more than we support the team, but Steve Kragthorpe did not coach a good game. Though his team looked as prepared and as intense as they have since he arrived here, the head coach's in-game decision making was again dreadful. A fact made doubly upsetting by the fact that he was handling 100% of the play-calling for the first time.
--Wasted timeouts have been a trend since September of 2007, and Kragthorpe again tossed three away for no good reason. Not getting plays in on time just can't happen.
--The fourth-and-one option to the short side of the field with an immobile quarterback and a running back not named Victor Anderson was absolutely beyond defense. Anderson, who once again was tremendous, had been met at the line multiple times and still had not rushed without gaining at least a yard.
--Equally egregious was Anderson not being in the game for two consecutive running plays on the second-to-last drive of the game.
--Outside of Cory Goettsche and the surprisingly powerful leg of Chris Philpott, special teams were once again a weak spot. An offsides on a kickoff may very well have been the difference between victory and defeat.
--Calling a run on 3rd and 1 with less than a minute left and no timeouts and not having your quarterback know beyond the shadow of a doubt that he's supposed to spike the ball on the next play is inexcusable.
--The bad ass act after the game would carry a lot more weight if everyone in the city hadn't been first-hand witnesses to the constant show of monotony and apparent denseness that has been on display for the past 36 months.
I can't think of anyone I would have wanted that to have happened to less than Trent Guy.
I'm sure multiple people have told him that his team wouldn't have been in the game if hadn't have been for his play, and I'm sure that hasn't made him feel any better, but it's the absolute truth. The man's all heart and he's going to make several more enormous plays for this team before his Cardinal career ends.
Scott Long showed that when he's 100% he's capable of getting the better of any corner in the country. I really hope he's somehow able to get the recognition he deserves over the next couple of months.
I didn't understand Byron Stingily starting over Jeff Adams when the initial depth chart came out, but I gave the coaching staff the benefit of the doubt. I thought a change might be made after Stingily committed two holding penalties against Indiana State's front four, but still figured the staff knew something I didn't. After his three highly costly penalties on Saturday, I'll be furious if Adams isn't starting at left tackle sans the passing along of some very good reason (i.e. stabbed a toddler in June).
I wish I was more like Johnny Patrick.
Video games are the new World Book, people.
The open thread last weekend was especially hopping and exciting to take part in. A late road game against a quality opponent should provide another enjoyable experience on Saturday.
Stick with the Pipe or give the Milk Chug its shot? I'm open to suggestions., but don't anoyone put this loss on Pipe-Smoking Schnelly.
I’m going to read every comment, every fanshot, every fanpost and if you say anything about Pipe-Smoking Schnelly, I’ll never put up another game thread again. I’m telling you, don’t do it. Because that guy’s a stud, and I’ve got his back. Pipe-Smoking Schnelly is a freaking stud.