Rivals.com released its midseason awards for each conference this afternoon, and for the first time in two years the Louisville Cardinals were on the receiving end of two of the more positive recognitions.
Biggest surprise: Louisville. Syracuse has a better overall record, but the Orange also have beaten two FCS opponents and winless Akron. Louisville opens Big East play this week, but the Cardinals already look like a new team. The offense, which was so inept under Steve Kragthorpe, leads the Big East in rushing, passing and total yards.
Midseason coach of year: Louisville's Charlie Strong. Syracuse's Doug Marrone is in this mix, too. But Marrone is in his second season and Strong in his first. What's been most encouraging is the way players such as RB Bilal Powell and DE Rodney Gnat have gone from part-time roles to potential all-conference selections. Adam Froman also appears to have solidified the quarterback spot.
I enjoy Charles being in charge.