Spread check: Louisville by 3.5.
Weather check: I'm a little hesitant to post this since the weather Gods apparently toyed with our emotions all last week, but whatever. High of 64, low of 44 and a few showers are possible. Chance of rain is 30%.
Perhaps the biggest story tonight is that ESPN has finally done us a solid and moved Friday night's game from ESPN2 to the big network. Kickoff is still scheduled for 8 p.m.
Yesterday it was Gorgui Dieng at the center of a terrific national story, today it's Teddy Bridgewater.
Still, Bridgewater would mow lawns when he had the time, or wash cars, just for extra money to give to his mother. When her treatments began in earnest, there were days she could not get out of bed in the morning. Bridgewater would stay behind to help his mom, only to be late to school. He was late so many times, school officials threatened to suspend him before Murphy explained the situation.
Her treatments went on for months, during football season. Her hair fell out, she lost her appetite, her legs were weak with fatigue. Her whole body ached. But Rose Murphy went to work every morning. And she refused to miss a game. She was there, every Friday night, her fortitude fighting the poison trying to destroy her.
"I know being there gave him strength," Murphy said. "I always tell him he's my biggest inspiration, and he always tells me I'm his biggest inspiration. I always tell him we can inspire each other."
Solid work yet again from Andrea Adelson.
Since he would never say it publicly, I'll go ahead and say it for him: Teddy Bridgewater is better than Munchie Legaux.
As if the Munchie quote wasn't enough cause for outrage, word spread this afternoon that the cars of both Gorgui Dieng and Mike Marra were broken into outside of Minardi Hall. Gorgui lost headphones, an ipod and a jar of change. That's right, someone stole a jar of f---ing change from Gorgui f---ing Dieng.
I've never wished I was Batman more than I do at this second.
Russdiculous (the horse) came in second place in his first race at Santa Anita on Saturday, and the Afternoon Underdogs have the audio.
Also, my new favorite thing in the world is Russ talking about the horse as if it's actually himself. Example: "I almost pulled it out, but it was still very cool."
Sarasota-Card makes our Friday dream a visual reality.
And then Lord Kayoss takes things a (fancy) step further.
Seth Davis of CBS spent some time with the Louisville basketball team this week and wrote an extensive piece about his thoughts on the experience. Perhaps most interesting part was his section on Chane Behanan.
X-factor: Behanan. The obvious answer here should be Smith -- Will he be Russ-diculous or Russ-tastic? -- but to me Behanan is the more critical player. His talent is undeniable. He isn't real big for a power forward (6-6, 250 pounds), but his combination of athleticism and strength is Barkleyesque. When Behanan finishes on the break, he dunks the ball down.
Yet, put him in a halfcourt setting, and Behanan makes foolish spin dribbles and fires no-look passes that sail out of bounds. Morevoer, Pitino raised some red flags about his attitude. "He needs to love basketball more. What I've found is you've got to force him in the gym," he said. "I also worry about his lack of humility. He's a great kid, but this is an environment where you can't get full of yourself. It's the greatest killer of potential when everybody tells you how good you are. He loves the limelight too much."
I felt like Pitino tried to build up Chane a lot during his freshman season when he talked about how surprised he was about things like Behanan's maturity and work ethic. I don't think it's so much that Chane has changed significantly as much as it is Pitino is really trying to push him in order to get as much out of him as possible. All you can do is hope the young man listens, because if he doesn't buy into what Pitino's selling now then he's not going to hear his name called if he chooses to leave school next spring.
Front of ESPN's college football page:
Kind of feel like someone let the cat out of the bag about my birthday party being at Leaps N Bounds this year, and that's what this is all about.
You wanna roll to the Bounds with me and the boys? You better start coming at me with some genuine ish, world wide leader.
Charlie Strong says that Stephan Robinson earned playing time over Andrew Johnson and Terrell Floyd because of a solid week of practice leading up to the USF game. After giving up two big plays, Robinson is now out for redemption.
CBS likes the Cards by a wide margin on Friday.
Magic number for Cincinnati: 4. The Bearcats have won the last four times these two have played, including a 25-16 victory last year in Cincy.
Magic number for Louisville: 20. Under Strong, the Cardinals are just 1-8 when scoring 20 points or less. They are 36-6 when eclipsing the 20-point mark. On average, the Bearcats give up 16.8 points per game.
The game comes down to: Cincinnati bouncing back. The Bearcats loss to Toledo was bad, but that stench would be hastily removed with a win at Louisville. A good start to quiet the crowd is imperative.
Prediction: Louisville 35, Cincinnati 17
Trinity star James Quick tweeted Monday night that he will be announcing his college decision on Jan. 5. That would be the day of the Army All-American Bowl.
I've received a surprisingly low number of pumpkin carving submissions this year, but here's a good one from rmplap01.
Teddy Brodgewater doesn't believe Charlie Strong is going anywhere anytime soon.
Two Decembers ago, on a recruiting visit to Louisville, five-star quarterback Teddy Bridgewater looked Charlie Strong in the eye and asked him the one question he'd brought with him from Miami.
"Are you going to be here in four years?"
Bridgewater is aware of the rumors, but he hasn't asked Strong about them because of what the coach told him on that recruiting visit.
"He said he'll be here my whole four years," Bridgewater said, "and so far he's been true to his word. He hasn't let me down thus far, and I still will continue to believe him that he will not take any job."
The Cincy Enquirer's UC blog takes a first look at Louisville.
The big concern for the Cards heading into Friday night's showdown are their recent lapses on defense.
"It's not the things they (opponents) do, it's the things we don't do that gets us in trouble,'' junior linebacker George Durant said. "Our coaches have the game plan down to a `T,' and we have to dot the `I's'. If we execute that and stay in our gaps and do our assignments, we'll shut teams out.''
Most of the Cardinals' issues concern a run defense that was expected to be their strength this season. It still is for the most part, ranking 34th at 125.9 yards per game.
But that's 25 more than last year's average, and it's just fifth best in the Big East. In addition, the Cardinals have allowed 197 yards to South Florida and a season-high 224 to Southern Mississippi.
The U of L women's basketball team held their annual Tipoff Luncheon on Tuesday.
UC's official site busts out some Keg of Nails stats and storylines.
Lozo loves the fans:
Big Purp gonna Big Purp.
Wednesday night marks your final chance to see the men's soccer team take the field in regular season action, as the Cards step out of conference and host UC Irvine at 7 p.m.
The Cardinal volleyball team, which still has not lost on the road, moved up to No. 13 in the national rankings this week.
DePaul fans are already in midseason form.
I should cancel my season tickets. There's really no hope ever for #DePaul. I'm about done with this BS program— Blue Demon (@BlueDemonDePaul) October 23, 2012
The Star Ledger has Rutgers on top of Louisville in its Big East power rankings for the first time this season.
1. Rutgers (7-0, 4-0 in Big East)
Scarlet Knights, who rank one slot ahead of Louisville in the BCS standings at No. 15, have finally overtaken them in this space. The Knights earned the top spot on the strength of a common opponent and the Cardinals' uneven play. They defeated South Florida, 23-13, while the Cardinals needed a touchdown with 1:35 remaining to escape with a 27-25 victory.
2. Louisville (7-0, 2-0)
It seems every game has been a white-knuckle affair for the Cardinals, who hold the No. 16 spot in the BCS rankings. Their latest scare came against USF on Saturday. Four of the Cardinals' last five victories have come by seven points or less against North Carolina, Florida International, Southern Mississippi and South Florida.
Would really love for an undefeated showdown on the last Thursday night of the regular season.
The AP says the U of L basketball team is deep and talented. Just like...stop it, you told yourself when you started this blurb that you weren't going to take it there. People are reading this. Act like it.
Just like your mom.
Bearcats Blog gives us a nice recap of Butch Jones' Tuesday press conference.
The Card Chronicle Bird Mask is now just $11.20. Buy one for the whole family. Force them all to wear it against their will.
This is why Maine should never be abbreviated.
Also, can we pass some sort of bill that makes it Ok for the "Y" in "Ky" to always be lower-case? It just looks so much more pleasing than "KY." If it's just me I'll shut up. If it's not just me then I'm launching an all-out assault on the issue. I feel pretty strongly about this and it's only going to take a small amount of suport to send me to that next level.
Yahoo previews Friday's game but doesn't offer a prediction.
And finally, a really good read on Tom Jurich from the perpetually delightful Eric Crawford.