Tuesday Evening Cardinal News And Notes

For legal purposes, I have to say that I don't endorse anything taking place in this picture.

Spread check (Seton Hall): Louisville by 11.

University of Louisville head football coach Charlie Strong and the 2012 football team will host an autograph session on Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. on the concourse of Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.

Fans can get two items autographed by players and coaches and can get photographs taken with the Sugar Bowl trophy.

The event is free and open to the public.

Louisville is No. 8 in ESPN's first way too early college football rankings for 2013.

8. Louisville Cardinals:

Did any team (besides Alabama?) have a better ending to its season than Louisville? The Cardinals blasted Florida 33-23 in the Allstate Sugar Bowl to finish 11-2, a few weeks after locking up coach Charlie Strong to a long-term contract. They're also leaving the Big East for the ACC in 2014. Now here's the really good news: Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who threw for 3,718 yards with 27 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, was only a sophomore. The Cardinals will bring back six other starters on offense, but they'll have to replace center Mario Benavides (a Rimington Trophy finalist) and left tackle Alex Kupper. Strong figures to have 10 starters back from a rapidly improving defense; cornerback Adrian Bushell is the only starter expected to leave. If Louisville can dominate the Big East in its last season in the league, it figures to be a major player in the BCS title race. Its nonconference schedule will be very soft next season, with games against Ohio, FCS foe Eastern Kentucky, Kentucky and Florida International.

The lowest early odds I've seen on Louisville winning the 2012 national championship (in football) have been 22/1 from Bovada. The best I've seen have been 15/1 from Vegas Insider's RJ Bell. The Cards are tied for the eighth choice according to Bell.

I've never seen an episode of "Justified," but I understand that people are excited for its return. I am, however, the biggest "Rustified" fan you'll ever meet.

Rustified_medium

Jason Kirk sums up every college football team in the country in one sentence. I think Louisville may receive the best treatment here.

Louisville is he obvious choice for No. 1 in ESPN's first 2013 Big East power rankings.

1. Louisville. I think we can all agree here -- the Cardinals will go into the season as the prohibitive favorite to win the Big East. Teddy Bridgewater returns, along with just about every starter on a team that beat Florida in the Sugar Bowl. Get ready for this team to try to make another run.

Louisville isn't the only one limping into tomorrow night's game in New Jersey. It looks like Seton Hall will be without both Brian Oliver (8.5 ppg/4.6 rpg) and seldom-used reserve Aaron Geramipoor (0.3 ppg/1.3 rpg), who are both dealing with lower body injuries. The Pirates have also been playing without junior big man Patrik Auda since Nov. 21.

Kentucky offensive lineman T.J. Jones welcomes Mark Stoops to the world of offseason discipline by bringing a gun into his old high school after an incident that took place in the school's locker room.

The Louisville women's team looks to bounce back from this weekend's loss to...DePaul...tonight at home against Rutgers. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will be carried on CBS Sports Network for those who can't make it downtown.

Tom Jones ought to stick to providing Carlton's background music.

Here's what made the Sugar Bowl loss so disheartening if you're a Gator.

Louisville isn't that good

After his performance in the Sugar Bowl, Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is on next season's Heisman Trophy watch list. Make no mistake, the kid is good, and he was dynamite Wednesday. But come on, this is a Louisville team that almost lost to USF, Florida International and Southern Miss, for goodness' sake. It did lose to UConn and Syracuse.

There's no way a team like that should go in to the Superdome and kick the snot out of a one-loss Gators team that was a 14-point favorite. The last time the Gators played a team from the Big East in the Sugar Bowl, they dropped 51 on Cincinnati.

Know whose fault it was Florida wasn't ready this time around? Coach Will Muschamp's.

I wrote some words for tomorrow's new edition of LEO Weekly. Is it a treatise on why I believe Teddy Bridgewater's braces are at the heart of everything good that has taken place over the past six weeks? No it's not, but you should still read it. I'm told it's free.

The Herald-Leader's Mark Story tabs Russ Smith as his midseason player of the year in the state of Kentucky (I think).

So DePaul has decided to celebrate its first annual "Blue Demon Day" on Feb. 2.

DePaul University has selected Saturday, Feb. 2 as the inaugural Blue Demon Day that will be become an annual gathering of members of the University community to get together throughout the nation and world and show DePaul pride.

On the 2013 Blue Demon Day, DePaul invites all members of the University community - alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends - to come together and show how proud you are to be a Blue Demon as the men's basketball team takes on Notre Dame at Allstate Arena.

In addition to the fans in attendance at the game, Blue Demon Day will be celebrated at various locations around the country. Bring the blue by sporting your DePaul gear and help cheer the team to victory from Allstate Arena or on ESPN2 at one of the game-watches across the nation.

Ok, guys. This is sort of like the fat kid in school giving himself a derogatory nickname in the hopes that the other kids will leave him alone because he beat them to the punch.

I'm not havin' it.

I will buy a shirt for your fake holiday and I will wear it all Feb. 2 ironically.

You just made DePaul Day 2013 twice the celebration it was going to be.

Don't you pull that sh-t on me, DePaul. I'm sorry, I can't let it go.

Charlie Strong received a $25,000 bonus for winning the Sugar Bowl. His bank account has had a nice holiday run.

Jeff Goodman gives his review of the first half of the college basketball season, and says that Louisville is one of six teams that should be listed among the favorites to win it all.

While Duke may be No. 1 in the land, there's no dominant team, as was the case last season with Kentucky and maybe even a full-strength North Carolina team. This season, as many as 10 teams have a legitimate shot of reeling off six consecutive victories to cut down the nets in Atlanta. The top six teams that should be the favorites to win it all: Louisville, Indiana, Michigan, Duke, Kansas and Syracuse.

And finally, the first bracket projections of 2013 are popping up all over the Internet. NBC has Louisville as the one seed in the Midwest, while SB Nation has the Cards as a two in the West.

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