The Steve Kragthorpe era will begin on Thurday, Aug. 30 at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium when Louisville will kick off the much anticipated 2007 season by hosting Murray State.
All the makings of a thriller are in place.
Louisville returns 21 players who started at least one game in a 2006 season that saw the Cardinals go 12-1 and win the Orange Bowl, while Murray is coming off of a 1-10 campaign in which they lost six games by more than three touchdowns.
Offseason workouts should be especially intense given that bulletin board material is already making its way out of the mouths of the in-state challengers.
"The financial benefit of playing a team of Louisville's caliber will be an asset to our program," said Racers head coach Matt Griffin with a sinister smile. "We'll completely remodel our weight room and make other improvements to our program."
If Griffin's tirade wasn't enough, MSU Director of Athletics Allen Ward just had to get in on the action.
"Playing a game against a I-A opponent obviously has financial advantages for our program," Ward said.
This is going to make Miami/Florida State look like Cal Tech/Bard.
For the record there are 1,127 teams I would rather play than Murray State, including but not limited to: any team from the Sun Belt, any team from the MAC, Western Kentucky, Georgetown College, Trinity High School, and the Murray State basketball team.
I understand that much of this is Kentucky's doing, and that it's hard to find a game just seven and-a-half months before the season, but Murray State? I'm happy we're helping out another in-state program, but couldn't we have given them the money not to play us?