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Cards fifth in SI preview

Sports Illustrated's annual college football preview hit stores today, and the publication was far higher on Steve Kragthorpe and Louisville than the bulk of its competitors.

SI has the Cards at No. 5 in its preseason Top 20, one spot behind rival West Virginia.

A day after formally being introduced as the new coach, Kragthorpe was showing Brohm tape from his days at Tulsa and giving his quarterback a playbook. Brohm and his brother Jeff, the Cardinals' quarterbacks coach, liked what they saw. "[Tulsa] threw a lot, spread the field and got the ball to their playmakers," says Brian. On Jan. 15, Brohm announced he was returning.

Kragthorpe plans to incorporate aspects of Petrino's trademark spread with the system he used at Tulsa, which features a quick-hit passing attack. With big-play wideouts Harry Douglas (70 catches, 1,265 yards, six touchdowns in 2006) and Mario Urrutia (58 catches, 973 yards, six TDs) on the receiving end, Brohm could lead Louisville to another BCS appearance and win the Heisman in the process. That would mean Kragthorpe's first recruiting effort had yielded a significant return.

Rutgers was the only other Big East member to appear in the rankings coming in at No. 12.

USC again was tabbed as the team to beat, followed (again) by Louisiana State, and defending national champion Florida.

In addition to the top-five team ranking, Brian Brohm was No. 4 in SI's "Top 20 Players Heading Into 2007," topped only by Arkansas running back Darren McFadden, LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey and West Virginia running back Steve Slaton.

Also, the Thursday night showdown between the U of L and WVU landed at No. 5 in the magazine's Top 20 Games of 2007.