So the power is out at my house for the 87th time in the last nine months, and I have a limited amount of time to get this done before the battery on my computer dies. It's sort of like the modern deadline.
Also, I apologize for the brevity of my post-game, uh, post Tuesday morning. I was a bit medicated at the time, and to be completely honest I don't even really remember writing it. It looks like all the especially uninsightful stuff made it up there though, so that's good.
It a blatant display of one upsmanship, the folks over at Stop Vitale have taken in Grant Wahl's annual "Magic 8" and responded with a Magic Four. Based on their criteria, the four teams they believe have a shot at winning the national title this season are Kansas, UCLA, North Carolina and Louisville.
Why Not?: Again, there is hope that Derrick Caracter will be a legitimate low-post threat, but who knows. That's the problem with this team. Is its inconsistency a product of the injuries or can these guys just not get it together as a unit? Good things happen when Padgett gets the ball in the post, but he's not someone to be double-teamed. And who the hell knows which Earl Clark will show up. At this point, I'm also not sure they can win a fast-paced game. The one game they played against a true up-tempo team, Seton Hall, they looked pretty bad. This is a team worth revisiting at the end of February but they make the list on incredible potential.
Watch Our For: Probably just themselves. That's not to say they are unbeatable when playing their best, but there isn't really one specific thing that could single-handedly beat Louisville. Obviously a fast-paced, efficient offensive team could be a potential nightmare but they could also get beaten by a plodding team that has a hot shooting night. Also lupus. You don't want that.
Perhaps the line about the three-point shooting is a bit ill-timed.
Yes, the Cards took one on the chin Monday night, but don't think for a second that the rest of the country didn't take note of some of the bright spots. Terrance Williams and Jorge Sosa did give heroic efforts, and Hasheem Thabeet was intimidated by Scott Padgett.
There were 24 first-year college football head coaches in 2007, and Rivals.com believes that Steve Kragthorpe did the 24th best job out of all of them.
The good news? Kragthorpe did manage to take out Cincinnati and Brian Kelly, the man who sits atop the list.
Kragthorpe also gets a shout-out in Olin Buchanan's "25 Questions for the 2008 Season."
Flip a coin between Notre Dame's Charlie Weis and Louisville's Steve Kragthorpe, whose teams are coming off terribly disappointing 2007 seasons. Weis is trying to avoid becoming the first coach in Notre Dame history to endure consecutive losing seasons. Louisville was expecting to contend for a national championship but flopped to a 6-6 finish and no bowl appearance. Perhaps preceding Louisville coach Bobby Petrino left Kragthorpe an overrated team with issues on defense. But if significant improvement isn't shown in 2008, the Louisville fan base may not have much patience.
The reports on Harry Douglas's performance during Senior Bowl week are in, and are for the most part a mixed bag. If you feel so inclined, the links to the reports where the following comments were made can be found here.
--Louisville WR Harry Douglas really looked out of sorts. Douglas was very slow coming out of his breaks and had the ball bounce off his hands too many times...
--Harry Douglas, WR, Louisville: Did not explode out of his stance today. Rounded off routes during his drills. Failed to separate from his defender.
--Harry Douglas (Louisville) showed great hands and quickness all day, overshadowing the disappointment of his weighing only 170 at the weigh-in this morning.
--Louisville's Harry Douglas needs to rebound from tough debut on Monday. Douglas seemed to be fighting the ball, which is unlike him. He dropped at least three passes we saw during the session.
--Douglas had two catches against Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
--Harry Douglas, WR, Louisville: Still is not showing the speed necessary to be a playmaker. Rounds his routes too much...in fact, his coach said he "had his blinker on" for the corner to advertise he was cutting out. Showed decent hands at times, although he let a few into his body
--Tiny Louisville WR Harry Douglas (169 pounds) is doing anything he can to impress the coaches and scouts. He's even holding on extra points and field goals.
--Harry Douglas was criticized on his out route cut, then followed that up with a drop.
--Harry Douglas is criticized for running a sloppy deep out route.
--Harry Douglas redeemed himself on an athletic leap to grab a sailing Andre Woodson pass.
--Watching kick returns, Harry Douglas either doesn't have Early Doucet's speed, or he doesn't practice full tilt.
--Harry Douglas held on despite tight coverage and contact after the play from Chevis Jackson
--With the exception of Early Doucet and Andre Caldwell, the strongest hands seem to be Louisville's Harry Douglas. On several occasions Douglas pin-pointed the ball at its highest point and snatched hot passes while making the initial defender miss. The problem, however, is Douglas' route-running. Despite good quickness and rare deep speed, Douglas rounds off his routes, drawing the ire of the San Francisco coaching staff on several occasions.
--Louisville WR Harry Douglas continued to struggle to get open and again dropped too many passes.
--Harry Douglas, Louisville - didn't just tip off his routes, veered to the side the route was going to. Coaches chastised him for fighting the ball. Seemed to do better in game conditions than drill conditions.
--Louisville WR Harry Douglas dropped what would be a sure touchdown on a well-thrown pass from Tennessee's Eric Ainge and probably needs to do something in the game to make up for a mediocre showing.
--Harry Douglas, WR, Louisville: Again looked pedestrian at best. Rounded off out too many out routes, and lost his balance so badly on one that he fell to the ground and allowed a pick. Snatched an occasional pass, but also let too many into his body.
--Douglas drops a corner route, letting the ball pass between his forearms.
--Trent Dilfer: The kid that I love that isn't being talked about is Harry Douglas from Louisville. You're looking at a guy who you could make every excuse for why not to draft him -- skinny frame, he's not the tallest, he may not have the greatest top-end speed. But he's just going to be a guy who shows up on Sundays. He's going to be a guy who can play in the slot right away on third downs and can be a first-down machine. He's got the easy body language to read, great ball skills. He's a football player. Watch him when he's away from the play and not getting the ball. He's always playing. So I'm really impressed with him.
--Douglas overdue with delivering his big-play ability with a very nice leap and catch on a sailing ball deep at the sideline, take everything I said and paste it on Douglas, I expected so much more from him by this point.
--Stock falling--Barry Richardson, Harry Douglas, Steve Justice, Patrick Lee, Donnie Avery, Andre Woodson and Colt Brennan.
--Wide receiver Harry Douglas of Louisville showed some of the quickness we talked about in the game, catching the big first down throw from Ainge to keep the game winning drive alive.
--Harry Douglas: Douglas found seams and was open all day long. In fact, if it weren't for Sedrick Ellis crushing Andre Woodson on a play that Douglas broke free in the end zone, he would have scored a TD to go with a VERY nice crossing route in the closing minute when he showed off his speed. After making a catch he picked up 15 more yards by beating the entire North defensive backfield to the opposite side of the field and managed to even get out of bounds and stop the clock.
I find the multiple complaints over Douglas's route-running extremely puzzling since it always seemed like one of, if not his biggest strengths during his time here. Regardless, there isn't a draft expert breathing - or not breathing for that matter - who can convince me that Harry won't be special at the next level if he falls into the right situation.
Brendon Desrochers counts down the Big East point guards he'd most like to see directing his team, a list headed by Connecticut's A.J. Price. Edgar shows up at number 15.
All right, the last grain of sand is about to escape from the hourglass here, so that's going to wrap it up. If you don't hear from me for a while just know that I'm cold and upset...and handsome...and probably hungry.