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Thursday morning Cardinal news and notes

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Token Hardy is a little bummed that we're still an entire day away from the start of the first dual Cardinal football/basketball weekend of the year.

Don't worry, buddy. I dated a chick from En Vogue when I was in junior high, and she used to tell me all the time: "You gotta make the sacrifice. Somebody's got to choose. We can make it if we try. For the sake of you and I. Together we can make it right."

I didn't really get it, but, I mean, I'm here. You know what I'm saying?

Louisville opened as a 13-point underdog at Cincinnati and that line has since jumped all the way up to 16.5.

I wish I could say I was surprised. Including West Virginia, there isn't a worse match-up for us in the Big East than Cincinnati. Add in the fact that most would say they've overachieved and we've underachieved to this point, and there's a justifiable reason why Vegas loves the Bearcats.

Our secondary is bad. Zach Collaros is very good. Our defensive line is good. The Cincy offense moves quickly and gets rid of the ball early. They average 45 points per game. We've scored 44 total points in our last three games combined. They have Isaiah Pead (473 yards/seven touchdowns). We haven't had a 100-yard rusher in a game all season.

It's just a bad match and I really wish it wasn't the conference opener.

The soccer team got Keg of Nails weekend started off on the right foot by exploding for four second half goals en route to a 4-0 destruction of Cincinnati. The women's team will travel to UC on Friday night. The volleyball Cards will also face the Bearcats on Friday

Sports Illustrated says that Louisville has the 11th best backcourt in the country.


Peyton Siva, Chris Smith, Kyle Kuric, Elisha Justice

Siva, one of the best athletes anywhere at the point-guard position, can be a menace on D: He had the Big East's second-highest steal percentage (4.13) last season. Kuric is a sharpshooter who hit 44.9 percent of his threes as a junior.
And that Kyle Kuric is the 11th best shooter in the country.

Kyle Kuric

Jr., Louisville

Kuric was an excellent floor-spreading weapon for the Cardinals as a sophomore, making 44.9 percent of his threes. He was somewhat of a one-dimensional scorer, with 59.1 percent of his points coming from beyond the arc.
Naturally, they included a picture of him dunking over Scott Martin to really drive the point home.

The big realignment story on Wednesday was that the Big East is now not being able to move forward with its expansion efforts because it can't get the basketball schools and remaining football schools to agree on which programs to invite.

Then there was also the news that Navy would not commit to joining the league unless the Big East raised its exit fee. In all this realignment madness, the Naval Academy, which also balked the first time the Big East came calling a few weeks ago, has continually proven itself to be the most (maybe only) competent player.

The fact that the Big East thinks a program like Navy is going to fall over itself because it's been invited to play football in a BCS league is symptomatic of the ignorance and arrogance that led the conference to its current unenviable position. Expecting Navy or Boise State or Houston or whoever to jump at the chance to join the Big East right now is like expecting a tourist to happily bike across the Golden Gate Bridge when 6 or 7 percent of it broke off in a freak accident a few weeks earlier. Yes, it's the Golden Gate Bridge, but that alone doesn't mean that the risk currently outweighs the reward here.

The Big East has done absolutely nothing over the course of the past two months to give any sort of impression of stability, and its two factions of programs being on two totally different pages at such a critical time is just the latest example.

U of L's offensive players say they want to play at a faster pace, and expect Shawn Watson to oblige them.

USA Today says Tom Jurich has one of the most attractive contracts in all of college sports.

On Oct. 1, 2007, Jurich and the university entered into a contract that runs through July 26, 2023. Yes, a nearly 16-year deal.

The agreement — technically an extension of an agreement that began April 1, 2004 — calls for nearly $500,000 in base salary and more than $300,000 in deferred income a year; performance bonuses worth a maximum of $644,000 a year; a series of incentives for completing certain portions of the contract; an array of perks; and a one-page list of financial costs the university agrees to absorb on the athletic department's behalf.

Jurich has a separate agreement with the University of Louisville Foundation for fundraising services. That deal pays him more than $260,000 in base salary and guarantees that he will receive at least $300,000 of the $644,000 in bonus money available under his university contract.

All together, Jurich is guaranteed a little over $1.4 million during his 2011-12 contract year.

Worth it. And I didn't even read all that.

Andrea Adelson gives her midseason take on Louisville, and it's unsurprisingly bleak.

Offensive MVP: The offense has been so anemic, there is nobody worthy of MVP. Don't believe me? Look at the stats.

Defensive MVP:LB Dexter Heyman. The Cardinals have gotten some good performances from their defense, but Heyman has stood out. Heyman leads the team with 39 tackles -- including seven for loss. He also has two sacks, one forced fumble and an interception this season.

Normally I'd call someone out for going the "there is none" route on a tough question, but I've actually spent some time thinking about this myself and can't come to a conclusion.

Will has played well, but against Murray State, Florida International and one quarter against UK. He also did the bulk of his damage against FIU when we were playing catch-up. Teddy has been solid, but his numbers don't exactly sparkle and the offense has only managed 20 points in the two games he's started. We haven't had one 100-yard rusher yet. DeVante Parker has three touchdowns but just nine total catches. Even if you wanted to go the cop out route and pick a lineman, the line has been awful and it's only real star, Benavides, has missed more than half of the season.

I guess if you put a gun to my head I'd say Stein, which I suppose is ironic since I think the majority of the fan base is more than satisfied with Teddy Bridgewater as the starting quarterback right now.

Trinity's Jason Hatcher picked up a scholarship offer from Auburn on Wednesday and will reportedly visit the school on Saturday. Hatcher now has offers from at least 15 schools, including Auburn, Oklahoma, Alabama, Notre Dame, Tennessee and Arkansas. His Shamrocks are now also the No. 2 high school team in the country according to most major rankings, including Rivals and USA Today.

Class of 2012 star Andrew White visited Louisville last weekend and said it was an "interesting situation" with the Cardinals having just one scholarship left but still recruiting a handful of players. That said, there are significant rumors that D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera has made up his mind to be a Georgetown Hoya and that he won't be attending Friday night's Red/White scrimmage as originally planned. California center Robert Upshaw, however, will still be making the trip.

Expect Louisville's second 2012 scholarship to go to either White or Upshaw. Both players recently listed the Cards in their final four. White will be taking his final visit to Texas in two weekends, while Upshaw has said that he plans to schedule his other visits soon.

And finally, class of 2013 sharp-shooter Brannen Greene trimmed his list to nine yesterday and Louisville made the cut along with UConn, Florida, Kansas, Harvard, Florida State, Providence, Ohio State and Memphis.