Though earning the AAC's BCS bid is now officially an impossibility, Louisville will still be playing for the chance to win a share of a conference championship for a third straight season on Thursday night. And if that's not motivation enough, the Cards also don't want to go back to the Belk Bowl.
"We don't want to go back to the Belk Bowl," U of L defensive end Marcus Smith said of the Dec. 28 bowl game played in Charlotte, N.C. "That would be downgrading. We've already been there. We want to get this win so we can go to the Russell Athletic Bowl."
But timing more than anything else is the best advantage the Russell Athletic Bowl has. The game kicks off at 6:45 p.m., nearly three hours after the annual basketball rivalry game between U of L and the University of Kentucky.
"Conversation starts with the UL/UK basketball game," the bowl's Twitter account posted Sunday afternoon. "If the 'Ville makes it here, we'll make plans to show it somewhere before kickoff."
But even one of the team's best politicians had to admit it: The Russell Athletic Bowl is what they want.
"It's going to be pretty cold in North Carolina," (Jake Smith) said.
In news that should make the U of L marketing department drop a collective "we shoulda thoughta that," Cincinnati will be giving Keg of Nails trophy replicas to the first 5,000 UC students inside Nippert Stadium on Thursday. The catch is that those students will be issued wristbands that they will be able to exchange for the trophy starting at the beginning of the fourth quarter...meaning they'll have to stay for the whole game to earn their prize.
Shoni and Jude Schimmel after a loss signing autographs and taking photos for a group of about 75 Native Americans in Memorial Coliseum.— Jody Demling (@jdemling) December 1, 2013
After sweeping the AAC's regular season (apparently the AAC felt no need to play a tournament), the Louisville volleyball team earned an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament, where they'll face old conference rival Marquette Friday night at 5:30. The winner of that will move on to face either Morehead State or regional host and No. 13 overall seed Illinois.
The last time the Cardinals and Golden Eagles squared off was the 2012 Big East tournament championship match, where the CCBM made one of its greatest triumphs to date.
The match was in Milwaukee, and this hero was sitting by himself in the front row as a national television audience watched on ESPNU. Louisville won.
Best of luck to the ladies in Champaign this weekend.
University of Cincinnati president Santa (swear to God) J. Ono is asking all UC students and Bearcat fans to not use the letter L on Thursday. Because nothing says "no, we're not trying at all to be like that other much more successful and well-known program in the state" like doing the exact same thing they do with their arch-rival.
Hashtag, Beat ininnati.
So the fans of a program that will have gone 1,010 days without a conference win by the time next season kicks off are mad because a rival coach says that maybe they need to win a conference game or two before they talk shit? I mean, be mad at yourselves.
This is one of those types of situations I like to point to whenever Kentucky fans try to play the "our fan bases are actually the same" card.
If a rival coach - even one that we had taken shots at before - had said something along these lines about U of L after back-to-back 2-10 seasons (even if the Cards played in the MF'IN SEC), I genuinely believe the overwhelming reaction among Louisville fans would be, "Ok, kind of a dick move, but yeah, he's right." Whereas in the eyes of Big Blue Nation, everything Kentucky is so beyond reproach that even a slight directed at a program that hasn't won a meaningful game since Kate Middleton got married is met with outrage.
Although the situation did result in this:
So at least there was some humor.
Your first Louisville/Cincinnati AP preview of the week is up.
"Football gets a little bit long and old this time of year. It's kind of a grind for everybody," Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville said. "When your last game really means something - whether it's a chance to go to a different bowl, or the possibility for a chance of a piece of a championship, it makes it a lot more fun."
Meanwhile, Louisville's (10-1, 6-1) lone blemish remains its setback against the Knights, but the Cardinals will likely be heading to a much lesser bowl game.
"I don't think it's deflating (not going to a BCS game), because you're looking at a team right now who's won 10 games," coach Charlie Strong said. "You're sitting there 10-1, so we don't get to the BCS. We're going to get to another bowl game, but you can't take away what we've already accomplished with 10 wins."
Richard Pitino talks about the potential Louisville/Minnesota showdown to start off next season that was mentioned by Rick Pitino last week. The younger Pitino says that the game is a 99% certainty at this point.
After a somewhat slow start for the league, the AAC is now one of just four conferences in Division-I with all of its members owning a .500 record or better. The American teams are a collective 52-17 (0.754) after one month of play.
The UPS Team Performance Index still has Louisville in its top 10 (ahead of Ohio State!), and as a result I still enjoy it.
Unlocking Luke Hancock's pump fake would be a video game cheat code if they still had a college hoops video game. Do they still have cheat codes? Remember how you used to be able to unlock Bill Clinton on NBA Jam? That was a lot of fun.
What kind of hell did Edward Pola and George Wyle (the writers of "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," I looked it up) grow up in if they're thinking that ghost stories are somehow a Christmas tradition, let alone one of the primary rituals that makes the time of the year "wonderful?"
And don't hit me with a Dickens argument, because I've already been there in my mind, and it doesn't fly.
The only aspect of "A Christmas Carol" that is borderline "scary" is the Ghost of Christmas Future, and its story can't possibly be told as a stand alone. You would have to tell the entire tale for the third ghost to have any relevancy, and that would take WAY more time than any "party for hosting" would allow for.
Which leads me back to my original point: the line is obscenely out of place, and should be mocked at every opportunity.
Local legend Paul Hornung says he hopes it "snows and rains like a bitch" at this year's Super Bowl in New York. I'm on the "snows like a bitch" bandwagon, but "rains like a bitch?" You're going to have to do a bit more selling over here, Paul. "Fogs like a bitch" is another corner I can stand in.
Charlie Strong said again on Monday that Damian Copeland will meet with his family after Louisville's bowl game to make a final decision on whether or not he'll use the sixth year of eligibility granted to him by the NCAA.
This group of Cardinal receivers was already in the discussion for being the best in program history, and now if you get Honey Mustard and DeVante Parker back, you're almost returning the entire unit. That's scary. Good scary. Like Ghost of Christmas Future scary.
On a related note, my parents completely flipped the script and pulled this shocking power move at the Rutherford family Thanksgiving:
Yes, I finally wore one for the first time, and yes, there is photographic evidence somewhere.
The most important part of this story, however, is that masks my mom bought came with a free gift, and that free gift was what appeared to be a lobster claw-shaped piece of candy on a stick. I don't want to call it a lollipop, because that's not what this was. "Lobster claw-shaped piece of candy on a stick" is the only accurate way I can think of to describe it. But it wasn't just like a glob of candy in a lobster shape, this was actually supposed to look like a lobster claw. Why someone thought that would be a good idea for candy, and why that would be candy chosen to accompany a pair of Cardinal bird masks, I can't begin to tell you.
I didn't have the stones to take a bite, but if any of you find yourselves in a similar situation and film your act of heroism, I can guarantee that the video will make it on the front page of this site. You might lose some dignity in the process, but if you're reading this long into a Card Chronicle news and notes post...I mean, come on.
And finally, your first piece on what will be one of the biggest storylines of the week: Tommy Tuberville's prowess in big games played late in the year.