U of L linebackers James Burgess and Keith Kelsey have decided to go full Dean Portman/Fulton Reed and call themselves the "Bash Brothers" this year.
John Swofford spoke at length with David Teel about one of the most pressing issues facing the ACC: its TV contract discussions with ESPN.
"I think the timing is coming in at a good point," Swofford told me, "what our membership is and how competitive we are. ... But another major part of it is timing in terms of the distribution and those deals (between ESPN and cable providers), which we have totally nothing to do with."
The marketplace, indeed. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that as more folks reject cable bundling and opt for a la carte television consumption, ESPN has lost 7.2 million subscribers in the last four years, three million in the last year. Moreover, the Hollywood Reporter says the network has been directed by parent company Disney to slash costs.
Swofford does not believe those developments will affect what he called ongoing "quality discussions" with ESPN.
"ESPN is our partner, and obviously you're interested in anything going on with them," he said. "What they would do with us, in theory, it's a growth opportunity for them. It's a revenue-generating opportunity, the channels that they do.
"They're business people. When they go in that direction, they go in that direction because they think that they can make money. It's an investment. I don't think companies like that look at investments falling into the belt-tightening, cost-cutting area. It's really sort of two different things."
Also in the ACC's favor: ESPN already teams with the SEC on its channel, and the infrastructure already in place at ESPNU and SEC Network headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., would minimize start-up costs.
Charlotte has hosted the last five ACC football championship games and is contracted for the event through 2019. What better HQ for the conference's channel?
The current landscape gives the ACC and ESPN three contrasting precedents: The Big Ten Network was slowed by early distribution issues before mushrooming into a windfall; the SEC Network was an instant smash last year; the Pac-12 Networks continue to struggle with limited distribution and high costs that, without a partner, are absorbed by member schools.
"If we're going to do this," Swofford said, "we need to do it in the right way from the beginning that gives us the opportunity to have long-term success, and that's what we're trying to do and time it in a way so the distribution can be good, if not great, coming out, if we go this route. The other alternative is larger rights fees (from ESPN)."
Louisville's monster recruiting week has the potential to get even bigger, as Male High star wide receiver Keion Wakefield will be announcing his college decision Thursday at 1 p.m. Wakefield is down to Louisville, Kentucky, Purdue, and Indiana.
So Louisville has sold more than 27,000 and Auburn is over 29,000. Both schools want to sell 31,000. #ACCKickoff— Howie Lindsey (@howielindsey) July 20, 2015
It doesn't seem likely that Dennis Smith Jr. is going to leave the state of North Carolina, but he does have Louisville in his final six. Here's a look at how he went from a bench warmer to the top point guard in the class of 2016.
If you only counted gold medals and made U of L athletes their own country, the Cardinals would rank ninth overall at this year's Pan American Games, and fourth in swimming.
According to the Red Rage Tailgate folks, the Georgia Dome pre-sells parking passes on its website and will be opening its RV lot at 5 a.m. on Sept. 5.
We talked earlier about Louisville potentially being featured in NBA 2K16, well here's how 2K Sports can get away with that.
U of L commit VJ King will not play in this weekend's AAU event in Louisville.
The Louisville Boat Club has announced that next year it will host the Louisville International Open, a $250,000 WTA event held Aug. 22-28 -- one week before the 2016 U.S. Open.
U of L hoops target Kameron McGusty committed to Oklahoma on Monday.
Sports on Earth is halfway through the process of unveiling its list of the top 100 college football teams of all-time.
Louisville commit Rodjay Burns from Trinity High School is poised for a breakout senior season.
Five-star/four-star wide receiver N'Keal Harry has Louisville on his final list of 10.
I expect him to be a Heisman finalist. https://t.co/9wsWNSinCf— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) July 17, 2015
U of L baseball has landed a commitment from yet another Chicago high school star.
Miami's new adidas uniforms aren't as cool as ours.
Wake Forest linebacker Brandon Chubb expects his team's Friday night home game against Louisville on the day before Halloween to be the most hyped of the season.
When schedules were released for the 2015 Atlantic Coast Conference season, Wake Forest linebacker Brandon Chubb took immediate notice of the Demon Deacons' home game against Louisville, scheduled for the Friday night of Halloween weekend, Oct. 30. It'll be nationally televised on ESPN2.
"We're looking forward to it," Chubb said at the ACC Kickoff. "That will be a good matchup. I think that will probably be the most hyped home game this upcoming season."
When schedules are announced, Chubb said, players always notice the non-Saturday games, and he enjoys the change of pace.
"There are less people playing that day, so you know you get more coverage," he said.
Chubb said Wake Forest's game against Boston College on a Friday two years ago reminded him of the Friday night lights of high school football.
"I know that same feeling will be recreated at BB&T Field (against U of L) especially with it being Halloween weekend," he said. "I'm really excited."
Buffalo Low Down profiles Eric Wood, who, by the way, recently celebrated the birth of his first child.
Sheldon Rankins is the only Card to earn a first team All-ACC nod from the folks of the Asheville Citizen-Times.
And finally, John Ramsey and I are back on the air from 3-6 on 93.9 The Ville talking about everything from today's second day of the ACC Kickoff and all else happening in the world of Cardinal sports.