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Thursday Afternoon Cardinal News and Notes

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This is becoming the late summer of CCBM brides, and I love it.

I_medium Louisville will, in fact, be wearing those new black uniforms for the Thursday night game against Clemson, which is going to be a Black Out game. I'm sure we will be reminding folks dozens of times between now and then.

I_medium Speaking of the Clemson game, if you missed the show yesterday, you missed John Ramsey revealing that Muhammad Ali will be in the house for that game. Should be a pretty special night.

I_medium Tomahawk Nation ranks Florida State's seven toughest games of 2015 and has Louisville at No. 3 behind road trips to Clemson and Georgia Tech.

3. Louisville: A sneaky game, as Louisville is loaded on defense thanks to some timely transfers, and Bobby Petrino's offenses typically find a way to put up points. FSU has this sandwiched between Miami and Tech, making it very tough.

I_medium Join Bois' "Pretty Good" series is back with the great story of a Russian man who may have saved civilization by doing something that ultimately ruined his life.

I_medium The group of college hoops coaches being polled by CBS say that Kentucky is the best job in the business and that Louisville isn't as good a job as .... Stanford, Texas or Gonzaga?

I turned 31 today. I've known two U of L basketball coaches in my entire life, both have won multiple national championships and are in the Hall of Fame. Tack on best conference in the country, biggest revenue-producing program in the sport, and top three in attendance every year. I'd say the gig here offers some things that Stanford's doesn't.

I_medium Treveon Samuel is ready for his first taste of college ball.

I_medium Bobby Petrino loves scheduling marquee non-conference season-openers, but ESPN's David Hale says that, even though it's unpopular, scheduling cupcakes is probably the better route for Power 5 conference teams.

I_medium Holly Anderson has a really good feature on Grantland about Clemson's DeShaun Watson.

I_medium I disagree.

I_medium And the Valley Shook's (SB Nation's LSU site) take on Tiger football and Hurricane Katrina 10 years later is really well done.

I_medium You can vote for U of L commit Dez Fitzpatrick to win Mr. Football in the state of Michigan right here.

I_medium The Wall Street Journal has an exhaustive look at how Auburn tried to get rid of the "Public Administration" major at the school, but the athletics program paid to keep it alive since so many athletes utilized it.

Here's the timeline the WSJ lays out:

TIMELINE

  • March 2012: A review of Auburn's political science department questions whether the major in public administration is worthwhile.
  • May 2012: Provost Timothy Boosinger approves a proposal from the dean of the College of Liberal Arts to close the major by the end of the next school year.
  • December 2012: Auburn athletics officials acknowledge that the department's graduation rates would decline without the major.
  • March 2013: Auburn's academic program review committee votes 10-1 to place the major on "inactive status."
  • April 2013: Athletic director Jay Jacobs and senior associate AD Gary Waters meet with Boosinger to discuss the elimination of the major.
  • June 2013: Boosinger tells the chairman of the political science department there will be no action on the major until a new liberal-arts dean is appointed.
  • September 2013: A new dean is hired, and the provost's office says the public administration program will stay open.
  • January 2014: No. 2-ranked Auburn loses to Florida State in college football's national-title game. More than a dozen Auburn starters were majoring in public administration.

The Auburn dean, for what it's worth, is "not concerned" about the high level of athletes majoring in Public Administration.

I_medium Sports Illustrated has released its preseason All-American team.

I_medium He had no other choice.

I_medium The TNIAAM folks give their predictions for the Orange's 2015 season, and they don't foresee a victory over the Cardinals.

at Louisville Cardinals: The last time Syracuse visited a ranked Louisville squad, they left with a stunning 38-35 upset (over a Cards team that would end up finishing 7-6). Unfortunately for SU, this would not go the same way for them. Similar to LSU, Virginia and Pitt, 'Ville was able to get after Hunt and rattle a tired O-line. When the Orange leaned on the run, the front-seven seemed to have an answer everywhere. The Cardinals offense isn't stellar, but that's more than enough in a 20-10 slugfest that witnesses would rather avoid seeing again. L (5-4, 2-3)

I_medium Formerly suspended star wide receiver Duke Williams is running with Auburn's second team offense right now, but is practicing hard, according to the coaching staff.

I_medium Eight months ago, Jamari Staples was waiting on a scholarship offer from Auburn, now he's ready to do battle with the Tigers.

"I made my decision and I'm happy with my decision," Staples told reporters Tuesday. "I'm just ready for a battle in the first game."

At Louisville, the 6-foot-4, 195-pounder has been reunited with former UAB coachGarrick McGee, who was hired as Bobby Petrino's offensive coordinator after the 2013 season. The preexisting relationship with McGee was the main factor in his decision.

Staples caught 31 passes for 458 yards and five touchdowns with the Blazers as a freshman. He was hampered by injuries in 2014 and caught just nine balls for 190 yards and one touchdown.

With a fresh start on deck next weekend, Staples hopes to make an impact right away in a new offense. He figures to play a prominent role for the Cardinals, who lost five senior receivers off of last year's team.

"(Our offense) gives you the ability to go out and just play your game and make big plays," he said. "It's not too extensive -- there's nothing really hard about it --  but it's a lot to know and it's hard to stop. There are so many different concepts to it — different routes, blocking schemes, it's just hard to guard."

"I'm very excited. It's all a blessing. My happiness is just overwhelming, I can't describe it."

I_medium Mark Blankenbaker over at The Crunch Zone makes 4 bold offensive predictions for 2015.

I_medium And finally, John Ramsey and I are back on the air this afternoon from 3-6, attempting to extend our streak without an on-air F bomb from zero to one. Listen here.