ESPN has released its new early college hoops top 25 for 2015-16, and it does not include Louisville.
Here's the deal, I get having some doubts right now, but U of L is going to be a better basketball team this season than Texas A&M. If you believe otherwise, there's just no way I can take your opinion on much else very seriously.
Fox's Stewart Mandel manages to prop Louisville up and shoot the Cards down in the same mailbag question answer.
Hi Stewart: Following up on your ACC podcast, I don't understand why everyone is so high on NC State. It seems to me that everyone is forgetting how paper-soft NC State's out-of-conference schedule was last year, which propped up its record. The Wolfpack weren't within double-digits of FSU, Clemson, BC, Louisville or Georgia Tech. I don't get all the hype.
-- Matt, Boston
I dug a little deeper into the ACC after recording the podcast, and I have to say I agree with you. On the surface, it's easy to get sucked in by NC State's jump from 3-9 to 8-5 in Dave Doeren's second season. I also confess my most vivid recollection of the Wolfpack last season was quarterback Jacoby Brissett lighting up Florida State in a game where they jumped to an early 24-7 lead only to lose 56-41. Brissett is the biggest reason for optimism surrounding NC State, not to mention another cupcake September slate (Troy, Eastern Kentucky, Old Dominion and South Alabama) assures that even a modestly improved team should win at least eight games. But there's not much evidence yet that the Wolfpack are ready to jump much beyond that.
The ACC Atlantic team we completely disregarded in that conversation, and which I'm starting to believe is one of the biggest sleepers nationally, is Louisville. Because most predictions are based on the simplistic "returning starters" stat, it's easy to disregard the Cardinals, which technically return just seven. But that doesn't do justice to Bobby Petrino's "Transfer U" roster. Half his starting secondary will likely be former Georgia starters Shaq Wiggins and Josh Harvey-Clemons. Wayward ex-TCU star Devonte Fields, a former Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, joins the D-line. But most of all, look at Petrino's track record with second-year teams. His 2004 Louisville team jumped from 9-4 to 11-1. His 2009 Arkansas team went from 5-7 to 8-5.
It will be such a great feel-good story when "changed man" Petrino and his band of other teams' disciplinary castoffs sneak up and win the division.
CBS' Jon Solomon talks college football and nerd math.
Louisville does not make an appearance in Sports Illustrated's preseason college football top 25. Auburn, for what it's worth, is the publication's No. 2 team.
The folks over at The Crunch Zone preview the great unknown that is the U of L offensive line.
Got to say my little girl is pretty brave! LOL! pic.twitter.com/s8rWBfqEpB— Todd Grantham (@CoachTGrantham) August 5, 2015
Four-star wing Brandon Robinson will visit Louisville this weekend.
Your weekly reminder to help Pete Nochta if you have the means.
Teddy, man of the people. pic.twitter.com/NV9BnHmSjh— Matt Vensel (@mattvensel) August 5, 2015
Congratulations to Tom Jurich, who will be inducted into the Flagstaff Sports Foundation Hall of Fame on Wednesday evening at Little America Hotel in Flagstaff, Arizona.
While Jurich has led the Cardinals to unprecedented heights during his nearly 18 years at UofL, he had outstanding early successes in Flagstaff.
Jurich is among the finest football players in Northern Arizona University history. A punter, placekicker and backup quarterback for the Lumberjacks, he earned first-team Kodak All-America honors in 1977 -- the first collegiate kicker to make the Kodak honor list -- and also received All-America acclaim from The Sporting News. He is the only kicker in Big Sky Conference history to be named the league's offensive player of the year.
After a stint in the NFL and private business, he later returned to NAU to serve as director of athletics for eight years at his alma mater. When appointed at NAU, he was the youngest director of athletics at the NCAA Division I level at the time. He was inducted to the NAU Sports Hall of Fame in 1989 and was honored as the NAU Alumnus of the Year in 2011. He left NAU in 1994 to become the athletic director at Colorado State before moving on to Louisville in 1997.
I would be in favor of this ceremony being to change the name of the Hall to "The Tom Jurich Flagstaff Sports Hall of Fame," but whatever.
The C-J folks continue their Louisville preseason preview by focusing on the Cardinal special teams.
Your ACC transfer recap for the upcoming college hoops season features a brief look at Damion Lee.
Taylor County point guard David Sloan (2017) will be taking an unofficial visit to Louisville today while class of 2016 star Markelle Fultz is taking his official visit. Fultz, by the way, is unlikely to take an official visit to Kentucky, but that's not necessarily good news for U of L.
Sports Chat Place has Devonte Fields among its 10 best defensive ends in college football for 2015.
And finally, on today's Ramsey & Rutherford we'll discuss today's season-opening football press conference, the ridiculousness of preseason rankings, preview Clemson, and hopefully get people to ask more Nelly-specific questions that make John feel hilariously uneasy. Listen live here, or to the podcast that will be on the site after the show.