Mother of God.
Brandon Marcello of AL.com has a really terrific piece on Bobby Petrino's long and complicated history with Auburn. It also touches on a number of things I talk about in a post that I planned to run yesterday but whatever, it's a really good feature so I'm not going to cyber bully Brandon.
Speaking of "JetGate," Pat Forde talks to the C-J about his role in the entire thing and how it seems like it worked out well for all parties concerned.
Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich, at that same press conference, said he told Petrino he was still mad at him when they first got together to talk about replacing Charlie Strong, who left to coach Texas. But when Petrino's wife insisted that her husband had changed, Jurich had heard all he needed.
"I pared my list down to seven people. As I kept going through it in much more detail, it kept leading me back to Bobby Petrino," Jurich said that day.
He later added, "I told him, 'If you lie to me, I'll kill you.'"
To U of L, the potential positives of bringing back Petrino far outweighed the negatives. Louisville won 41 games in four years with Petrino at the helm. Forde, who now writes for Yahoo! Sports, counts the Petrino era among three or four landmark things that have happened in Louisville football's century-long history.
"My sense is that he is not the same guy he was in 2003 or 2004 when he was trying to get (jobs at) Ole Miss, LSU, Notre Dame -- that was the thing that angered a lot of Louisville fans," Forde said. "The Auburn flirtation was just the first of many. He couldn't wait to get out of there. But I think he's pretty darn happy to be in Louisville. It's a better job (now) ... That's the irony of it."
The Chick-fil-A Kickoff brass has announced that Deion Branch (Louisville) and Takeo Spikes (Auburn) will be delivering the game balls on Saturday. Harry Douglas has announced that he will also be in the building for the game.
I've been saying for years now that Andrea Adelson is the smartest ACC football writer over at ESPN.com.
All seven Sporting News predictors (including....Chipper Jones?) like Auburn over Louisville, and most like them pretty handily.
Campus Insiders also takes Auburn over the Cards with relative ease.
What's Going To Happen?
Auburn believes it's a title contender. So, too, will an increasing number of observers following Saturday's game with Louisville.
The Tigers will start the season fast, with Muschamp's D providing an eye-opening spark. Yeah, the Louisville defense will flex its muscles, but the team's offense will be unable to take advantage. Muschamp will ratchet up the heat to create pressure, turnovers and short-field opportunities for Johnson & Co. to punch in a couple of easy and decisive scores.
Auburn vs. Louisville Score Prediction
Drum roll, please ... the Auburn vs. Louisville prediction is ...
Auburn 35, Louisville 20
Jeremy Johnson finds comfort in Auburn scripting an opening series.
If you can't make it out to hang with us at the Red Rage Tailgate, the Allstate Tailgate Tour will be in Atlanta on Saturday.
The Allstate Tailgate Tour, an interactive fan experience visiting college football stadiums across the country, will make an appearance at the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta before the Cardinals take on the Auburn Tigers on Saturday, September 5th. The tailgate will be from 10:30 AM - 2:30 PM at the Georgia World Congress Center.
At the tailgate, fans can take part in a variety of family-friendly activities and enter the Allstate It's Good Sweepstakes for a chance to win $100,000 and a trip to the 2016 Allstate® Sugar Bowl® and the College Football Playoff National Championship where the winner will have a chance to meet ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit. Fans can enter the sweepstakes atAllstateCFB.com.
Additionally this college football season, Allstate has teamed up with ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit to launch the #StreitCred Twitter program. @Allstate will give fans the #StreitCred they are desperately seeking by leveraging Kirk Herbstreit's authority on college football. Each week, Herbstreit will select college football teams that stood out most to him, regardless of ranking, and share on Twitter using the #StreitCred. Fans can use the hashtag throughout the college football season to help the teams they love get the validation they think they deserve.
U of L WR commit Chris Taylor-Yamanoha has the potential to be a really good one.
SB Nation's Steven Godfrey has a great longform on Rece Davis, who is about to take over for Chris Fowler on College GameDay.
Four out of the seven CBS college football writers like Louisville to cover the spread on Saturday.
If you're unfamiliar with Dragon Con, here's a little taste of the madness you can expect in Atlanta this weekend.
All 10 AL.com writers like the Tigers over the Cards.
Louisville at Auburn
Congratulations to University of Louisville swimmer Kelsi Worrell and Head Coach Arthur Albiero, who have officially been named to the USA Swimming's National Team. Worrell, two-time NCAA Champion and Pan American Medalist, is listed in three events for Team USA, the 100-fly, the 200-fly and the 50-freestyle. Albiero is listed on the coaches' staff. He spent the summer with the USA Swimming Staff as a coach for the Pan American Games.
Pats fan with the ultimate heat check pic.twitter.com/w9rFHjl2JD— Ryan Perry (@rynprry) September 3, 2015
ESPN's David Hale has Louisville facing Georgia Tech for the conference championship as one of his bold ACC predictions for 2015.
When you think you've got Calvin Pryor lined up for an earhole hit and then he murders you... https://t.co/PvNELidRcz— Jon Ledyard (@jledgePFS) September 2, 2015
Good news from the world of horse racing, where American Pharoah will remain in training and is still pointed towards running in the Breeder's Cup Classic this fall.
John Miller gets a mention in this feature on rookies who will make an immediate impact in the NFL this season.
A reminder that if you're staying in town tonight, Ken Lolla wants to buy you a drink.
** THIS IS HOW YOU DO A SHOW... pic.twitter.com/LSpU5V9Fs7— Marques Maybin (@Cardinal_Clique) September 3, 2015
Quick reminder as we get ready for tomorrow's game that Tom Jurich is that dude.
And for the sheer bottom line in the big business of college athletics, the Cards can't do much better than being invited to this game. Stokan guessed that the $3.25 million payout will exceed what the Cards would have made hosting a home game, assuming U of L may have had to pay a seven-figure sum to an FCS or low-major FBS visitor. U of L and Auburn also will each receive a $50,000 scholarship donation from Chick-Fil-A.
"We pay for their hotel room, and we give them $3.25 million," Stokan said. "That's a financial windfall for (athletic director) Tom Jurich and the Louisville Cardinals. Credit Tom for scheduling a game like this."
A few years ago, Jurich would not have had the opportunity. Stokan said U of L would not have been on the Chick-Fil-A game's radar had it not joined the ACC. Stokan credited Jurich for navigating U of L through conference realignment and switching leagues multiple times in order to reach the big time.
"I think what Tom Jurich has done at Louisville is one of the great stories in college athletics," Stokan said, mentioning TCU as the only other school he could think of that has traversed a similar path so successfully.
Stokan described Jurich as "committed," "first-class" and a "man of his word." When Jurich began negotiations for the game, he promised U of L would bring a competitive team to Atlanta and sell out its full allotment of tickets. A few years later, that's a reality.
Now the Cards are determined to give those fans a reason to keep cheering.
"(Being in the game) is something that not only the football program deserves but the city of Louisville, the fans and everyone involved in Louisville athletics," Scott said. "We're excited about it because this isn't one of those games that we put on our schedule just to say that we were in it, (just to say), 'We got to play in the Georgia Dome against Auburn.'
"This is something we truly believe we can win, and we're going to go out there and win."
Chris Jones has signed with a professional team in Turkey.
The 2015-16 installment of the Battle for the Bluegrass gets underway when the Louisville women's soccer team heads to Lexington to face Kentucky at 7:30 p.m. The Cards have lost four straight to their arch-rivals.
No member of the WDRB sports staff likes Louisville to win more than eight games this season.
The Montgomery Adviser likes Auburn to take care of business against Louisville, 38-20.
The staff writers for the Auburn Villager are extremely confident that the Tigers will have little trouble with U of L on Saturday.
A final reminder that if you're going to be in Atlanta today, we'll be doing our radio show at Buckhead Tavern in the heart of Buckhead from 3-6. There will be drink specials, half-priced appetizers, bird masks and all the C-A-R-D-S chants you can stomach. Everyone be safe on the way down there and let's have a blast these next couple of days.