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Thursday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

Kylie Brooks still isn't thrilled about what went down last Saturday night, but that doesn't mean her confidence has wavered at all.

I_medium Bye week spread check: We should probably be paying more attention to what the men's and women's soccer teams are doing by 11.

I_medium Does Lamar Jackson look like a future No. 1 NFL Draft pick? One league executive says yep.

The scoop: "The thing I took away from the (Clemson-Louisville) game is thatLamar Jackson has the look of a first (overall) pick, but I don't think (Deshaun) Watson has the same look." -- NFC executive on Louisville QB Lamar Jackson and Clemson QB Deshaun Watson

The skinny: "Look" is a very subjective scouting term, but this executive clearly sees things in Jackson that he doesn't see in Watson. Watson was expected to build on his strong 2015 campaign with the return of wide receiver Mike Williams. Instead, NFL personnel men have been underwhelmed by Watson's 2016 season. Watson has 14 touchdowns and 7 interceptions and has seen his completion percentage drop from 67 to 60 while his yards per attempt are down over a full yard. On the flip side, Jackson has taken a massive step forward as a playmaker and gamebreaker. He has NFL scouts paying attention to him despite the fact he's only a true sophomore and won't be eligible for the draft until 2018 at the earliest. Watson threw for five touchdowns and three interceptions in the matchup against Louisville, but it was the strong second-half performance by Jackson that grabbed scouts' attention.

I_medium Louisville-Clemson is the second most-watched college football game of the 2016 season, trailing only Notre Dame-Texas from the Sunday night of Labor Day weekend.

I_medium Bill Bender of The Sporting News outlines Louisville's path to the playoff.

Two-loss Big 12 mess

If the Big 12 beats itself up and has a bunch of two-loss teams at the end of the road, that would enhance Louisville's case because that conference doesn't have a conference championship game. Even if two-loss Oklahoma would emerge as the champion, the Cardinals could get a trump card by ...

Beating Houston

Thursday, Nov. 17 should be marked on your calendar. That's when the Cardinals face No. 6 Houston at TDECU Stadium. It could be a top-five showdown, and remember, the Cougars already beat Oklahoma. Louisville could effectively clear another hurdle and knock the Cougars out of contention here. The next piece of the puzzle would be ...

Two-loss Pac-12 mess

The SEC and Big Ten are probably getting playoff spots. Clemson would get another one if they won the ACC. That leaves the Pac-12 as another major hurdle, and No. 5 Washington looks like a legit playoff contender. That's why Louisville fans should root for Oregon to extend its win streak in that series to 13 this weekend. The messier the Pac-12 gets — and it got that way last year — the more that would help Louisville's case. Of course, you want to look as beautiful as possible. So ...

Leave no doubt

The Cardinals rank second in the FBS with 58 points per game. Aside from Houston, Louisville plays Duke, N.C. State, Virginia, Boston College, Wake Forest and Kentucky. What to do there? Blowouts. Score so many points that fans can't look away. Average close to 60 points per game — the single-season record remains 56 points per game set by Army in 1944 — and people will notice.

He adds that Lamar Jackson winning the Heisman and Bobby Petrino going the Urban Meyer route and openly politicking wouldn't hurt either.

I_medium Louisville football offered a top 150 player from the class of 2018 today.

I_medium ESPN looks at Lamar Jackson's high school highlights.

I_medium The format of the ACC baseball tournament, which will be held at Slugger Field, is changing this year.

The ACC Baseball Championship will increase from 10 to 12 teams, and will feature a pool play format, leading into a four-team, single-elimination bracket to determine the league champion. The event will be held May 23-28 at Louisville Slugger Field in Louisville, Kentucky.

"ACC Baseball has never been stronger and the number of nationally prominent teams is remarkable," said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. "Expanding the format to include additional teams is in the best interest of our players, programs and conference."

The top team from both the Atlantic and Coastal divisions, determined by conference winning percentage, and the next 10 teams with the best conference winning percentage regardless of division will be selected to participate in the championship. The two division champions will automatically be seeded number one and two based on winning percentage in overall conference competition. The remaining teams will be seeded (No. 3 through No. 12) based on winning percentage in overall conference competition without regard to division.

The 12 teams in the championship will be grouped into four pools with three teams apiece. Pool play will take place Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, with three games per day. Each pool will play a round-robin, with the top team advancing to the semifinals.

The semifinals will take place on Saturday, followed by the championship on Sunday.

Each team in the tournament is guaranteed two games, while the two teams that advance to Sunday's championship will play four games. All teams will have at least one day off.

Not sure how the tiebreaker will work for three teams that all go 1-1 in a pool play scenario, but whatever.

I_medium Electing to stick with an 8-game conference schedule will cost every team in the ACC $500,000. Nice to see a decision not made solely based on money ... even if the people making the decision already have more than enough.

I_medium The 21st-ranked U of L women's soccer team is hosting NC State tonight at 7 inside Lynn Stadium. The game is a "Black Out," so, you know, wear black if you're going. Or don't and look stupid, it's really your call.

I_medium Here's my favorite thing from today.

I_medium Saturday night at 7:30 Louisville City FC will be taking on the Charleston Battery in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, and students who show up to Slugger Field and show their student ID will be able to get into the game for just five bucks. Even if you're not the biggest soccer fan, a professional league championship for a team from Louisville would be pretty cool.

I_medium Here's the behind-the-scenes story of how the ACC's decision to stick with an 8-game conference schedule for football went down.

I_medium The fighting Scotty Davenports of Bellarmine are the preseason No. 1 team in Division-II according to one poll.

I_medium Fall ready. Fall focused.

I_medium U of L men's basketball adds four RSN telecasts.

I_medium The 8th-ranked Louisville field hockey team will take on back-to-back top 15 opponents this weekend.

I_medium And finally, Fox Sports looks at Lamar Jackson's historic pace.