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Thursday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

Torrence Williams and Brendan Talwar letting the Arc De Triomphe know what's up.

I_medium For the first time in seven years, the ACC got the better of the Big Ten in the annual challenge between the two conferences, winning by a decisive final margin of 9-5.

I_medium The U of L women's basketball team has a huge game tonight against No.5 Maryland at the Yum Center. Tip is set for 7 p.m. and the game will be carried on ACC Network Extra. Here's your preview.

I_medium The streak will live on for another year.

I_medium The TaxSlayer Bowl does not list Louisville as one of the teams that it's considering, which means if Louisville winds up staying behind Florida State, it's almost certainly headed to the Citrus or Russell Athletic Bowl, with the former being the most likely.

I_medium Lamar Jackson is a Manning Award finalist.

I_medium Isiah Thomas spent the last 30 years waiting for this moment.

I_medium The ACC Digital Network brings you the best of the 2016 ACC football season in video form.

I_medium Mangok Mathiang is a nominee for the All-State Good Works Team.

I_medium So that brutal four game stretch that's starting at the end of the month?

Those four teams are now a combined 26-1, with the only loss being Indiana's stunner at the hands of Fort Wayne.

Going to be ... fun? Exciting? Terrifying? Pizza? All of the above?

I_medium Wisconsin standout Bronson Koenig is half Native American, and his Players' Tribune column about his September experience at Standing Rock is tremendous.

I_medium J.R. Smith went more J.R. Smith than we've ever seen Tuesday night.

I_medium Kansas' Josh Jackson is as entertaining a passer as we've seen in college basketball since D'Angelo Russell. Here's a supercut of some of his best dimes through the season's first month.

I_medium The Grand Canyon students don't play.

Exhibit B:

Should be fun Saturday night, on a game that you'll be able to watch locally on WAVE-3 (9 p.m. tip).

I_medium Former Central High basketball coach Robert Graves passed away today at the age of 79.

I_medium Despite some early reports, Chris Klenakis is apparently not a candidate to fill the head coaching vacancy at Nevada.

I_medium Grayson Allen is the worst, but so are the officials who keep rewarding him for doing this type of thing.

I_medium Speaking of this being an especially easy to hate year for Duke basketball ....

Both Duke and Michigan State have come out and publicly condemned the sign and the message.

I_medium What's up with Shaka Smart's Texas Longhorns, who have lost three straight games by double-digits?

I_medium Let's get this College Cup trip, fellas.

I_medium Jay Bilas says Kentucky has a once in a lifetime backcourt. It would be cool if they lost their first game on Dec. 21.

I_medium Steve Jones writes about Tony Hicks and Ryan McMahon, who played sparingly in The Bahamas but provided the Cardinals with a huge lift Wednesday night against Purdue.

I_medium Word, Tony.

I_medium Isaac Haas had a rough one against Louisville last night, but he's still a cool dude.

I_medium Could Alabama beat a team of college football all-stars? No, no they couldn't.

I_medium Not a great look for Louisville's receiving corps.

And a follow-up:

I_medium Louisville commit Russ Yeast's senior year highlight video is here.

I_medium Jeff Greer looks at who's trending up and who's trending down on the Louisville basketball team.

I_medium grades Lamar Jackson's performance against Kentucky.

Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville


Stats: 16-of-24 for 281 yards, 2 TD, 3 INTs. 25 carries for 171 yards (6.8 average), 2 TDs (lost a fumble). (vs. Kentucky)

Skinny: This was an up-and-down performance for Lamar Jackson, but after watching the tape, I thought there was significantly more good than bad. He threw for 281 yards and two scores while also rushing for 171 yards and two more touchdowns. He made some beautiful drive throws down the field and he was dynamic on several rushing attempts. He did have four turnovers, but I don't fault him for two of them. His fumble was the result of a poor call by the officials and one of his interceptions came on a Hail Mary on the final play of the game. His other two interceptions were completely his fault, but he played well enough for Louisville to win the game.

I_medium Lorenzo Alexander of the Buffalo Bills is quite awesome.

I_medium ESPN's David Hale continues to struggle with why Louisville is ranked behind Florida State.

I_medium We hit like 88 percent Maximum Crean last night.

I_medium Three U of L women's basketball players are among the 50 on the preseason watch list for the Naismith Award. Not sure why a preseason watch list is coming out almost a month into the season, but whatever, congrats to Asia Durr, Myisha Hines-Allen and Mariya Moore.

I_medium Uproxx has a good look at how Sean McDonough became your favorite announcer's favorite announcer. Raftery, Bilas and McDonough forever.

I_medium Testudo Times previews tonight's U of L-Maryland matchup on the hardwood.

I_medium Sports Illustrated says anyone who doesn't have Lamar Jackson at the top of their Heisman ballot is overthinking it.

I_medium Matt Hayes of Bleacher Report has a fascinating look at the pressure college football coaches get to cheat early on in their careers.

Is it possible to win in college football without cheating?

To get a sense of the landscape that programs and their potential coaches are facing, Bleacher Report posed this question to more than 30 current and former FBS head coaches—most of whom chose to remain anonymous for fear of harming their current or previous universities.

The overwhelming answer: Probably not. At least not right away.

Once a program is successful, the success can sustain itself. But by definition, most programs that turn over their coaching staffs have not been successful. Most are a mess.

One coach who spoke to Bleacher Report was told on his first day that his quarterback might be part of a campuswide gambling ring.

One was given an academic report that showed more than 50 of his players failed to go to class during one week in November. Every player. Every class. For the entire week.

One was met by rumors of a raging drug problem in the locker room. He drug-tested the entire team during the first team meeting. More than 30 percent of the team failed.

These anecdotes and so many more offered by the coaches interviewed show a world in which coaches are faced with a desperate decision within the first weeks of their tenure: Do you choose your players—and build your program—the right way? Or do you do what you need to do to win now, bending the recruiting rules and/or choosing and potentially enabling players with character problems?

There's no good answer.


When Terry Bowden was hired in 1993 to coach Auburn, he was a bright and audacious young (mid-30s) coach eager to make his legendary father proud and make a name for himself.

Everything changed within his first week. An assistant coach from the previous staff, whom Bowden was told he had to retain, walked into his office and placed a black ledger on his desk. It was a list of players who were being paid.

This is how we do it around here, Bowden was told.

This story has been told throughout the years and has almost become folklore, with too many incorrect iterations clouding reality. Auburn officials have always denied it, the NCAA could never nail it down and the statute of limitations on infractions has long since passed.

But here's the catch: I've seen the ledger.

Saw it 13 years ago when Bowden—now the coach at Akron—was a studio host for ABC's college football coverage and lived in my hometown. I went to his house one sleepy spring morning, expecting to talk about why such a successful coach had walked away from it all. He sat behind the desk of a makeshift office in his master bedroom, pulled out the ledger and plopped it on his desk.

Just like it had happened to him.

I saw the names, saw the money, saw the way players were recruited and what they were paid.

"See that!" Bowden said that day. "The look on your face was the same look on my face when I first saw it."

Bowden told the assistant coach, "Pay off the players that were promised and never do it again."

Yes, he cheated. You wouldn't have?

I_medium The U of L swimming and diving program has inked five future Cardinals.

I_medium You can rent Rick Pitino's mansion in Florida for 18K a month. Looking at you, Keith Wynne.

I_medium Pretty cool interaction between Robby Wine and Brandon Radcliff.

I_medium Norad will again be tracking Santa's trip around the world later this month.

I_medium Hammer and Rails reacts to Purdue's loss last night.

I_medium And finally, your transcript from Rick Pitino's postgame presser is here.