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Thursday evening Cardinal news and notes

Santa only comes to houses with CCBM trees.

I_medium Sam Gardner of Fox Sports says Lamar Jackson put himself at the front of the Heisman race by keeping it simple all year long.

Growing up in Palm Beach County, Florida, Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson often used video games as an escape.

A particular fan of the NCAA Football series during its existence, Jackson would bury himself in the game for hours upon hours in high school, winning the Heisman Trophy with Cam Newton or Robert Griffin III — also known as Auburn QB #2 and Baylor QB #10, in video game parlance — while holding onto the far-off hope that he might someday do the same in real life.

But now that his own time has finally come, Jackson, the current Heisman frontrunner and one of five finalists for the 2016 award, is feeling more inclined than ever to dive back into his console, lest he become distracted by hubbub surrounding his candidacy.

"I try to stay grounded," Jackson, a sophomore, said Saturday in Orlando when asked about this coming Saturday's awards ceremony in New York. "I stay in my room and try to play video games to keep my mind off stuff like that. Or me and my friends, I play video games with them or go out and play basketball. But I don't really try to watch TV to see where they've got me at and stuff like that.

"That's not me," he continued. "I've never been like that."

I_medium As he did on the coaches and media's teams, Lamar Jackson headlines the Associated Press' All-ACC team.

I_medium Anas rules.

I_medium This Philly Voice profile of Temple coach Fran Dunphy is very good.

I_medium Gonzaga is good, but Washington -- even with potential No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz -- is an embarrassment. Both of those things were evident last night.

I_medium The bar has been set unbelievably low for 2017.

I_medium Raiders punter Marquette King is an American treasure.

I_medium USA Today ranks the eight best student sections in college basketball. Grand Canyon got hosed.

I_medium Congratulations to Louisville commit Russ Yeast, who is headed to the Army All-American Game.

I_medium Jaire Alexander had a great year, but it was definitely a high risk/high reward year.

I_medium Pat Forde looks at the Heisman finalists as well as a couple of other players that he thinks should have been invited to New York.

I_medium Fox Sports looks at the most famous alum from every FBS team headed to a bowl, and goes with Diane Sawyer for Louisville ... even though they note that she didn't graduate from U of L.

I_medium U of L provides the bookends for ESPN's list of the 10 best ACC games of 2016.

10. Oct. 29: Louisville 32, Virginia 25

The two-win Cavaliers were so close to pulling off the upset of the year, scoring a touchdown and capitalizing on a go-ahead two-point try with less than two minutes remaining. But Heisman favorite Lamar Jackson connected with Jaylen Smith for a 29-yard score with 13 ticks left, lifting the Cards to a 7-1 record.


1. Oct. 1: Clemson 42, Louisville 36

"College GameDay" in Death Valley. Two unbeaten division teams. The likely 1-2 finishers in Heisman Trophy voting. What more could you ask for? The Tigers and Cardinals delivered a classic, with Clemson going on a 28-3 run at one point and Louisville answering with a 26-0 run, before Watson responded with a pair of fourth-quarter TD strikes. The Cards came up one yard short, as James Quick stepped out of bounds after an 11-yard gain to the Tigers' 3 ... on fourth-and-12. These teams lived up to the hype and then some, and this remains the gold standard for ACC play this season.

I_medium Terry Rozier dropped a career-high 16 points last night in the Celtics' win over the Magic.

I_medium Cole Bentley says he will enroll at Louisville in January, which is a big deal.

I_medium Grand Canyon took down San Diego State last night despite getting just two points from ...

Two is all you need from KV.

I_medium These real stories about Prince's life are fantastic.

I_medium Kelsi Worrell continued to do her thing last night, setting both an American record and a world record at the FINA Short Course World Championships. Here's the summary.

I_medium Swimming nerds appear to have been blown away by Kelsi's latest performance.

I_medium says that "what if" game will always haunt Louisville, which I don't really agree with since we now know that even if they'd beaten Houston and Kentucky they almost certainly still would have been left out of the playoff.

I_medium Josh Pastner beat VCU last night but he's still Josh Pastner so here's a funny Twitter joke at his expense.

I_medium Lamar Jackson wallpapers are here.

I_medium He should totally lose the Heisman though.

I_medium Thanks to you we raised over $10,000 yesterday that will help a number of people in the city of Louisville has a better holiday than they would have otherwise.

I_medium Even though Rick Pitino said Anas Mahmoud would be out again against Texas Southern on Saturday, the big man is hopeful that he'll be able to give it a go.

I_medium Wear it.

I_medium The only college football game in town this weekend is Army-Navy, and the Midshipmen have won 14 straight games in the series. CBS looks at how that's happened.

I_medium A student writer at Johns Hopkins says Louisville-Clemson was the 8th-best game of any sort in 2016.

I_medium This guy might be my new favorite non-Cardinal in college football.

I_medium ESPN makes the metric case for each Heisman finalist.

I_medium Cardinal Christmas tree season continues to be in full swing.

I_medium Deng Adel appears to be finally finding his groove.

I_medium A great story of fandom here:

I_medium Louisville-Clemson also finds its way onto ESPN's list of the eight games that most impacted the College Football Playoff.

I_medium On the same day that Larry Bird turned 60, Indiana State stunned No. 16 Butler in Terre Haute.

I_medium And finally, Lamar Jackson leads yet another All-American team. This time it's the one from Sports Illustrated.