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Tuesday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

Kelsi Worrell's support team is still going strong in Rio, where Vince Thacker and Isaac Brenner are being hosted by Rio de Janeiro native Vinicius Souza, one of the most decorated swimmers in U of L history. Vinicius played a huge part in recruiting Worrell to Louisville.

I_medium First and foremost, a very happy second anniversary to Mrs. CC. Thanks for tolerating winters full of 1 a.m. West Coast Conference games and 12 months full of awful jokes. You rule.

Also, a very happy second anniversary to Earl Clark and his wife. You also rule.

I_medium The ACC team over at ESPN has come out with its first set of conference power rankings, and to the surprise of exactly no one, Louisville checks in at No. 3.

1. Clemson: The Tigers still have Deshaun Watson, correct? Well, then there's no reason they should be dropped from the top spot now.

2. Florida State: The defense should be salty, and nearly the entire two-deep offense is returning. Can the offense and potentially a new quarterback find a rhythm early enough to survive a tough opening slate?

3. Louisville: The media is buying into the Cardinals, who are looked at as a major sleeper nationally. If they can split with Clemson and Florida State, it could set up an interesting tiebreak situation.

Do you guys think beating Clemson and/or Florida State is important this year? I do. We should talk more about it.

I_medium Former Louisville pitcher Chad Green had his best professional start to date Monday night, striking out 11 over six scoreless innings of work to lead the Yankees to a 1-0 win over the Blue Jays.

I_medium It looks like a Sports Illustrated piece on Louisville is coming in the near future.

I_medium After being sidelined for exactly 600 days, Eli Rogers finally got back on the field for live game action over the weekend.

I_medium Just like Phil Steele did a few weeks ago, Athlon says that Louisville has the second best group of linebackers in the country, trailing only Alabama.

2. Louisville

The Cardinals have arguably the nation's best one-two punch at linebacker in Devonte Fields and Keith Kelsey. Fields became a force as the season progressed, earning 7.5 of his 11 sacks over the final three games. Kelsey is a sideline-to-sideline enforcer who led the team with 107 tackles in 2015. This unit suffered a setback when senior Trevon Young was ruled out for the 2016 campaign due to a hip injury suffered in the Music City Bowl win over Texas A&M. With Young sidelined, James Hearns will take on a bigger role on the outside, with redshirt freshman Jonathan Greenard also expected to contribute. Stacy Thomas joins Kelsey as a starter on the interior, with redshirt freshman Amonte Caban a player to watch in fall camp.

I_medium The Crunch Zone debates which Louisville football team is the best in the program's history. The correct answer is 2004.

I_medium TNIAAM explores the age-old question of which Drake song best fits each team in the ACC.

Louisville Cardinals - "I'm Goin In"

Louisville's season turned when Bobby Petrino went to Lamar Jackson at Quarterback. After an 0-3 start, Louisville closed with an 8-5 record and this year they might be wishing they were in the Coastal. The Cardinals also return a strong defense, and like Drake, Petrino is smart enough to realize that his best success can come when he share the spotlight with talented peers like D-Coordinator Todd Grantham.

I_medium Marshall is hosting a "Stripe the Stadium" promotion for its Sept. 24 home game against Louisville. That, coupled with Syracuse's "Orange Out" promotion for its game against the Cards on Sept. 9 makes U of L 2-for-2 when it comes to getting special treatment on the road.

I_medium Eat it, Houston (and don't worry about the picture size).

I_medium The U of L student newspaper previews the 2016 men's soccer season.

I_medium Jeff Walz and the women's team appears to have had a blast in Cuba. Here are some of the photos from their trip.

I_medium Well, that's typical.

I_medium This SI feature on UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen is worth reading if you have some spare time.

I_medium The quarterback battle is still on at NC State, which comes to PJCS for homecoming on Oct. 22.

I_medium CBS ranks all 128 teams FBS in college football and has Louisville at No. 20. Kentucky, for those wondering, is all the way down at No. 74 ... 40 spots below their opening week opponent, Southern Miss.

I_medium Thoroughly enjoyed this.

I_medium Florida State is trying hard not to compare Deondre Francois to Jameis Winston, but it's going to happen.

I_medium Gregg Marshall is kind of the Buddy Stephens of college basketball.

I_medium Tailgate season is underway for the CCBM, but then again it always is.

I_medium Nick Petrino and Lamar Jackson give a few updates on the state of the offense.

I_medium In news that upset many in Miami, ESPN puts Lamar Jackson ahead of Brad Kaaya on its preseason ACC QB power rankings list.

1. Clemson: Deshaun Watson just passed for 4,000 yards and rushed for another 1,000, the only quarterback in FBS history to do so. What the Tigers have behind Watson is unknown, but Watson is the conference's best quarterback.

2. Louisville: The Heisman Trophy hype train is leaving the station forLamar Jackson. He finished the season strong, and early reports are he's become a much better pocket passer. If he can remain healthy and show the consistency he lacked last season, he should be a star. The Cardinals also have solid depth behind him.

3. Miami: Early 2017 draft projections place Brad Kaaya right behind Watson as the best draft-eligible quarterback. He's a prototypical pocket passer who should thrive under the tutelage of Mark Richt, who will have a more hands-on approach with the position. The Hurricanes are unsettled behind Kaaya.

I_medium Wake Forest kicked off its Canadian exhibition tour with a thrashing of the University of Toronto.

I_medium Mitch Barnhart says the KHSAA football state championship games should be moved to Commonwealth Stadium. I disagree.

I_medium Great work, guys.

I_medium It's been a tragic year for Butler basketball, which today lost Joel Cornette, a star on the 2003 team which upset Louisville in the second round of the tournament. He was just 35.

I_medium ESPN has Louisville at No. 19 on its preseason countdown, and all four of its college football writers who cover the ACC think the Cards will go at least 9-3.

09.01 vs. Charlotte: 99.0%
09.09 @ Syracuse: 76.9%
09.17 vs. Florida State: 28.5%
09.24 @ Marshall: 85.3%
10.01 @ Clemson: 18.6%
10.14 vs. Duke: 86.8%
10.22 vs. NC State: 79.8%

10.29 @ Virginia: 79.6%
11.05 @ Boston College: 71.4%
11.12 vs. Wake Forest: 87.1%
11.17 @ Houston: 68.6%
11.26 vs. Kentucky: 86.6%

The Cards are tied for the national lead with 18 starters returning, including quarterback phenom Lamar Jackson and ACC Defensive Player of the Year candidate Devonte Fields. A difficult schedule looms with games against Clemson, Florida State and Houston, but Louisville should be in position to go 10-2-- Andrea Adelson

Your sleeper of the offseason has the QB, receivers and defense to shake up the playoff picture and ruin at least one ACC team's pre-planned New Year's Eve party. Alas, the offensive line and some youth across the rest of the offense makes anything beyond a 10-2 campaign a tall order, not that that's anything to be ashamed about in only the program's third year in the ACC. -- Matt Fortuna

It's tough to pick a team in the same division with two of the top four teams in the country, but Louisville could pull off a big surprise in the ACC Atlantic this year behind Jackson and a veteran defense. The playoff is the goal, but the more realistic scenario is a 9-3 campaign. -- David M. Hale

Bobby Petrino is miffed the ACC bunched Clemson and Florida State early in the season, which could cost a team that's probably a year away from contention. A 9-3 campaign with an additional to loss to Houston is a great season still. -- Jared Shanker

I_medium J.R. Smith wants to create a mini golf tour for NBA players because J.R. Smith has the best ideas of any person in America.

I_medium And finally, John is back on R&R today from 3-6 on 93.9 The Ville. Tune in.