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Tuesday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

That feeling when it's game week, but the game is still two days away.

I_medium Spread check: Louisville by 39.5.

I_medium Lamar is ready.

I_medium The 12th-ranked Louisville field hockey team moved to 2-0 with a 2-0 win at Miami University on Monday.

I_medium ESPN's ACC writers each make a bold prediction about the upcoming season.

There will be a three-way tie atop the Atlantic Division: A lot of pundits are picking Clemson to repeat as the Atlantic Division champion. A few others think Florida State gets back on top this year. Even a few stragglers are daring to pick upstart Louisville. But here's the really fun pick: All of the above. What if Louisville pulls the upset against Florida State on Sept. 17, then falls at Clemson on Oct. 1? That puts the Tigers in the driver's seat for the division, but they still have to go on the road and beat the Seminoles. That might be tough, too. So there's a reasonable chance all three teams end up with one loss, each having beaten one of the two others. Nothing like making the most top-heavy division in college football a bit more intriguing. -- David M. Hale

I_medium If you're confused about how the College Football Playoff is going to work in 2016, here's everything you need to know.

I_medium Will the ACC sweep its SEC opponents on opening weekend? One national writer is calling it.

I_medium It took extra time, but the U of L men's soccer team notched its first W of the 2016 season last night with a 2-1 win over visiting Quinnipiac. Danny Reynolds moved the Cards to 1-0-1 with a golden goal on a free kick from 40 yards out. Next up is a 7 p.m. road tilt Friday night at Connecticut.

I_medium This news & notes blurb submitted without additional comment.

I_medium Vice Sports has a fascinating story on former VCU star Larry Sanders, who walked away from the NBA simply because he didn't like playing in the NBA.

I_medium Whoever stole this money being sent to the Iroquois football team needs to get got.

I_medium Andrea Adelson writes that Louisville's offensive line could hold the key to its 2016 season.

"It was pretty challenging being out there trying to learn the technique," Christian said. "Coming into college, it's way different than playing in high school. It was challenging learning everything on the run while I'm trying to play."

The struggles across the line were evident early in the season, but Petrino saw growth and improvement as the year went on. That was most evident in the bowl performance against Texas A&M, when the Cards rushed for 307 yards and allowed just one sack.

"It's difficult at the beginning. You've got young guys out of high school, they're used to going against 16, 17-year-old kids and next thing you know they're going against grown men," center Tobijah Hughley said. "These guys are forced to develop fast, but by the end of the season, we were definitely transformed as a group."

Indeed, with a year of experience playing together, Petrino expects his line to be "a lot better. Now, we should have some consistency."

I_medium Steve Jones of the C-J takes a stab at ranking Louisville's top 10 football players. The top two should come as little surprise.

I_medium A Huffington Post writer traveled 1,000 miles to try and find the creator of the "Seinfeld" theme, who wound up being a Louisvillian who still lives in the Derby City.

I_medium Louisville's Gabby Vincent has been named the ACC Defender of the Week.

I_medium A quick video look at Thursday night's game.

I_medium Nebraska transfer Andrew White, who was briefly tied to Louisville, has now put Syracuse back in the ACC mix.

I_medium If you want to keep the good vibes rolling after the U of L football game on Thursday night, the women's soccer team will be hosting Kentucky in the Battle of the Bluegrass Friday night at 7:30.

I_medium Bradley Chubb and NC State are one of the few front sevens capable of slowing down Lamar Jackson this season.

I_medium Eat it, Texas.

I_medium Eli Rogers is one of five players who could shine early in fantasy football this season.

I_medium Before DeShaun Watson came to Clemson, he was the most popular man in his hometown.

I_medium If you're interested in your child being a "Cardinals Kid" this season, check this out.

I_medium The Orlando Sentinel pegs Louisville as the most promising underdog in the ACC.


Louisville: It's easy to get caught up in why Clemson or Florida State will win the ACC, but let's not overlook a team like Louisville. The Cardinals return 46 lettermen, including key contributors on defense in linebackers Devonte Fields and Keith Kelsey and safety Josh Harvey-Clemons.

The front line is big, fast and disruptive, making this one of the best units in the conference. Lamar Jackson is the strongest quarterback no one is talking about. His quickness and athleticism are creating all sort of nightmares for defensive coordinators. Bobby Petrino's team will be favored in all but two contests (FSU, Clemson), with a top-10 finish easily on the horizon.

I_medium Stewart Mandel is out with his bowl projections for Fox Sports, and he's got Louisville taking on Houston in the Cotton Bowl, which would be ... an odd rematch.

I_medium Bob Huggins is the runaway choice in CBS' anonymous poll of the coach fellow college hoops coaches would most like to have a beer with.

I_medium The Trinity Shamrocks are the 19th-ranked high school football team in the country according to USA Today.

I_medium Pat Forde's 40-yard dash says Florida State-Clemson will be the top grudge match of 2016 ... as long as Louisville doesn't ruin it.


The matchups The Dash most wants to see, based on recent history and current payload:

Clemson-Florida State (1), Oct. 29. Where: Tallahassee. Why it matters: Winner of this matchup of the two most SEC-like non-SEC programs has gone on to capture the last five Atlantic Coast Conference titles, and the last three winners have either taken the national title or made the College Football Playoff. This year's edition: Clemson starts the season No. 2 in the AP poll and Florida State No. 4, the first time the ACC has put two in the preseason top five. Clemson returns the Heisman runner-up in quarterback Deshaun Watson, plus an array of supporting playmakers on what could be the nation's best offense. Florida State returns everyone on its own offense, minus currently injured QB Sean Maguire. We'll see which recruiting powerhouse filled the defensive holes best. If they avoid slip-ups -€” both play dangerous Louisville in September -€” this could be the Game of the Year nationally.

I_medium Advanced stats hate Michigan State, Iowa and Houston in 2016.

I_medium R.J. Bell makes his longshot case for Louisville winning the national championship in football.

I_medium looks at some under the radar guys for the upcoming hoops season.

I_medium How would ACC teams fare in some of the other top conferences in college football? You'll only be able to read one man's opinion on that hypothetical if you're an ESPN insider.

I_medium U of L QB commit Malik Cunningham, who picked up a scholarship offer from Georgia yesterday, went off again last Friday. Here are the highlights.

I_medium Get to know your U of L special teams.

I_medium The six biggest games of college football's opening weekend feature two Cardinal opponents.

I_medium I'm already on the record with my annual irrational fear of the Syracuse game. That fear doubled today with Aaron Torres of Fox Sports pegging the Orange as the team that could ruin Louisville's season.

No. 19 Louisville: at Syracuse (Sept. 9)

Stop laughing. No, seriously, stop laughing! Let me at least make the case for why Syracuse could present problems for the Cardinals. 

This game comes just one week before Louisville hosts, in what could end up as the biggest game of their season. So do you think the Cardinals will be looking past the Orange? The answer is yes, and it's only natural. Every team in the country would, facing a team that won just four games last year. 

That could be bad news when you remember that this game will be played on a Friday night in the Carrier Dome, and will be the first time anyone gets a real look at the high-octane passing attack Dino Babers brought with him from Bowling Green (especially since the Orange open against Colgate). 

That offense put up over 40 points a game last year and gave Tennessee fits in Knoxville. Could Babers' squad put up enough points to pull of an upset?

I_medium Louisville-Charlotte week got a little muddled last night with former Cards Adam Engel and Zack Burdi seeing action at Slugger Field for the Charlotte Knights against the Louisville Bats. Engel belted a two-run homer.

I_medium And finally, if you can't control your excitement on Louisville Football Eve tomorrow, come out and hang with us and some Cardinal football greats at CC Power Sports.

Cheap beer. Good times. A ton of Will Stein conversations.