Let me start off today by apologizing, because there were more amazing pictures, videos, photoshops, stories, etc. submitted to me in the past four days than I could have possibly kept track of. You all fully embraced GameDay and the blowout of Florida State more than anyone could have ever imagined, and the ish you tweeted or email or whatevered to me could have easily been a lengthy post all on its own.
I've got a good feeling that this is only the beginning, and that we're all in for one of the most amazing autumns/winters of our sports lives.
Chuck Culpepper of The Washington Post has a must-read piece on Louisville being THE story in the college football universe.
We might have to stop talking about Florida State, because while it's okay to lose once in September, as have the last two national champions, it's probably not okay to lose in a fashion where a fan might wind up saying, Thank goodness that field goal hit the upright; otherwise the other guys would have had 66 instead of 63.
Can a team that not only loses but gets transformed into microscopic yard mulch still reach the playoffs?
Maybe that's a discussion for December.
Instead, in a sport where people have talked about a lot of the same things for the last 100 years, we're about to spend a lot of time talking about a subject that bobs up only occasionally: Louisville. If you must know — and you must — Louisville plays next at Marshall on Saturday, then at Clemson the following Saturday.
Then it has a week off.
You know the year has gone upturned when we're mentioning Louisville's week off.
We need to talk about Louisville, just as we should talk also about Fargo.
The 63-20 thing Louisville put upon Florida State Saturday midday became not only the score of the year, but one of the scores of many a year. It took a proud national contender ranked No. 2 and treated it in a manner to which it is thoroughly unaccustomed. It took Florida State — Florida State! — and had people wisecracking about invoking a mercy rule. It took the whole, busy national conversation and reshaped it.
Aaron Torres of Fox Sports says Louisville proved on Saturday that it has all the tools necessary to win a national title.
SB Nation's updated bowl projections have Louisville playing Michigan in the four team playoff. If that happened, I would be all for Luke Hancock as honorary team captain.
The Crunch Zone analyzes the stats from Louisville-FSU.
ESPN's week four bowl projections are out, and who thought we'd ever be staring at this on Sept. 19.
Campus Insiders has Louisville at No. 3 (video) in its updated top five.
While most of the talk coming out of the Florida State game has centered around Lamar Jackson and Louisville's status as a legitimate national title contender, Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports centers on perhaps the most significant thing that happened Saturday: the Cardinal defense straight dominated what was supposed to be one of the best offenses in college football.
But we found out that Louisville is a lot more than just its dazzling young quarterback. The Cards' defense looks legit now, too. Todd Grantham's defense held the Seminoles to just 2-for-13 on third downs. For the year, Louisville has held its opponents to only 12-for-49 (.245) on third-down conversions. The Cardinals also bottled up FSU star RB Dalvin Cook, who managed just 54 rushing yards on 16 carries. That was priority No. 1 for the Cardinals' defense.
"A lot of preparation went into it," Grantham, Louisville's DC, told FOX Sports Sunday afternoon. "Cook is tremendous. You gotta set the edge of the defense and build a wall inside to create less seams, because he can burst through and really accelerate and take it to the house."
Grantham's plan for short-circuiting FSU QB Deondre Francois also worked well. Grantham said Francois is very talented, but added that he's also still a freshman. The key to slowing Francois was giving him pre-snap looks that changed significantly to his post-snap read, especially since Grantham made a point of mixing up coverages so Francois could never get comfortable between all the single-high safety and split safeties looks, where he never had a great feel for where Louisville's pressure was coming from. It also helped that DT DeAngelo Brown is one of the strongest men in college football and typically commands double teams. Brown collapsed the pocket, getting in the 6-foot-1 QB's face most of the afternoon.
The Cardinals sacked Francois five times and limited the FSU passing attack to just 8-for-24 for 113 yards. Louisville also stopped FSU from hitting any big plays through the air with the longest going for only 23 yards.
Studying the game film Sunday morning, Grantham noted just how big a game edge rusher Devonte Fields had for Louisville. The 6-4, 242-pound senior was credited with only four tackles and a sack in the game stats, but it doesn't reflect how well Fields played, Grantham said.
"He really had a great game playing the run and playing the pass," Grantham said of Fields. "He had five quarterback pressures and a sack. He was just really disruptive."
Former five-star recruit Josh Harvey-Clemons, who followed Grantham from Georgia, also really showed up well on film. "He played very physical and his ability to tackle Cook in space and keep a two-yard gain a two-yard gain was so impressive," Grantham said of the 6-5, 233-pounder, who the coach is able to use as an X-factor for his defense.
In related news, the Louisville defense currently leads the nation in sack yardage.
A Florida State fan on Reddit thanks Louisville fans and the city for its fine hospitality last weekend.
If you're wondering who the "Kodak" is that Lamar Jackson is referring to when he says or tweets "Free Kodak," it's 19-year-old rapper Kodak Black, who he grew up with in Pompano, Fla.
Spencer Hall is enjoying soaking up all of FSU's misery.
LAMAR JACKSON GAVE HIMSELF A BAD GRADE. He gave himself a D for his performance against FSU, both because he was unhappy with his passing in the game, and also because he had to since there was no D on the field with him on Saturday in a 63-20 annihilation of the Seminoles. The Seminoles lost by 43 points this weekend. The Seminoles lost by 43 points this weekend. The Seminoles lost by 43 points this weekend. You can talk about things in the past and that's fine but nothing will move 43 points off the scoreboard because that definitely happened and is fresh and delicious.
Lamar Jackson proved Saturday that he's no Kenny Hill/Tate Forcier September Heisman front-runner, he's in the race for the long haul.
The "Heisman Highlight Reel" (video) for week three once again features No. 8 pretty prominently.
The legend of Lamar Jackson continues to grow, and the superstar QB is just 19-years-old.
Quick reminder that episode three of Showtime's "A Season with Florida State" airs tomorrow night at 10 p.m. on the East Coast. I am extremely interested to see how they handle the reports that Jimbo Fisher ordered them to stop filming in the middle of the third quarter.
Not sure why Russ looks like an intoxicated Chris Smith.
ESPN's Andrea Adelson says that just like that, Louisville is the new favorite to win the ACC.
No where near where we wanna be back to the basics #allwork— Double nickel (@D1prospect6) September 19, 2016
The Cards (and their fans) get a couple of mentions in SB Nation's recap of the best of college football's week three.
Preseason ACC favorite Clemson is aware of what Louisville has been up to.
"Seeing them do the things they're doing so far, it's crazy the numbers they're putting up," Ferrell said. "But we've got some competitors on our side, so it's more that we can't wait to get our chance against them. It'll show how good we are."
What did linebacker Jaylen Williams think of the Louisville score?
"Gotta get ready for GT," he said.
Defensive coordinator Brent Venables echoed that sentiment. Beating the Yellow Jackets on short rest is no lock.
But how can you not be impressed by a 43-point blowout of the No. 2 team in the nation? The ACC Atlantic, after all, has come down to the winner of Clemson-Florida State each of the past six years, but Saturday's domination of the Seminoles means Louisville is now a clear challenger to the throne.
"It'll be a great challenge," Venables said. "But it's exciting having that in front of us. Florida State is loaded with great players, so for Louisville to do that on them, it tells you where they're at right now."
The 6th-ranked Louisville field hockey team bounced back from 2-1 loss to No. 2 Duke with a 2-1 win over Ohio State. The Cards are now 7-1.
The Louisville women's soccer team opened up ACC play with a 1-0 road win over Pitt.
Tomahawk Nation moves Louisville to the top of its ACC power rankings.
FSU All-American DeMarcus Walker has vowed to push everyone associated with Seminole football harder after Saturday's embarrassment at Louisville.
In addition to Houston and Clemson, Louisville's toughest test going forward might be dealing with higher expectations.
ICYMI: Sat CFB overnight ratings:— Sports TV Ratings (@SportsTVRatings) September 19, 2016
Ala-Ole Miss: 5.4
Ohio State-Oklahoma: 3.8
Mich St-Notre Dame: 3.2
The game also delivered the second-best numbers for a noon kickoff on ABC/ESPN ever, and the best in 11 years.
Also, happy belated birthday to coach, who celebrated the win and his day of birth on Sunday.
Alabama avoided a third straight loss to Ole Miss, but Louisville and Ohio State both made pretty compelling cases to be No. 1 on Saturday.
Lamar Jackson is now the clear-cut favorite to win the Heisman Trophy.
Three years later, the move to bring Bobby Petrino back to Louisville is looking like another stroke of genius from Tom Jurich.
"I'm very biased," Jurich said after Petrino's Cardinals destroyed second-ranked Florida Freakin' State 63-20. "But I think he's the greatest coach in football. Without question, I think he's the greatest play-caller ever invented."
Nick Saban might have something to say about the first assertion, and Bill Walsh might have something to say about the second from the Hereafter, but the point is understood. Petrino is an elite coach, one Jurich was willing to rehire after personal failings led to his being fired at Arkansas.
Jurich insists that Petrino has learned from his errors at Arkansas and earlier, including his time as a talented but problematic first-time head coach at Louisville from 2003-06. That he is a changed man. One thing is clear: he's as good a coach as ever, if not better than ever. After promising during the summer that the Cardinals would get back to lighting up scoreboards, he's leading a team that has scored 62 or more in three straight games.
In what arguably was Louisville's biggest regular-season football game ever, Petrino orchestrated a wipeout of epic proportion. His team scored more points on the Seminoles than any opponent ever has. And it only took 47 ½ minutes to cross the 60-point threshold. After that, Jackson spent the rest of the game doing what he did against Charlotte and Syracuse - watching the backups finish the game.
A touted showdown became a three-phases beatdown. And a statement game. The statement:
"Louisville comes to play," said running back Brandon Radcliff, who went over 100 yards rushing for the second straight game as the capable sidekick to the electrifying Jackson.
TNIAAM says that after seeing what Louisville did to FSU, Syracuse's loss to the Cards wasn't that bad at all.
Lamar Jackson 5x better than what I was at V-Tech....Enough said!! #future— Mike Vick (@MikeVick) September 17, 2016
The gigapixel panorama photo from Saturday is coming soon.
In an article I'm not sure I ever thought I'd be reading, The Sports Daily examines whether Alabama or Louisville will lose first.
Gobbler Country (Virginia Tech) puts Louisville on top of its ACC power rankings.
After a disappointing loss to Akron, there's zero time for Marshall to lick its wounds.
"You've just got to throw it behind you," said senior Ryan Yuracheck. "We've got one of the top two or three teams in the country coming in here."
Louisville dismantled the formerly second-ranked Florida State Seminoles 63-20 as quarterback Lamar Jackson added to his Heisman resume. The Cardinals have averaged 65 points a game through the first three weeks of the season.
"We can't dwell on this game we've got to move and get ready," said Gary Thompson.
The Herd gave up 524 yards of total offense to the Zips. That's a scary thought with Louisville rolling into town next Saturday. The Cardinals Lamar Jackson scored five touchdowns in another dazzling Heisman audition, rushing for four scores and 146 yards and throwing for 216 yards and a fifth score.
Through three games, Jackson has thrown for 913 yards and rushed for another 464. Add it all up and Jackson has accounted for 1,377 yards of offense and 18 touchdowns in three games.
By comparison, Marshall has 1,090 yards of total offense as a team through its first two games.
"We can hurt their season if we can win," said tailback Hylek Foster. "Our season isn't lost."
Everyone is impressed with Lamar Jackson, except Lamar Jackson.
And finally, R&R is live from 3-6 on 93.9 The Ville celebrating, throwing shade, and being giddy over all that is about to come. You can listen here.