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Wednesday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

Harrisyn has never liked Marshall and claims she can throw a ball farther than Chad Pennington ever dreamed.

I_medium Spread check: Louisville by 26.5.

I_medium I'm gonna go ahead and say that I was a little disappointed in last night's "A Season with Florida State" episode. They spent about 65 percent of the episode on the loss of Derwin James (which was also covered at length last week), and very little time on the prep for or the aftermath of the Louisville game. It also feels like Notre Dame was wayyyy more open and willing to provide unhindered access last season than FSU has been through three weeks this year, and that's disappointing.

Regardless, it was cool to see at least a brief inside look at what went down inside PJCS on Saturday.

I_medium CBS' Dennis Dodd focuses on the Bobby Petrino comeback both on and off the field.

"I was on record, when he took Louisville, [saying] he'll win a national championship there," said Western Kentucky AD Todd Stewart, Petrino's boss between his stop at Arkansas and return to Louisville.

A similar road was widening at Arkansas in 2012 until Petrino crashed that motorcycle carrying his mistress outside of Fayetteville on Highway 16. Only now, five seasons later, does it look like the Hogs are digging out from the upheaval.

Petrino has basically run out on three teams (Louisville, Arkansas, Atlanta) when no one doubted his ability to coach those teams.

How long before a 55-year-old veteran coach with at least 10 years of shelf life remaining reverts to his old self at Louisville Part II?

"Was it a tough call [to bring him back]?" Jurich asked rhetorically. "It was a tough call. But I felt it was the right thing to do.

"He owned everything [he did at Arkansas]. He didn't point any fingers. It was self-inflicted. That was something that I was so impressed with."

Before making that momentous call, Jurich needed his decision to be reinforced. ESPN analyst Chris Mortensen called in an endorsement. Mortensen's son, Alex, had played for Petrino at Arkansas.

"I know Chris real well," Petrino said. "I didn't know about that."

I_medium Stewart Mandel's weekly mailbag looks at, among other things, why we don't get more spotlight noon games like Louisville-FSU.

I_medium Spencer Hall says Louisville is so good that it makes it almost impossible to focus on the game your team is playing if the Cardinals are on at the same time.

1. Louisville

Not just quarterback Lamar Jackson this time, but the whole team.

I was in Boone, North Carolina, and supposed to be watching Appalachian State attempt to upset Miami, but a few things happened.

First, the Mountaineers turned out to be a bit smaller and slower than Miami. This led to a rapid onslaught of deep passes and long runs and a massive lead. This led to a slow, relatively uninteresting game with a wide point differential. It led to a very drunk App State fan sitting next to me at the bar after the game — whom we'll call "Austin," because he looked like an Austin — who told me my beard looked nice and who disappeared with his beer on the bar and an open tab.

"Hey, do y'all know he just left?"

"Yeah, we know. We know him."

They said they'd just settle up with him when he came back, because Austin does this all the time. Being in a small college town has its disadvantages, and one of them is never being able to skip out on a bar tab.

The other thing that happened was having the Louisville-Florida State game, which kicked off at the same time, open on my laptop and being unable to look away from the carnage. It's not just that Jackson was destroying coverages single-handedly, though that's fun all by itself. Watching safeties turn into panicking grunts from Halo when Jackson begins to scramble is maybe my favorite thing from this season so far.

Louisville's defense brought the bonus entertainment by nullifying most of what FSU attempted, harrying Deondre Francois into looking like a redshirt freshman for the first full game this year, sacking him five times, and reducing the Seminoles to a paltry 2-of-13 on third down conversions. Something is not right with FSU running back Dalvin Cook, even though Jimbo Fisher insists everything is right with Cook, who had just 54 yards on 16 carries and did not score.

So yes, that's why I spent most of one game in Boone watching another: because Louisville is blowing things up at such an alarming rate, and with such shocking ease, that it can eclipse impressive things happening directly in front of you.

I_medium Louisville baseball will resume its open-to-the-public fall scrimmages Thursday afternoon.

I_medium You knew the downer pieces were bound to start flowing in soon, and here's ESPN's KC Joyner with "Don't be surprised if Lamar Jackson comes back to earth" (insider).

I_medium Time lapse videos are pretty sweet.

I_medium The nationally-ranked U of L men's soccer team posted its fourth straight shutout with a 1-0 road win over Saint Louis Tuesday night. Here's your recap.

I_medium Forget the SEC West, the battle for the best division in college football comes down to the ACC Atlantic and the Big Ten East.

I_medium This statistic just prove that every sports team I cheered for was infinitely cursed in 2015-16, and that the Reds will probably be in the playoffs next October.

Worst pitching staff of all-time. That's incredible.

I_medium Pat Forde's Forde-Yard Dash is back talking coaches having good and bad weeks and also giving shoutouts to Seviche and Goodwood Louisville Lager.

I_medium It's this type of next-level insight that's going to get things turned around in Lexington.

I_medium The best FSU fan shot from the panorama is here.

I_medium The fighting Bellarmine Mike Rutherford are once again going big with their exhibition schedule.

I_medium Shakin' the Southland, which covers Clemson, puts Louisville above the Tigers in its latest ACC power rankings.

I_medium Our SB Nation preseason college hoops countdown continues with No. 20, Saint Mary's.

I_medium I, for one, find Jim Mora's West Coast bias appalling.

Christian McCaffrey is only one of several viable answers to the question of which college football player is the best in the country, along with Leonard Fournette, Deshaun Watson, Lamar Jackson, Myles Garrett and others.

But to UCLA coach Jim Mora, McCaffrey is the right answer.

"He has to be a tremendous (defensive) focus, but he can't be all of our focus. But he has to be the main focus. In my opinion, it's not even arguable that he's the top player in college football. I think he was last year, and I think thus far this year, he has been as well," Mora said. "Although the young man from Louisville (Jackson) would probably have something to say about that. But we're not playing them. We're Mora said Monday at a news conference that he believes the Stanford running back has been the best player in the game since the beginning of last season. Stanford visits UCLA on Saturday (8 p.m. ET, ABC).

I_medium U of L goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland was named Monday as the ACC Men's Soccer Defensive Player of the Week, while junior forward Mohamed Thiaw was chosen as the Co-Offensive Player of the Week.

I_medium Despite coaching for Louisville's arch-rival, former Cardinal assistant Lamar Thomas still keeps in touch with Lamar Jackson, a player he played a huge role in bringing to U of L.

The messages stay positive — "Congratulations ... Good luck ... Keep doing what you're doing ... You guys look good."

Thomas was on the Louisville staff from 2013-15 and helped recruit Jackson and coached his favorite targets James Quick and Jamari Staples.

Currently working for rival Kentucky hasn't kept Thomas from checking in on his former players.

"It doesn't stop just because I went to another school," he said. "If it does stop, then I'm fake. I genuinely care for those kids, and they feel the same way."

Thomas, a former Miami wideout who spent eight seasons in the NFL with the Buccaneers and Dolphins, says he still occasionally speaks to coaches that recruited him out of high school. Those interactions helped shape his approach to the coaching profession.

"You build relationships with these kids that hopefully can be lifelong bonds," Thomas said. "These are guys that I went into their homes, and I still have parents that I still talk to even though I'm not at their schools who ask about their kids.

"When I think about coaching, that's how I want to be remembered to these kids, somebody they can look up to as a mentor."

I think we can all be on board with that. Of course we can also make fun of you when you say that Mark Stoops is better at his job than Bobby Petrino.

I_medium Quick recognizes that the buzz around campus this week isn't what it was leading up to Florida State, but he also knows the Cards now have more to lose.

With the Florida State win in the rear-view mirror, the Cardinals returned to the practice field in preparation for Saturday's non-conference game versus Marshall. The Cardinals understand the excitement is over, but it's time to move on.

"Absolutely, the excitement has gone down, but we're still excited to go out there and play another game, "Quick said. "We have to go out there and focus in and prepare for Marshall, so it's just going out there and working hard."

Marshall, 1-1 on the year, will be a tough challenge, and Quick is expecting a solid defensive effort out of the Thundering Herd.

"They do a lot of man-to-man, so it's just coming out and really working our techniques. Our techniques have to be great if we expect to win," Quick added.

With all the attention focused on the Cardinals and the No. 3 ranking, the players have turned off their television and put on the video in preparation for the next challenge.

"Basically, just stay grounded," Quick said. We take it a day at a time. We have to prepare one day at a time. You have to win each day. You can't just win on game, you have to win in practice."

I_medium Happy belated birthday to James Hearns, who was a beast against Florida State.

I_medium Yahoo looks at which college football team from the past reminds them of this year's Louisville squad, and the 2007 Kansas comparison is almost enough to make me never read anything the entire network posts ever again.

I_medium The word is officially out.

I_medium If Louisville, Clemson and Florida State wind up tying for the Atlantic Division crown, things could get weird.

I_medium Inside the ACC looks at five things we learned about the conference in week three.

I_medium Voting for this week's pick 'em high school game of the week is open, and it's tight.

We'll have this week's contest info up tomorrow.

I_medium Clemson DE Austin Bryant won't play for the Tigers in tomorrow night's game at Georgia Tech, but Dabo Swinney hopes he'll be back for the Oct. 1 showdown with Louisville.

I_medium Lamar Jackson is your Davey O'Brien Award Player of the Week for a second straight week.

I_medium And finally, R&R is live talking Cardinal football from 3-6. Stewart Mandel will join us at 4:45. Listen here.