- A reminder that today is the first day of the “ACC Kickoff.” Louisville’s trio of Bobby Petrino, Lamar Jackson and Jaire Alexander are first up at the big podium.
Here’s the Thursday schedule:
10 a.m.: Commissioner's Forum
- Bleacher Report’s Matt Hayes has a great look at how Louisville and Lamar Jackson are preparing for the follow-up to Jackson’s sensational sophomore season.
There's a time to win championships and a time to prepare for the NFL. The greedy think they can do both. The insatiable know they can.
"I promise you, winning a national championship is still the No.1 goal." Jackson says. "There will be no down year for me. I love this game, this team, too much for that."
But here he is, the reigning Heisman winner, preparing for a season in a way that completely changes what made him and his team the most dangerous offensive combination in the game last season—in a way that we've seen damage potential contenders in the past.
The suped-up, 21st-century version of Michael Vick you saw running the Louisville offense from the shotgun last year will take snaps under center this season. A lot of them. Maybe even more than 50 percent.
This, of course, begs the question: Why?
Why take the very thing that makes Jackson unique—his dynamic running and scrambling out of the shotgun, and ability to make something out of nothing when a play breaks down—and muck it up? Why worry about a reality Jackson doesn't have to live until one of those 32 NFL franchises spends a first-round pick and throws millions at him?
"Because it will make him better," Louisville coach Bobby Petrino says without a hint of hesitation.
And it will get him ready for the NFL.
"[Petrino] wants to make me NFL ready, a better player," Jackson says. "I want to make our team better. We're on the same page."
- Rivals’ five-year recruiting rankings for football have Louisville at No. 32.
- Steve Jones of the C-J reveals his preseason All-ACC picks as well as his predicted order of finish in the league.
1. Florida State
4. NC State
6. Wake Forest
7. Boston College
2. Virginia Tech
3. Georgia Tech
5. North Carolina
CHAMPION: Florida State
- David Hale of ESPN also reveals his picks, and you aren’t going to like where he’s slotted Louisville in the Atlantic.
Let the outrage begin... My preseason ACC picks & All-ACC team... pic.twitter.com/Gk9yKjxMU8— David Hale (@DavidHaleESPN) July 12, 2017
- Laugh out loud.
Stoops on beating Louisville: "That win was important to our fan base. Our fan base has been patient ... to some extent."— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_SEC) July 12, 2017
- A pair of Cards make Myron Medcalf’s list of the best 1-2 punches in college basketball.
Deng Adel & Quentin Snider, Louisville CardinalsIt's the perennial norm in the Rick Pitino era. Louisville is an ACC and national title contender in 2017-18. The presence of Adel and Snider provides the necessary energy and talent to make the Cardinals a quagmire for all opponents they'll see in 2017-18. Pitino recently said Adel would replace first-round pick Donovan Mitchell as the focal point of Louisville's offense after he averaged 12.1 PPG last season. Snider averaged 12.4 PPG and 4.1 APG in 2016-17. He also hit 37 percent of his 3-pointers. The ACC endured as much turnover as any league in the country. But the Cards return a stable combo that could lead the program deep into March.
- Jason Kirk is tired of hearing people say that Florida State and Clemson are “built like SEC teams,” because they’re actually better than SEC teams.
- Rick Pitino was sitting front and center at the MLB All-Star Game.
- Grab your popcorn, Houston Nutt is suing Ole Miss.
- Louisville has the ACC’s No. 2 secondary according to the ACC Digital Network.
- The Peach Jam started on Wednesday. Here are the five biggest questions heading into the event, according to CBS’ Gary Parrish.
- Jimmy Patsos is a character, and he’s coming to the Yum Center on Dec. 6.
In a wide-ranging interview with Jimmy Patsos yesterday, he ripped what he called "message-board fans." Here's a quote. Story coming. pic.twitter.com/i5b9eLI7Kb— Sam Blum (@SamBlum3) July 12, 2017
- SEC Country looks at what the best walk-up song for every SEC coach would be. Mark Stoops gets “A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action” by Toby Keith, which works both because of the title and because it’s a terrible song.
- World Series of Poker? CCBM is in there.
- Louisville makes the final four for cornerback Steven Gilmore.
Vegas Summer League – Donovan Mitchell is Going to be a Problem:
This guy is setting an early lead for most impressive rookie so far this summer. The former Louisville star impressed during the Utah Summer League – especially when he won his 1v1 duel against Jayson Tatum and now is coming off a game in which he scored 37 points. Oh, not to mention another 8 steals against Memphis yesterday. People keep asking what position Mitchell should play, which is an incredibly dumb question. He’s not a true point guard and people claim he’s too small to play the two. My response, who gives a rat’s ass? The kid can ball and can handle it well enough to play on the ball if you need him to. Utah will run a lot of side screens anyways, so just let him continue to attack offensively and dog dudes defensively.
- This is a great story about the power of basketball and the strength of a family.
- Former U of L assistant Wyking Jones believes he can have Cal competitive in two years.
- I have no problem rooting for Rutgers in the Big Ten for one season.
- I think it would be in college basketball’s best interest to have a Heisman Trophy-esque national player of the year award that people can discuss and be excited about. I wrote about that belief.
- Major Teddy alert.
- NCAA.com lays out the 50 biggest storylines for the upcoming college football season.
1.) Week 1 games with CFP implications: A couple of games will breed playoff atmospheres the very first week, which may have a hand in who plays in the actual College Football Playoff come January. Florida will battle Michigan in Arlington, Texas on Sept. 2 at 3:30 p.m. ET. Later on at 8 p.m. ET, Alabama will play Florida State in a possible No. 1 vs. 2 matchup at the brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Not bad for opening week.
2.) Lamar Jackson's encore performance: The 2016 Heisman Trophy winner finished with 5,114 total yards and 51 combined touchdowns in a breakout sophomore campaign. So what's on tap in 2017? Well, that may depend on the play by the Louisville offensive line in front of Jackson.
3.) Who will lift the 2017 Heisman? Only one student-athlete has ever won the Heisman Trophy in consecutive seasons (Archie Griffin; 1974-75). So history isn't on Jackson's side in his effort to repeat. Don't be mistaken, he'll still be in the mix, but watch for familiar names like USC's Sam Darnold, Penn State's Saquon Barkley and Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield, among others, to make a run.
- This is some seriously high praise from Jerry Meyer.
- Mark Stoops responded to Greg McElroy’s harsh criticism of Matt Elam.
- Josh Stowers is still dropping opposite field bombs.
- Cool to see Louisville in this new adidas ad.
- Jeff Greer looks at the eight biggest recruiting questions facing Louisville basketball as the July evaluation period begins.
- Some bad news for Miami hoops, which could be without five-star freshman Lonnie Walker for the first part of the season because of a knee injury.
- Is it really a trip to Epcot if you don’t see Tony Williams?