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Tuesday morning Cardinal news and notes

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Mallory Rose Walsh is the self-proclaimed biggest Lamar Jackson fan in the world. Every Saturday she goes into her alter-ego, “Lamara Jackson Walsh.” She even has a costume.

—Spread check: Clemson by 3.

—How rare is reigning national champion vs. reigning Heisman winner? Saturday will be just the fourth time it’s ever happened.

—We will have a monster “Where We’re Watching” post on Friday morning with all the U of L-Clemson game watches across the country. If you live out of town and plan on watching the game in public on Saturday with other Cardinal fans and you want to be included on the post, please send me your location at

—Every time Teddy and Lamar tweet at each other, an angel gets its wings.

—In case you haven’t heard, ESPN’s “College GameDay” will be going down in front of the Grawmeyer Hall Oval and not outside the stadium like last year. The C-J has the answers to all your other GameDay questions.

—Luke Easterling of USA Today says Lamar Jackson is more Marcus Mariota than RG III, and that he belongs in the conversation to be the No. 1 overall pick in the next NFL Draft.

He’s had a handful of cringe-worthy misses, for sure. But the whole body of work so far shows that the best player in college football is even better this year. That’s terrifying for the rest of the FBS, but NFL decision-makers should be salivating over Jackson’s rare skill set.

Jackson has a perfect opportunity to prove his mettle next week, as Clemson brings one of the nation’s best defenses to Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. If he struggles, doubters will waste little time screaming “I told you so” from their social media mountaintops. But if he shines yet again, they’ll be forced to reckon with the new-and-improved version the sport’s most dangerous weapon.

Those who doubt Jackson’s ability to translate to the NFL will call him the next Robert Griffin III, while his biggest proponents will say he’s the next Marcus Mariota. From the improvements I’m seeing so far this season, he’s way more Mariota than RG3.

Either way, both of those quarterbacks Jackson is compared to were basically 1a on the draft board the year they came out. No matter what the Cardinals’ record is this year, or whatever hardware Jackson does or doesn’t take home, he absolutely belongs in this year’s debate among the top overall prospects in the class.

—The U of L men’s soccer team was handed its first loss of the season by No. 2 Wake Forest on Saturday.


—U of L field hockey beat No. 20 American but fell to No. 11 Maryland over the weekend. The Cards are now 4-2.

—I was joking about this at first, but now I seriously want it to happen.

“That appeared to be a clear first down for Renfrow but the first down marker guy just sprinted 15 extra yards down field after the play was over. It also appears as if he’s now taking massive pulls from a flask and trying to fight Dabo Swinney. Be that as it may, there’s nothing the officials can do and it’s 4th down Clemson.”

They’re not real officials, guys. U of L can hire anybody they want. We learned that last year.

—The Ringer hands out its weekly college football awards with nary a mention of Louisville or Lamar.

—The red ones look 3-7 points better than the orange ones, in my opinion.

—Jim Boeheim’s son, Buddy Boeheim (swear), verbally committed to Syracuse on Friday. Buddy is actually a solid three-star prospect from the class of 2018 who had a number of high-level D-I offers.

—The attention Lamar Jackson is getting has been understandable, but how about this from Jaylen Smith?

Louisville hasn’t exactly been light on producing NFL caliber wide receivers either.

—Shutdown Fullcast is easily my favorite college football podcast, and I loved hearing Spencer talk about Lamar Jackson “starting to see The Matrix” on the latest episode.

—I love how excited Lamar is to interact with the fans after a win. That’s been a constant since he got here.

—Stewart Mandel does not have Louisville in his top 10. He’s got Clemson at No. 5.

—U of L has released a statement on the end of the university’s employment of Denny Crum and Darrell Griffith.

Upon his retirement from coaching, Denny Crum was given a 15-year, $338,000-per year contract to continue as a goodwill ambassador for the university. Working with the president and University Advancement, Coach Crum performed in this role through the contract’s end on June 30, 2016. He then continued working for the university with pay but without a contract.

Interim President Greg Postel met with Coach Crum in February and allowed his employment to continue through this June to enable a smooth transition to retirement.

Darrell Griffith’s position, along with those of several other employees in the University Advancement unit, was eliminated as part of a reduction in force plan. Mr. Griffith’s supervisor met with him and informed him in person that his position was being cut.

Neither Coach Crum nor Mr. Griffith was dismissed via email.

Coach Crum and Mr. Griffith have earned a special place in the history of Cardinal Athletics, and both will always be valued members of the U of L family.

Crum told WDRB that he’d met with interim president Postel in the spring and was told that the university would not be honoring any work agreements made by former chief of staff Kathleen Smith.

—UK fans who are so upset about the prospect of Lamar Jackson winning back-to-back Heismans that they are furiously voting for Baker Mayfield in last year’s Heisman poll (Deshaun Watson is one of the other four choices) might be my favorite current trend.

—Sports Illustrated says if Lamar Jackson keeps this up, he’ll have opposing coordinators pining for the 2016 version of himself.

—Probably the MVP of the first two weeks of the 2017 college football season.

—I have attended the Louisville-Clemson football contest in each of the last three seasons. All three of those days have wound up being among the lowest of points for me personally for those respective years.

In order to achieve optimum fury before Saturday, I have decided that I will watch all three of these games before the end of the work week. I’m thinking Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. I am aware of the risks of such a social experiment, and I am willing to take them on.

In all seriousness, it doesn’t get much lower than driving 30 minutes to your hotel after a devastating loss with everyone else in your car asleep and Dabo Swinney on the radio insinuating that the reason your team was just dealt such a soul-crushing defeat was because that was what God wanted. That was a deep, dark place. It also didn’t help that when I got in the car to make the far-too-long drive home the next morning, the first sound I heard was the “I was so much younger yesterday” song. Not making that up at all.

I’ve lived with this darkness for almost 12 months now. It’s time for it to be washed away. But first, I need to survive the next four days the only way I know how.

Go back and read that whole thing again in Bane’s voice. That was my original intention. Probably should have started the blurb with that.

—Official revue? Sounds fancy.

—Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News looks at the issues inherent in a rule that would allow all transfers to be eligible immediately at their new school.

—Nice wrap-up vid from Saturday.

—NDT Scouting says Lamar Jackson is actually a really good pocket passer. That’s wild, man.

—Investigating college basketball’s “transfer movement.”

—You’re raisin’ ‘em right.

—This Week in Schadenfreude is heavy on Ohio State tears.

BucketHatism is back over at The Crunch Zone.

—Charlie Strong is calling out his own fan base again.

—SB Nation counts down the seven coolest things Lamar Jackson did against North Carolina.

—Love it.

—Via Jody Demling, U of L assistant coach Jordan Fair is visiting with five-star class of 2018 big man Moses Brown today. Brown recently took an official visit to U of L.

—A friend of Denny Crum writes a letter to the Alaska Dispatch News about the help that coach got from the Alaskans when he had his health scare a few weeks ago.

Alaskans rescue Hall of Famer

The people of Alaska are used to taking care of all of us Lower 48 visitors and do such a good job helping us have a good time — and keeping us in line. We come to have fun and participate in all your great state has to offer. I write to give a very personal thanks to all, for something that happened last week.

I came last week to fish the Kenai, joining Denny Crum, our Hall of Fame basketball coach at the University of Louisville. I am a professor at the university's medical school. He had introduced me to this area years ago and a group of us have been coming to fish every September. He has been coming here annually (without missing a year!) for over 40 years, between coaching basketball and fishing trips.

Last week, our coach had a serious medical problem while fishing the Kenai River. Due to the alertness and quick action of guide Stacy Corbin of Mystic Waters Fishing, the problem was recognized immediately and action was taken that was critical. Interestingly, Stacy was alone with Denny and his wife Susan on the boat while the rest of our group (three doctors, including his personal physician) were en route that very afternoon to join them. Stacy, with superhuman rowing effort, got him off an isolated part of the Kenai expeditiously, while his partner Simmons Adickes, in an adjacent boat, called and worked with EMS over the phone.

The boat arrived at Jim's Landing on the river shortly before an ambulance arrived and then a helicopter landed a few minutes later. Due to the nature of the problem (a possibly evolving stroke) the helicopter had been alerted and responded as well, in case it was needed. The EMS rescue team was superb. They determined they needed the helicopter and about 18 minutes later, our coach arrived at Providence Alaska Medical Center.

In the ER, a stroke team took over. After rapid assessment and a CT scan, they began administration of drugs that averted the evolution of a more permanent and devastating stroke.

Denny flew home to Louisville this past Sunday and has made a complete recovery with resolution of all symptoms. As a surgeon myself, I can't tell you the number of times we say to ourselves in a backroom how much more we could have done, if only we had received the patient sooner. In this case, due to the alertness and preparedness of the fishing guides, the well-practiced skills of a great EMS team and helicopter ambulance service, along with excellent medical professionals, all went well. Our special friend and the hero of so many in Louisville doesn't have to spend the rest of his life in a disabled situation. For a man who has given so much of his life to others in basketball, support of innumerable charities and fundraising for the university, this is truly an outstanding and blessed outcome.

Thanks to all of you in Alaska who stand ready to help all of us who come here and place ourselves in remote situations with unknown dangers in your great wilderness. I write this with emotion because I know the man. Thank you so much for your preparedness and fast actions to preserve his health and save his life. You never know who you will be called upon to help. Also, Denny and Susan send their heartfelt thanks to all involved and to their many Alaska friends and "expatriate" Kentuckians who offered their help, and even their homes, during the situation.

— Gary Vitale, MD

Louisville, Ky.

—The preparations for all this weekend’s festivities are already underway at U of L.

U of L RB commit Greg Bell looks awfully tough here.

—It’s time for the most important moment of every Tuesday news & notes. I’m talking, of course, about the weekly pick from Bill Everett of The Crestview News Bulletin.

2. Clemson Tigers vs. Louisville Cardinals: The Tigers quarterback showed a bit of weakness last week and the Cardinals are going after him on each play. This could be a very big upset in the making, but again the Tigers pull it out, winning by 1.

.......dammit Bill.

—A reminder (there will be more) that U of L is implementing a clear bag policy at home games this season. Head for the stadium about 15 minutes earlier than you have in past years.

You’ve got like 18 hours to tailgate, this shouldn’t be an issue.

—Eat it, Heels.

You just got Brad’d. How’d that feel?

—If you’re not sold on Lamar Jackson being a pro-caliber quarterback then you’re dumb. There’s a lot of other videos and sketches in this post, but that’s basically the gist of it.

—One five-star and 21 four-star recruits are currently set to visit U of L this weekend. This could be a huge Saturday for both this season and for the future of the program.

—Clemson is turning up the noise during practice this week to try and get Kelly Bryant ready for PJCS.

“We’ll pump plenty of noise in here this week,” co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott said. “The verbal communication is definitely going to be limited with how loud it gets there ... I think the biggest thing for us is get some music in here and totally focus on what we’re doing in our execution.”

Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium will rock and roll Saturday night when the third-ranked Tigers and 14th-ranked Cardinals open conference play under the lights (8 p.m.) in a highly anticipated national showdown. The storylines are aplenty, but the most obvious boil down to the two quarterbacks. Louisville is curious to see how reigning Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson will look versus Clemson’s monstrous defense. Clemson wants to know how new quarterback Bryant will perform in the first true road test of his career.

So the Tigers will make it difficult on Bryant this week in practice.

“Of course the media’s going to hype up (Jackson) but I’m not going to focus more on me versus him, I’m just focusing on the offense and trying to get the win,” Bryant said. “We’re going to have to bring it, just like every week. Some games might be like (Auburn). Some games you might have to put up points. We’re looking to play our best football Saturday.”

—Tar Heel Blog relives the highs and the lows from UNC’s loss to Louisville.

—Yahoo has dubbed this “nemesis weekend” and wonders if U of L will finally get over the hump against Clemson.

--Sports parents wearing themed shirts inspired by their kids remains the best thing.

Also, Mekhi Becton’s dad looks a little bit the old WWE wrestler Viscera. I can’t wait to see what this guy brings to the table over the next few years.

—Rubbing the Rock analyzes Clemson’s updated depth chart, particularly the running back position, which hasn’t given the Tigers a whole lot through two weeks.

—And finally, beat Clemson.