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Monday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

We played them about as well as anyone else, so to hell with it, we still want Bama (we don’t want Bama).

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—Spread check: Louisville by 1.5.

—Louisville is No. 97 and Wake Forest is No. 98 in the latest S&P Rankings, which means one thing: College football’s hottest rivalry is back on.

—Vince Tyra talked with WDRB’s Rick Bozich about Bobby Petrino and the 2018 Louisville football season.

“I don’t think anybody expected us to be 2-5,” Tyra said. “Now we’ve got to work our way out of it. That’s what you have to do.”

Say something flip, like this season is a blip, and the athletic director risks watching his fan base turn up the volume on social media.

Say something critical, and Tyra risks watching the locker room turn down its energy over the final five games.

The easy and comfortable public relations play here is to decline interview requests and promise to talk at the end of the season.

Tyra is not as easy path guy. If avoiding difficult situations was his DNA, he would have remained in the comfortable life he built in private equity, not accept the assignment of fixing messes left by his predecessors at U of L. If you want to be an athletic director, you know your career will be defined by decisions like this.

“I’ve been clear that I’m not in any rush and I’m not going going to be influenced by fans’ emotions,’ Tyra said. “I’ll be more influenced by my own instincts on what’s going on and talking it through with Bobby and the coaches.”

—The U of L women’s soccer team took care of NC State, 2-1 on Sunday.

—Ken Pomeroy’s preseason rankings for 2018-19 are here, and Louisville is No. 63. Kansas is No. 1.

—If you missed the end of Western Kentucky-Old Dominion on Saturday, you missed one of the most improbable finishes in college football history.

The Hilltoppers are now just 1-6 overall and 0-3 in Conference USA.

—The U of L field hockey team was handed a tough 1-0 loss to No. 22 Albany over the weekend.

—Both Louisville and Jaylen Smith get nods on Athlon’s All-Underachiever Team for 2018 so far.

Team No. 1: Louisville

We all expected a step back with the departure of the best player in school history but nobody could have predicted this kind of cratering. Bobby Petrino is already feeling a ton of heat and, after some big offseason talk coming into 2018, the Cardinals are now losers of four straight and wondering if there’s any signs of hope for the future.


WR Jaylen Smith (Louisville): A second-team All-ACC pick in the preseason, he’s been plagued by bad quarterback play but still has only topped 100 yards once this season and has just a single touchdown (against FCS opponent Indiana State) to show for it. The senior was one of Lamar Jackson’s favorite targets last year but has been in witness protection with the Cardinals.

—The Louisville Cardinal is out with part four of its U of L athletics state of the union.

—The U of L men’s soccer team celebrated Senior Night with a double OT win over visiting Clemson on Saturday. Here are the highlights:

—Ohio State is the star of This Week in Schadenfreude.

—Here’s a deep dive into the pregame skirmish between Michigan and Michigan State on Saturday.

—There was also a fight between Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul Saturday night. The beef between the two point guards goes back a long time.

—This is pretty cool.

—Team captains V.J. King and Christen Cunningham will be Louisville’s player representatives at ACC media day on Wednesday.

—Sports Illustrated looks at the impressive job Chris Mack has been doing on the recruiting trail.

—The relationship between DeVante Parker and Miami Dolphins continues to devolve.

—Louisville is No. 110 in these strength of schedule rankings.

—Jeff Greer has nine observations from the Red-White scrimmage. I’m going to give you one for free.

Clear differences: It has been a popular topic over the past six months as observers try to piece together how Louisville will look different under Mack. The scrimmage provided some early answers, though the clearest ones will emerge as the season progresses and trend lines settle.

For instance, on post-ups, the other four offensive players cleared out, isolating the post on one half of the floor. There wasn’t much movement off the post-ups, either, with spot-up shooters on the opposite wing and a guard lingering to come get the ball if needed. Louisville under Rick Pitino and David Padgett ran a lot of cuts off the post, or double-posted a second big guy to create some high-low action in and around the lane. It worked a fair amount because the post players possessed some passing touch, but it also clogged the paint. Mack seems to like the isolation more to draw help defenders in off the 3-point line and away from spot shooters.

Beyond that, there was no fullcourt pressure, as expected. Defenders sometimes picked up their man at halfcourt, but Mack regularly shouted to move the on-ball defender closer to the pack-line defense inside the arc. It seems like such a small thing, but Louisville’s players also showed a dedication to finding a body and boxing out on the defensive glass. On offense, the pick-and-roll is much more prominent. Christen Cunningham looked confident in those scenarios, though the other guards have work to do there.

—ESPN has Kansas at No. 1 in its preseason power rankings.

—Missouri star Jontay Porter (Michael’s little brother) will miss all of this season with an ACL tear.

—Updated CFP championship odds:

Team 10/15/18 Current Odds (10/22/18)

Alabama 5/9 1/2

Clemson 13/2 5/1

Notre Dame 19/2 13/2

Michigan 12/1 12/1

Ohio State 7/1 12/1

Georgia 16/1 14/1

LSU 30/1 25/1

Oklahoma 35/1 30/1

Texas 35/1 50/1

Central Florida 80/1 66/1

Florida 50/1 100/1

West Virginia 60/1 100/1

Wisconsin 100/1 125/1

Iowa 175/1 200/1

Auburn 275/1 275/1

Mississippi State 100/1 275/1

NC State 80/1 275/1

Washington 90/1 300/1

Kentucky 1000/1 500/1

Miami (FL) 175/1 500/1

Penn State 100/1 500/1

Michigan State 1000/1 Off the Board

Oregon 175/1 Off the Board

TCU 1000/1 Off the Board

Texas Tech 1000/1 Off the Board

—No team in any sport had a worse Monday than TCU football.

—The talks to end basketball’s one and done rule have reportedly hit a snag.

—Mike Leach was not afraid to speak his mind to the Pac-12 brass.


—Aidan Igiehon says “it feels special” to be a Louisville Cardinal.

—Rae Carruth is out of prison, but the story of the son he tried to have killed is the one worth reading up on.

—Congrats to Louisville City FC on advancing in the USL playoffs thanks to a trouncing of Indy Eleven. Lou City will host Bethlehem Steel FC at 7:30 on Saturday in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

—Happy Homecoming Week to all U of L students and alums.

—A look at the bizarre history of the Louisville-Wake Forest “rivalry,” and how it might get weirder.

—The Louisville volleyball team suffered its first ACC loss of the season via a 3-1 road defeat at the hands of No. 6 Pitt.

—Lamar Jackson notched his first professional touchdown on Sunday.

—Not to be outdone, Trevon Young notched his first professional takeaway.

—The Jeff Brohm to Louisville chatter is loud and only getting louder after the events of this past weekend.

—And finally, Bobby Petrino’s weekly press conference has been moved from its normal time of 1:30 to 5:30 today. We’ll carry it live during the final half hour of Ramsey & Rutherford, which you can listen to here.