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Thursday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

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I can’t say I’m familiar with the music of Caroline Jones, but I’m happy to have her on board.

—Spread check: Louisville by 2.5.

—The New York Jets are now saying that Bilal Powell’s neck injury could possibly end his career. Here’s hoping that doesn’t wind up being the case.

Powell is already Louisville’s all-time leading NFL rusher with 3,446 career yards.

—CBS’ Matt Norlander ranks all 353 Division-I college basketball teams and has Louisville at No. 65.

65. Louisville

New coach: Chris Mack.

The Cardinals of 2019-2020 will probably be a preseason top 25 team. The Cardinals for the season ahead are more mysterious. It remains to be seen who’ll be the team’s best player: V.J. King, Jordan Nwora, Steve Enoch, Darius Perry are all in play. Expect an up-and-down season, but thanks to a loaded 2019 recruiting class, Louisville fans will enjoy Mack’s first trip around the sport and hope good surprises are in store.

—Following last night’s revelation, Kemari Averett has now been kicked out of his apartment and barred from the U of L campus.

—Josh Nickelberry: Already a Louisville legend in my eyes.

Dealing with trolls is an invaluable skill for anyone who is about to become part of a rivalry that involves Kentucky.

—Cam Newton says he’s been a Lamar Jackson fan since Jackson’s freshman season at Louisville.

—Gary Parrish is blown away that the jury in the college basketball trial bought the prosecution’s case that the universities involved were victims.

Bottom line, this was a huge win for the prosecution and a life-altering loss for the defendants. I mean, can you imagine doing seven years in prison because you wanted Louisville to compete near the top of the ACC? From that perspective, this is insanity. But, regardless, a precedent has been set, and that precedent is this: If you are a sneaker executive, street-agent, middle-man or anybody else who compromises the amateur status of a prospective student-athlete, you are theoretically committing a federal crime.

That’s what a jury just told the world.

I’m not saying that alone will cleanup the sport.

Let’s not be naive.

But, if nothing else, it’s a new thing that must be considered.

—If Silvio De Sousa isn’t allowed to play for Kansas, why is Bill Self allowed to coach?

—Speaking of Self, he called a press conference last night and delivered this all-time quote.

Yup.

Darius Miles telling his life story is one of the best things the Players’ Tribune has ever done.

—Sports Illustrated legal expert Michael McCann explains why the prosecution in the college hoops case ruled the way it did, and talks about what the ruling could mean for the immediate future of the sport.

—Andy Katz’s preseason ACC power rankings have Louisville at No. 11.

11. Louisville: This is the Chris Mack factor. He will have this team ready to play and ultimately be a tough out. Mack said UConn transfer Steven Enoch could end up being a key factor for the Cardinals. If they’ve got the rim protector then this team can make a run toward a bid.

Postseason prediction: NIT candidate

—The U of L women’s soccer team wraps up its regular season tonight at 7 against Virginia Tech. The first 300 fans inside Lynn Stadium will get a free Louisville soccer scarf.

If the Cards take down the Hokies, they’ll host an ACC tournament quarterfinal match on Sunday.

—Donovan Mitchell, as always, is the best.

Mitchell returned to form Wednesday night with a 38-point performance in the Jazz’s win over Houston.

—Both the U of L men’s and women’s swim teams are currently ranked in the nation’s top 15.

—Pete Thamel takes a look at the biggest hot seat situations in college football, including Louisville’s.

Bobby Petrino, LOUISVILLE

Buyout: $14 million

Other than the exorbitant cost of the buyout, there appears to be little reason to bring Bobby Petrino back. The fanbase that welcomed his return now largely wants him gone, opposing coaches are wowed by the team’s lack of effort and the coaching staff is a case study in both defensive negligence and nepotism. (Three of Petrino’s relatives – his son and two in-laws – are on-field coaches making a total of $650,000.)

Louisville is 0-4 in the ACC, 2-5 overall, and could be staring at 2-10 and a winless conference season if it doesn’t beat Wake Forest on Saturday. The scene at that game in Louisville this weekend promises to be bleak.

Louisville is caught in the classic conundrum: “Can it afford to? Or can it afford not to?”

The athletic department is cash-strapped from scandal and buyouts, but when the hottest coach on the market – Purdue’s Jeff Brohm – is from your school and the city’s most famous football family, you pass the hat and figure it out. Petrino has won 70 percent of his games over his two stints at the school, but it’s hard to see him reviving this program back to that level.

Prediction: Right now, Louisville projects as the highest-profile opening. New athletic director Vince Tyra will figure out a way to find the money, which will be thorny as Petrino’s $14 million has no offset. The good news is that it would cost Louisville “only” $3 million to buy out Brohm from his deal after Dec. 5. Other names here would be Ohio State offensive coordinator Ryan Day and Troy coach Neal Brown.

Vote Tate Schmitt for the Senior Class Award.

—At the 2004 Emerald Bowl, Navy ripped off a 26-play drive that took 14:26 of clock time. It’s the longest major football drive on record, and the full story makes it even wilder.

—This is why Card Chronicle is going to wind up taking over the program.

—The guilty verdicts in New York yesterday set the table for the NCAA to wreak havoc on coaches and schools.

Four programs are still directly in the crosshairs. Former assistants at Arizona, USC, Oklahoma State and Auburn are facing bribery charges. Who’s to say if Wednesday’s verdicts will affect any plea deals going forward, but it’s obviously not an encouraging sign that the minor players in this scheme were ruled in the wrong.

Getting the coaches has always been the larger objective.

The schools are far from off the hook. By definition, the verdicts prove true four of the most feared words in college compliance: lack of institutional control. Coincidentally, Kansas put Silvio De Sousa, whose illegal recruitment was laid bare in this trial, out of action indefinitely -- and maybe for the rest of his college career.

College athletics wasn’t so much exposed as it was undeniably altered on Wednesday. The government’s 1-0 with two more cases looking, at this moment, even more probable to land in their favor. Keep that in mind. The NCAA sure will. The college hoops coaches facing prison time have every right to feel a lot more nervous.

And so does everyone even remotely touched by this case.

—The bracket for the 2018 ACC field hockey tournament is set, and third-seeded Louisville will face Wake Forest in the quarterfinals on Nov. 1.

—This is a terrific quote from Jordan Nwora:

—Dan Wetzel says the current most powerful man in college basketball will determine what’s next for the sport.

—Blogger so Dear previews the Louisville offense.

—These are pretty much my thoughts as well.

—Suspended U of L football assistant Chris Klenakis is set to report to jail on Sunday.

—Jeff Brohm has made Purdue football cool, a task previously thought to be impossible.

—Two Rivals writers discuss whether or not Brohm would leave Purdue for Louisville.

—Athlon is taking Wake Forest to spring the mild upset on Saturday.

Final Analysis

Having an extra week to prepare and this contest at Cardinal Stadium should be an advantage for Louisville, but reports about head coach Bobby Petrino’s buyout and a five-game losing streak have morale pretty low. It probably isn’t much higher for Wake Forest which has taken it on the chin in each of its last two games. The schedule down the stretch however, is more favorable to the Demon Deacons, who still see bowl-eligibility as a realistic option. Wake Forest also still appears to be a more together team at this point in the year.

Prediction: Wake Forest 30, Louisville 28

—The Dublin Gazette talks about Aidan Igiehon’s commitment to Louisville.

—Roy Williams thinks David Padgett did a solid job last season.

—Insider Louisville talks about the “fresh start” for Louisville basketball under Chris Mack.

—Jaylen Smith says Louisville is anxious to get back on the field after a bye week.

“We are hungry for win,” senior wide receiver Jaylen Smith said. “We haven’t tasted victory in a long time and it’s why we feel like we put in all the work in. We practice hard and it’s not translated on Saturdays, but if we do everything right it could happen this weekend – and that would be huge.”

After having won at least eight games over the last six seasons, the Cardinals are facing adversity for the first time in many seasons, but the Cardinals have stayed together and feel like they can turn this around in the five remaining games.

”We’re preaching positivity,” Jaylen Smith said. “We had a meeting and drew a line in the sand. Once you step across the line there is no looking back. The only thing we can control is takes place over these next few weeks, and everything that has happened has happened.”

One of those weeks that Smith was referring to starts this weekend versus Wake Forest, a team also looking for its first win. The Demon Deacons enter the game

”I’ve seen gaps in their defense. Everyone has gaps in their defense,” Jaylen Smith said. “From the No. 1 team to the worst team, everyone has gaps that we can exploit, but it’s up to us as an offense to find them.”

—Jason Frakes and Kent Spencer make their local high school football picks for the final week of the regular season.

—And finally, R&R is live from the Sports & Social Club downtown this afternoon from 3-6. You can listen here.