Iceberg, right ahead! No no, that’s no iceberg. That’s just Nick Saban and Alabama. But it does appear that after running smack into them, the ship has been sinking. I didn’t intend to wake up today and make references to the Titanic when talking about Louisville football, but here we are. We’ll just see how this plays out. Normally with this post, I watch the game again after being there in person so that I can get a better handle on some things. Not this time. Can’t do it. Won’t do it. I saw enough from my seat and do not want to put myself through it again. Because of that, I will do my best to make this brief (I failed at this part by the way). It won’t be about the X’s and O’s, but more about the Jimmys and Joes…and maybe the Titanic.
Body Language/Coaching Staff
Georgia Tech scored a lot of touchdowns on Friday night, whether it was with the ground game or with the help of Delta. But the one time that Louisville held them to a field goal, you would have never known that they did not reach the end zone. About midway through the second quarter, Louisville got a big tackle for loss in the backfield on 3rdand 7 from the 19-yard line. The stadium erupted. The sideline? Not so much. It’s where my eyes went first, and it looked like we just gave up a touchdown on that play. The defense on the field was pumped up. Maybe a few guys on the sideline that were in the rotation were excited. But that was it. I saw nothing else from players or coaches that reflected a good defensive play for once.
Who is to blame? It sucks to see little to no emotion from the players on a play like that, but where are the coaches to get them fired up? I am not saying I miss Charlie Strong, but I sure do miss that coaching staff and the fire, emotion, and personality that they showed. Vance Bedford, Ron Dugans, Kenny Carter, and Brian Jean-Mary, just to name a few. It seemed like in those years, you could look down on the sideline after big plays and the whole team was jumping up and down and waving towels and were really into the game. The coaches seemed invested and ready to get after it. Now? There is some sort of disconnect. I saw it after the second touchdown for the Cards as well. It was still a game at that point, I guess. But you would have never known it if you looked over there.
In football, your staff is so important. There are just too many things to be covered, and you need a competent staff that can run things and handle things on their own, with the head coach overseeing it. If Bobby Petrino survives this season, I don’t think there is any way that there can not be significant changes on the staff, and it would make things really uncomfortable around the Thanksgiving dinner table. When I hear about how Nick Petrino was the QB coach for a Heisman winner, my first thought is “Yes and Coach Calipari developed Anthony Davis into an NBA player, right?” I loved Kolby Smith as a player, but our running backs have been below average over the last few years outside of Brandon Radcliff (Charlie Strong recruit) and they fumble…a lot. Receivers are dropping passes. The defensive line doesn’t get pressure on the QB. But if you do make staff changes, you have to bring in new guys, and I am not so sure that people are lining up to come here and coach. That is a problem. A big one.
Stop the youth excuses
“This is a young team.” Alrighty, cool. Why are the best players on the team freshmen and sophomores? If this was your first or second year as the head coach at a new school, then the youth movement would be exciting. You could see better days ahead. But right now? I am wondering what happened to the junior and senior classes. It’s year five. There should not be a bridge year now. The turnover each year should be to the next talented juniors and seniors because your recruited and developed so well. Instead, the main turnovers we see are fumbles out of the backfield and a new defensive coordinator nearly every season.
I like our young guys. I like seeing them make plays and show flashes of what they can be in the future. I am just tired of hearing the excuse that this team is young when it’s your fifth year at the helm. You have never had a fifth year as the head coach anywhere. Can you build a program? To be determined.
Where do we go from here?
We are out in the middle of the ocean after we hit the iceberg named ‘Bama. There is really nowhere we can go, other than down with the ship. The first half of the schedule was the easy part, and we are 2-4, which could easily be 1-5 because Western Kentucky could have won that game. The combined record for the final six opponents is 27-8, including two undefeated teams in Clemson and NC State. The combined record for the first six teams this year is 18-15, and that includes 6-0 Alabama.
As it was back on that night in 1912, we need to get the women and children out of here first. They don’t need to see this. The workers on the ship helping get everyone on boats are the workers at Cardinal Stadium. They will be there to help you no matter what. The musicians on board is Sean Moth, Paul Rogers, and the staff inside the stadium to enhance the gameday experience. They are doing their job to ensure you have the best time possible. Who are you? Are you Cal, the guy doing his best to leave with the women and children and get off this boat as quickly as possible? Are you the random people just saying, “screw it all” and jumping because you know it’s all over anyway? Or are you Jack and Rose, and you are going to ride this thing out until the very end and hang on by a thread?
Through the first six games, I always found a way that the team would pull themselves out of this mess and have a good season. The schedule was set up that way. Now it’s just not, so I can not talk myself into the optimism anymore. Of course, I hope they can win some games. But we honestly could have seen all the wins from this team already. We are at the point now where we are two-touchdown underdogs to Boston College. Wake Forest could be a win, maybe. But is that it? Are we looking at 2-10 or 3-9? What in the world is Clemson going to do to us? How quickly things have changed since our 2016 trip there.
-Hoping this isn’t my last post ever on Card Chronicle after so much Titanic talk.
-If it is, I will drown my sorrows with Celine Dion music in the background.
-Back to football…eh nevermind. I sat here for about a minute trying to end on positive notes, but if I have to think about it for this long, I am better off just ending it here. Just beat Boston College please. Thanks.
-Go Cards. Go Krogering.