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Friday morning Cardinal news and notes

The Nick Saban Statue has been Chron’d. Let’s do this.

—Spread check: Alabama by 24.5.

—After a brilliant 12-year NFL career, Elvis Dumervil announced his retirement from football on Thursday.

I think my favorite Louisville-Kentucky football rivalry moment of all-time is Elvis setting an NCAA record for sacks in a game with six (2005), and then the UK offensive lineman he embarrassed all afternoon saying afterward: “He really isn’t that good. We were just missing assignments.”

That’s like a pitcher giving up five home runs to the same guy in one game and saying afterward, “He really isn’t that good. I was just missing my spots.”

An all-time pissy rivalry quote.

—Nick Saban says that both of his quarterbacks have earned the right to play against Louisville.

—Ok, sure, those are lopsided “numbers” and all, but it’d be nice if just one national media member brought up the fact that Louisville owns a 41-year winning streak over Alabama.

—Roll Bama Roll knows what’s up.

—Any national talk of Louisville having a chance Saturday night has revolved around the Cardinal air attack taking advantage of an inexperienced Alabama secondary.

—SB Nation’s new system of ranking strength of schedule has Louisville with the 21st-toughest schedule in all of college football for 2018. Kentucky, for those wondering, will play the 78th-toughest schedule.

—Jawon Pass will be making his first career start on Saturday, but Alabama is already very familiar with him.

—CBS’ latest candid coaches installment asks coaches to rank who the best offseason hire was. Chris Mack narrowly edges out Danny Hurley (UConn) for the top spot.

On Chris Mack ...

From a Big East coach: “He’s a proven guy. The amount of success he had at Xavier speaks for itself. It’s a natural fit going to Louisville. Excellent recruiter, gets the best out of his guys, and there’s so much you can do at a place like Louisville, with what Louisville’s ceiling is, Chris is talented enough to match that and what they expect of him.”

”He has a track record of already of winning big at a high-major. Plus, Louisville is the job that he coveted so he will be driven to be successful.”

”Look at Chris Mack’s résumé. Great evaluator. Great at developing players. Great personality, which is needed in that market. I don’t know if he’ll win a national championship at Louisville. But he’s going to win big at Louisville.”

”Clear choice -- Chris Mack. Did a remarkable job at Xavier and now has an even greater platform at Louisville. Has to get through the NCAA recruiting mess but he will do great things there.”

”Mack is a natural fit, like Hurley at UConn. Louisville will be able to rebound off the Pitino stuff. Mack recruits that area, his wife is from there, and he’s known from that region.”

—The S&P rankings like Alabama to win 39-25 Saturday night.

—A look at what makes Alabama so dominant in season openers.

—Make a play on cheap tickets while you can.

—Louisville is not on Bovada’s final board for national championship odds. Kentucky is 900/1. Whatever.

—Auburn has increased the salary pool for Bruce Pearl. Whatever.

—The NCAA isn’t punishing Michigan State for anything. Whatever.

—I am 100 percent behind Mekhi Becton’s dad being the new Papa Siva.

—The official New Orleans Saints serves up five things to know about Teddy Bridgewater. I would have included “greatest human being to ever exist in this galaxy or any other,” but I guess they’re assuming everyone down there already knows that.

—It’s a double-header at Lynn Stadium Friday night. The unbeaten U of L women’s team hosts Kentucky at 5:30, and then the equally unbeaten and ninth-ranked men will take on Saint Louis afterward. There will be a fan tailgate between the two matches.

—Most popular person in that state every damn day.

—In his very first college game, Trinity product Rondale Moore broke the Purdue school record for all-purpose yards in a single game (313). Would be nice to have that guy.

—Wake Forest avoided an embarrassing opening night loss by taking down Tulane in overtime.

—SB Nation’s very early 2019 mock NFL Draft features a host of players that Louisville is going to face in 2018.

—The kids are all right.

—Louisville’s defense is preparing for plenty of unknowns against Alabama.

—Michael Cunningham of the AJC thinks the Crimson Tide rolls.

—Five-star center Aidan Igiehon talks about his final four schools.

Louisville: “Coach Mack and Coach Murray have been recruiting me since I was at Xavier. I know Coach Mack is a great coach with what he did in his time at Xavier. He did that with the right players and not just recruiting the highest rated players in the nation. That means that guys are getting better and I’m excited to see what he can do with the program at Louisville.”

—Jeff Greer serves up his major takeaways from watching ESPN’s all-access series on Alabama football.

—Barrett Sallee is the only member of the CBS college football crew who believes the Cards will cover the spread Saturday night.

—The Louisville women’s cross country team has been picked third in the ACC preseason poll.

—The 8th-ranked U of L field hockey team will take on UMass-Lowell and No. 9 Delaware this weekend.

—Alabama’s stats in season-openers are scary. We get it.

—The CCBMs are already taking Orlando.

—The New York Post published an excerpt of Rick Pitino’s book on Thursday. In the passage, Pitino writes about Papa John Schnatter (and his propensity for bragging about hanging with Peyton Manning), his disdain for the way he was fired, and how his firing potentially impacted the lives of his players.

—Just here for the celebration, boss.

—Former U of L tight end Keith Towbridge hauled in the game-winning touchdown for Buffalo last night against the Bears.

—Malik Williams also made the preseason highlight reel from Thursday night with this absurd hurdle:

— takes a head to head look at Louisville vs. Alabama.

—Deadspin previews Alabama and says there’s no reason to expect them to be anything other than the best team in college football yet again.

—Rick Bozich relives the 1991 Fiesta Bowl magic and wonders if the Cards can do it again.

—Decatur Daily is taking Bama big.

By the numbers

1 — With its No. 1 ranking, Alabama has now been ranked No. 1 at least once in The Associated Press poll in every season since 2008.

6 — Number of new coaches on Alabama’s staff this season.

77 — Number of wins Saban has against teams in the AP top 25 in his career, third-most behind Joe Paterno (86) and Bobby Bowden (82).


Alabama 42, Louisville 17

Forget all about which quarterback will get the start. Alabama is simply too good to not run away from the Cardinals, who are starting a new quarterback with the departure of 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson. More often than not, starting an untested quarterback against Alabama’s defense is not only a recipe for disaster, but is a full-blown disaster. Couple that with what has the potential to be a really good offense and Alabama should steamroll the Cardinals.

—247 Sports looks at three matchups for the Alabama offense against Louisville.

—Each member of the LA Times sports staff likes Alabama over U of L, but one has the Tide winning by just three.

—Friday Irrelevance:

—Alabama is eager to “come out fast” against the Cards.

—How do we know it’s beyond time for this game to kickoff? Because now we’ve got talk of Alabama playing presumed third-stringer Mac Jones at quarterback on Saturday.

Despite Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa grabbing all headlines, Saban may be the type to confuse everyone.

Not saying he would do this, but the six-time national champion has noticed the rise of redshirt freshman quarterback Mac Jones. Since the A-Day game, the Florida native has grown in confidence, size (205 pounds now) and overall mechanics. He turned in strong outings throughout fall practice, and according to senior running back Damien Harris, he believes all three signal callers have won the team.

“We know we have a lot of guys in the room that can be successful quarterbacks,” Harris said Monday during player interviews. “We have guys that can lead us and be effective leaders for our offense so, I don’t think that is something that we are still trying to figure out. All those guys can do it and now it is up to Coach Saban.”

In speaking on the person he refers to as his “son,” Harris said the biggest thing he’s seen in the improvement of Mac Jones is his poise as a player.

“Being a young guy that came in, it is not easy to come in here as a freshman and the expectations are hard to deal with sometimes,” he said. “I use to notice him getting frustrated at times and being down on himself, but this year he is a completely different person. Everything he takes in stride. He is a lot more poised and he is more focused on what he has to do to improve.”

A confident Jones could deliver him playing time Saturday at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla.

Every possible base has now been covered 10 times over. Let’s play the damn game.

—A reminder that John and I will be doing the show from the Tin Roof in Orlando this afternoon. Stop by for food specials, drink specials, and about a billion C-A-R-D-S cheers.

Here’s the full schedule of events for today and tomorrow in Orlando. Travel safely, kids.

—And finally, beat Bama.