—Spread check (Indiana State): No line.
—The story’s behind a paywall, but Matt Fortuna of The Athletic spent 48 hours with Louisville as the Cards prepared for Bama.
VanGorder wanted to know how much time he had left. In Friday night’s meeting, the first-year Louisville defensive coordinator had already gone over punt coverage, showing the team film of Texas A&M to prepare for whatever new Tide special teams coordinator Jeff Banks, a former Aggies assistant, would have in store for them.
He had reviewed the three bullet points on the white board — communicate, explosiveness, win third downs — and he had matter-of-factly mentioned how he believed Alabama would start Jalen Hurts at quarterback, switch to Tagovailoa shortly thereafter, and then go from there the rest of the way. He reminded them of “bad intentions,” demanding a singular focus and mentality that leaves little room for demonstrative antics or extracurriculars. Ray Lewis, VanGorder explained, did not let his rah-rah personality loose until he had already established himself as a playmaker.
When linebackers coach Ryan Beard said it was 8:18, VanGorder knew it was time to wrap things up, so Beard headed to the front of the room for a quick review of signs. With graduate assistant Michael Giuliani reciting calls from the back of the room at a rapid-fire pace, Beard issued a variety of hand signals, a dozen or so keys that to the outside eye looked like an exotic form of sign language.
Before all departed, VanGorder reminded players to watch for the Tide’s tempo, saying they generally take about 11 or 12 seconds between plays on first and second down.
It was the next down that ended up killing the Cards on Saturday: ‘Bama converted on 10 of 15 third-down plays. Another of Louisville’s priorities — communicate — was also validated in the worst of ways, with two of those 12-men-on-the-field penalties coming from the defense. Petrino attributed the breakdowns to a formation that had the same name as a personnel grouping. Losing linebacker Jon Greenard to a wrist injury on the second series of the game did not help matters, either.
The word all Friday night in Orlando was that Louisville had somehow found out that Hurts would start and then Tua would come in for the first time on the game’s third drive. Not sure how that got botched, but obviously it did.
—The Louisville women’s soccer team moved to 5-0 on Friday with a 1-0 overtime win over Kentucky. Brooklyn Rivers netted the game-winner for the Cards.
—The Cardinal men (2-0) take on the Wildcats tonight at 7:30 in Lexington. Here’s a preview.
—A deserved tribute for a wonderful man.
—Three Man Weave previews the 2018-19 ACC basketball season, and picks Louisville to finish 11th in the conference.
—Despite Saturday’s performance, Spencer Hall remains pretty upbeat about Jawon Pass and Louisville’s long-term prospects.
3. Alabama. 51-14 over Louisville, a good team that will do good things later this season. There are good players — new starting QB Jawon Pass looked pretty great at times — and a good coach.
There is also a good chance this will be forgotten completely because this happened against Alabama, a team that sometimes makes FBS opponents look like FCS cupcakes. Some teams struggle when they play two QBs on offense. Some two-QB teams blow out pretty good competition by 37 points.
Some teams give Nick Saban a thin excuse to be weirdly hostile to a reporter on national television, but Saban really doesn’t need an excuse to do that anyway. Don’t give Alabama credit for that. They did enough other actually good things on Saturday to keep their account full for a few weeks.
—The first “This Week in Schadenfreude” is brutal on Michigan fans and thankfully spares all of us.
—What does Teddy Bridgewater being traded to the Saints actually mean?
—Chris Mack is Jon Rothstein’s guest on the latest episode of the College Hoops Today podcast and says he “absolutely” thinks the Cards are an NCAA tournament team. You can listen here.
—Alabama took our land. No change in lifestyle for the Kentucky basketball fans in Louisville.
What if teams battled over each others’ land? The College Football Empires Map after Week https://t.co/IA2ZnWu9le— Nathan Bingham (@NBingham196) September 4, 2018
—Chinanu Onuaku has agreed to a camp deal with the Portland Trailblazers.
—Tom Lane of WDRB says there were some positives for Louisville that came out of Saturday night’s blowout.
—Rick Pitino’s new book is officially in stores. Eric Crawford read it and he has five thoughts.
5). FINAL THOUGHTS, AND THE MEDIA. In the end, I don’t know that Pitino’s book will accomplish what he hopes it does. Only the resolution of the current college basketball corruption cases is likely to do that. But with Pitino, there’s always a great desire to tell his side of the story. On that score, he has succeeded.
Whether the public will be open to his side of the story, I’m doubtful. Narratives are hard things to change, and timing is everything.
Pitino goes after the media, and in some of this, he has a point. There is laziness. There is an all-too-willing desire to go along with whatever the narrative is, and ignore actual evidence. Allegations become facts in an almost shockingly easy way.
“Time and again, the media has lambasted me since the scandal broke,” Pitino writes. “Supposedly even-handed accounts are filled with misinformation. Pitino is under investigation. Pitino is a suspect. Pitino made phone calls to arrange payments.”
He mentions Pat Forde’s account the day after the FBI allegations wrote, which said if they are true, Pitino “should be gone.”
And look, full disclosure, I did the first thing any normal person would do when opening such a book for the first time. I searched for myself. And I found this: “Some of the best reporting on this (Katina Powell) issue was done by a journalist named Eric Crawford. (Full disclosure: Eric co-wrote a book with me, a best seller about maximizing every minute of your life, The One-Day Contract. Unfortunately, this hasn’t stopped Eric from maximizing his life by raking me over the coals at times.)”
Can’t argue with that, but for one phrase. I don’t know what “maximizing his life” means. I just try to be as straight with people in this forum as I can be.
The easy thing is to write Pitino off as “what’s wrong with college basketball.” He acknowledges in the book that he has become “Public Enemy No. 1.” That’s not really fair, given all he has done in and for the game, and given the evidence we have right now.
In promotion of this book, Pitino is expected to appear on Good Morning America, Fox and Friends and elsewhere to tell his story.
Whether anyone is ready to listen to it is another matter. Sometimes the only thing that can create that condition is time.
—Former Trinity standout Rondale Moore has been named Big Ten Player of the Week.
Not bitter though.
—The Minnesota Vikings have signed Cole Hikutini to their practice squad.
—Reggie Bonnafon has made the Panthers practice squad.
—I hate this.
—Jeff Greer looks at how Louisville basketball’s new staff is reshaping the program’s relationship with the fan base via a new approach to social media.
—James Burgess remains sidelined with a concussion.
—Congrats to Damion Lee on his marriage to Sydel Curry over the weekend. It appears as though Donovan Mitchell, Trey Lewis and Chinanu Onuaku (along with Georges Niang and Quinn Cook) made cut as groomsmen.
—Roll Bama Roll looks at the nerd math from the Tide’s thrashing of Louisville.
—ESPN says Rick Pitino is putting on a full-court press to defend his legacy.
—The worldwide leader has Louisville at No. 9 in its ACC power rankings.
—State of the U (Miami) has the Cards a spot higher.
8. Louisville Cardinals (LW: 7), Week 1 Result: 14-51 L vs Alabama, Next: vs Indiana State 9/8 7:00pm ET
Louisville talked the talk, but they did not walk the walk as Alabama treated them like an FCS opponent. To be fair, none of us expected the Cardinals to put up much of a fight. We won’t know much about this team until ACC play begins.
—The 8th-ranked Louisville field hockey team took care of No. 9 Delaware 2-1 on Sunday.
—To me, this stat says we’re every bit as good as every college football team from the last three years this side of 2017/18 Alabama and 2016 Clemson.
Louisville's 252 passing yards are the most Alabama has allowed since its national championship loss to Clemson two years ago.— Kelly Dickey (@RealCardGame) September 2, 2018
—Lyndy’s says that not only did Alabama look bigger and stronger than Louisville, but the Tide looked much faster than the Cards too.
—Alabama’s defensive players explain “what went wrong” in the team’s 51-14 win over Louisville.
Oh, f—k off, guys. Seriously.