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Thursday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

The Blackman twins have been waiting their whole lives for this Cardinal football season.

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—U of L has announced an expansion in its diversity, equity and inclusion efforts with the creation of the S.O.A.R. Committee. Full details are available here.

—Western Kentucky has announced that Maryland grad transfer Tyrrell Pigrome will be its starting quarterback when it faces Louisville on Sept. 12. Over the course of four seasons and 34 appearances at Maryland, the dual threat QB threw for 1,777 yards and nine touchdowns while completing 56.7 percent of his passes. He also accounted for 630 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground.

—This was the first U of L football game of the Card Report/Card Chronicle era.

Once again, we are old as shit.

—Sam Vecenie’s latest NBA mock draft for The Athletic has Jordan Nwora going 44th overall to the Bulls.

—The Maui Invitational is exploring sites within the continental U.S. to hold its 2020 tournament. One site that has been reported as a possibility is Asheville, N.C.

—The ACCDN has TuTu Atwell as the No. 6 returning player in the conference for 2020.

—Isaac Martin, a walk-on from Trinity High School, is expected to play a big role for Louisville in 2020.

—It’s sounding more and more like the plan will be for the 2020-21 college basketball season to tip-off on Nov. 25. The Athletic’s Seth Davis and Dana O’Neil have some idea of what that season may look like.

The Nov. 25 date is a compromise between those who wanted to leave the calendar in place to allow for maximum flexibility and those who advocated pushing it back even further, perhaps as late as January. The proposal would give teams the opportunity to begin the season after most students leave campus for the semester break (Thanksgiving is Nov. 26), but still preserve enough of a chance for teams to play the 31 games allowed during a normal season.

Though most expect the council to adopt the oversight committee’s recommendation, it has the option of coming up with a date of its own or postponing the decision until its October meeting. That last option is widely considered to be untenable, because schools, TV networks and event operators need that time to set their wheels in motion. “I think it’s important for planning purposes for there to be a decision on Sept. 16,” says Dan Gavitt, the NCAA’s senior vice president of basketball. “There’s reason for optimism that there will be some measure of certainty so our student-athletes and coaches and fans know that we’re working toward a common goal.”

It hasn’t been happening in public view, but make no mistake, plans are being made aggressively in anticipation of the council’s green light, portending a bubble-palooza that will carry fans through a busy winter. The hope is to recreate what the NBA has done at the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando. In fact, multiple sources have told The Athletic that ESPN, which Disney owns, is planning to move all of the events it owns to the same complex where the NBA is holding its playoffs. The network owns 10 properties commonly referred to as multi-team events, or MTEs. That includes prominent showcases such as the Champions Classic, the annual opening night doubleheader featuring Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and Michigan State, as well as the PK Invitational, the NIT Season Tip-Off and the Jimmy V Classic. Some of those events are currently scheduled to be played before the proposed Nov. 25 start date, but ESPN still hopes to get those games in as long as all the parties involved can agree upon dates and health protocols.

—Eric Crawford tackles the topic of what we do with the racism in the Kentucky Derby’s past and its ongoing effects.

—The Atlantic Coast Conference’s Committee for Racial and Social Justice (CORE - Champions of Racial Equity) announced three initiatives in conjunction with its member institutions on Thursday.

—ESPN’s Bill Connelly has 10 random thoughts on the 2020 college football season.

—Kentucky remains America’s creative heart.

—NCAA VP of Women’s Basketball Lynn Holzman says she’s very confident that there will be a 2020-21 season and NCAA tournament.

—Reggie Bush is a TuTu Atwell fan.

—Virginia defensive lineman Aaron Faumui has opted out of the 2020 season. That makes nine notable players on Louisville’s schedule who the Cards won’t be facing.

—Not bad company for the former Cardinal.

—Bryant McKinnie has some advice for Mekhi Becton.

—Mark Gottfried is suing NC State for his buyout money, which is hilarious.

—The latest episode of the Cardinal Sports Zone podcast features Preston Brown.

—Kei’Trel Clark shares the Louisville football team’s action plan for 2020.

—The NCAA will furlough its entire Indianapolis-based staff of about 600 employees for three to eight weeks in a cost-saving move.

Banner back up for 3-8 weeks?

—Having Ean Pfeifer back for another season is pretty awesome.

—Two of Athlon’s college football writers have Louisville going 9-2 this season. The other has the Cards at 8-3.

Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)

Scott Satterfield guided Louisville to a six-game jump in the win column in his debut last year, and the 2020 version of this program could feature a run to an appearance in the ACC Championship Game. Satterfield is one of the best minds in college football on offense, and a full offseason to work with quarterback Micale Cunningham should pay dividends for this group. Running back Javian Hawkins and receiver Tutu Atwell join Cunningham to form one of the nation’s top offensive trios. Louisville’s defense struggled last year by surrendering 33.4 points a game and 6.3 yards a snap. With seven starters back, improvement should be a reasonable expectation. However, with a high-powered offense in place, the Cardinals can outscore most of the teams on the schedule. While Louisville might not be as well-rounded as Notre Dame or North Carolina in the race to finish second in the ACC, missing the Tar Heels and Clemson in the revamped schedule is a big plus for Satterfield’s team.

Mark Ross (@AthlonMarkR)

Louisville could be a surprise contender for the ACC Championship Game thanks in part to a schedule that does not include Clemson or North Carolina. There are a couple of road tests (Notre Dame and Pittsburgh), but otherwise, the toughest matchups for the Cardinals will come at home. Louisville already boasts one of the top offensive trios in the league in quarterback Micale Cunningham, running back Javian Hawkins, and wide receiver Tutu Atwell, so if Scott Satterfield’s team can improve on defense the Cardinals could find themselves in Charlotte at season’s end.

Antwan Staley (@antwanstaley)

Last season, the Cardinals finished 24th in total offense at 447.3 yards per game. They were also 24th in rushing with 212.8 yards per game. Now they get another season with Scott Satterfield at the helm and a more talented team than a season ago. Expect redshirt junior quarterback Micale Cunningham to have a better grasp of the offense this year. The Cardinals secondary will be the biggest question heading into the season, as their defense allowed 33.4 points per game. As good as their offense is expected to be, if their secondary can eliminate the big plays, the Cardinals should be one of the better teams in the ACC. Also, because of the year that is, Louisville will avoid Clemson this season, but will have to play Notre Dame, who also could be one of the best teams in the country.

—Hall of Fame DB Ed Reed tries his best to explain what makes Lamar Jackson so great.

—Rodjay Burns is continuing to grow as both a player and a leader for the Cardinal defense.

—And finally, the CJ looks at the battle to take over for Blanton Creque as Louisville’s new starting kicker.