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Monday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

Only five days until we’re back at The Fed for another big one.

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—Spread check: Louisville by 9.5.

—Louisville’s seventh win of the season automatically added another year to Jeff Brohm’s contract, extending him through the 2029 season.

—U of L has announced its theme games for the upcoming men’s basketball season.

—Staff gets it.

—The U of L field hockey team will face Boston College in the ACC tournament quarterfinals on Tuesday. The Cards bested the Eagles in a double overtime thriller last Friday.

—If the 12-team Playoff existed this season, Bud Elliott projects that Louisville would be the 7-seed and play LSU in the first round.

—The week ahead in Cardinal athletics:

Monday, October 30

Men’s Basketball vs Kentucky Wesleyan (EXH) - 7 p.m. ET (KFC Yum! Center)

Tuesday, October 31

#12 Field Hockey vs. #13 Boston College (ACC Tournament) - 6 p.m. ET

Wednesday, November 1

Men’s Soccer at #20 Pittsburgh (ACC Tournament) - 8 p.m. ET

Friday, November 3

Men’s Tennis at Notre Dame Invitational
#12/3 Swim & Dive vs. #17 Notre Dame - 4:30 p.m. ET (Ralph Wright Natatorium)
#4 Volleyball at Georgia Tech - 7 p.m. ET

Saturday, November 4

Men’s Tennis at Notre Dame Invitational
#15 Football vs Virginia Tech - 3:30 p.m. ET (L&N Federal Credit Union Stadium)

Sunday, November 5

Men’s Tennis at Notre Dame Invitational
#4 Volleyball at Clemson - 1 p.m. ET

—Rick Pitino’s run at St. John’s got started with an exhibition loss to Division-II Pace on Sunday. See? It can happen to anybody.

—The Johnnies are still getting love as one of The Athletic college hoops staff’s surprise teams for the upcoming season.

—These poor bastards are in hell.

—The U of L men’s soccer team played No. 3 Wake Forest to a draw in their regular season finale. The Cards will be the No. 9 seed for this week’s ACC tournament and will play at No. 8 seed Pittsburgh on Wednesday. Here’s the full bracket.

—Single game tickets for the upcoming U of L men’s basketball season are now on sale.

—Looking for a chaotic CFP candidate? Louisville is still on the short list.

Tier 3 (1-10% chance): Ole Miss 8%, Notre Dame 8%, Oklahoma 7%, Louisville 6%, Missouri 4%, LSU 2%, Tennessee 1%

If you’re looking for something chaotic, here’s the group from which it will probably come. If Georgia suffers an upset in the homestretch, it will likely come against a one-loss Ole Miss or Missouri or two-loss Tennessee, which could theoretically prompt a shocking SEC title run. And if things get really weird — say, the Pac-12 champion has two losses and the Big Ten doesn’t get two teams in — that might open the door for a two-loss team like Notre Dame, Tennessee or LSU.

The Fighting Irish have looked spectacular over the past two weeks and could make another statement by walloping Clemson on Saturday. These odds are probably overstated, and Notre Dame just might not have the schedule to make up ground. But LSU does! The Tigers have also looked incredible in recent weeks, and an 11-2 LSU team would boast wins over both Alabama and (probably) Georgia in the SEC championship game.

An Oklahoma run obviously isn’t out of the realm of possibility either. But the Sooners’ recent form — they’ve dropped from seventh to 11th in SP+ (30th on defense) in the past two weeks and spent their mulligan in Lawrence, Kansas — has certainly dropped those odds.

—The NIT will no longer be awarding automatic bids for regular season conference champions, a move which once again screws the little guy.

—JoJo Stone, the four-star 2024 WR who recently decommitted from LSU, will be in town this weekend.

Is he dropping hints?

—The U of L volleyball team scored another pair of ACC sweeps over the weekend.

—El Ellis gave another stellar performance in Arkansas’ exhibition win over Purdue.

—Here’s U of L’s preview of tonight’s exhibition matchup against Kentucky Wesleyan.

—Let ‘em know, Brandon.

The Trinity High and Bellarmine University product is on the hill for the Diamondbacks in Game 3 of the World Series tonight.

—Louisville is No. 2 in Andrea Adelson’s latest ACC power rankings.

—Cooper Flagg, the No. 1 rated high school basketball player in America, is headed to Duke.

—NC State and The CW were always a match made in hell.

—On3 has Louisville facing Alabama in the Orange Bowl in its latest set of bowl projections.

—Louisville’s more low risk approach to Saturday’s game against Duke paid off in a big way.

—TuTu Atwell tossed for a 2-point conversion on Sunday.

—Don’t hate seeing this.

—Every bowl projection that has been released so far this week has Louisville playing in the Orange Bowl.

—Louisville’s dominant performance over Duke in front of over 50 recruits sparked two new crystal ball projections for the Cards.

—Cincinnati St. Xavier DL Gordy Sulfsted landed a U of L scholarship offer during his visit.

—Saturday was perfect.

—The CJ list some lingering takeaways from the win over Duke.

—With rankings and projections once again rising, Eric Crawford writes that the Louisville football team must re-sharpen its focus.

I’m not here to put Louisville forward as a playoff contender. But there can be no argument: Louisville is a contender to play in the ACC Championship game. lists the Cardinals’ most likely bowl destination as the Orange Bowl on Dec. 30.

A berth in either or both of those games would be a game-changer for Louisville football in its first season under Jeff Brohm. Full stop.

That Louisville is in this position is remarkable. That it has done it behind a running game and a stout defense is even more remarkable. That it has done it with 25 transfer portal addition has gotten attention.

This thing is just getting going for Brohm. It would be tempting for Louisville fans to say, “What? We’re here already?”

No, Louisville football hasn’t arrived. But it could be arriving for another taste of the big time. And if Louisville has proven anything, it is quite capable of drinking it all in.

Amid that, Brohm knows the challenge. When teams get in this position, they either get sharper because of the opportunity before them, or they embrace the success, and it finds a way to elude them.

I mentioned all of this (in a less wordy, more succinct way) in a question to Brohm on Monday. He promptly turned around and ran. He wasn’t taking the bait.

“I don’t think it’s too complicated,” Brohm said. “We ensure (focus) blocking everything else out of the mix. Looking at anything other than the next game as a team and as coaches can get you in trouble. I’ve been burned enough times, I’m sure others have as well. So, it’s as simple as that. Let’s improve this week and try to get better and win this next football game. And I think looking at whatever else happens is great when the season’s over but until then, for us it’s our job to just try to figure out a way to beat Virginia Tech.”

—Russ Smith’s cousin is now a class of 2024 recruit.

—Big Red Louie says Jawhar Jordan should be in the Heisman conversation.

—UK needs a new director of cookie cake operations immediately.

—Yahoo says that despite Louisville’s resurgence, Florida State looks like the ACC’s only hope for a CFP bid.

—Matt McGavic has his final thoughts and observations from the Duke win.

—Things ... things have changed.

—The Cards are No. 2 in this week’s clean slate top 25.

—And finally, beat Kentucky Wesleyan.