—Spread checK (football): Florida State by 2.5.
—It’a NCAA tournament first round match day for the Louisville volleyball team, which will begin its quest for a third straight trip to the Final Four tonight at 7 against Wright State. Here’s a preview.
—The Louisville men’s basketball team is officially headed back to the Battle 4 Atlantis next November. The Cards will be joined by Arizona, Creighton, Davidson, West Virginia, Indiana, Oklahoma and Gonzaga.
—A new CC Podcast episode is here.
—Highlights of last night’s big win over Ole Miss are here:
—Louisville football has landed a commitment from 5-star kicker Cooper Ranvier out of Frederick Douglass High School in Lexington.
Ranvier’s commitment video was electric.
—C.L. Brown writes that it’s time for Ty-Laur Johnson to step into a larger role for the Louisville men’s basketball team.
—Speaking of Ty-Laur, if you somehow missed the Kenny Payne postgame press conference snippet that wound up overshadowing the actual game, here it is:
Here's the full quote from Kenny Payne on Ty-Laur Johnson and his tights situation: pic.twitter.com/WnIX88d1Lz— Kent Spencer (@WHAS11Kent) November 30, 2023
The quote, as so many from Payne have this season, immediately drew national attention.
The second I heard him say “I probably shouldn’t say this,” I felt the overwhelming urge to jump into my computer and tackle him before he could say whatever was coming next.
—The Athletic joins the chorus projecting Louisville to face Ohio State in the Orange Bowl.
—This seems to be the consensus reaction from Buckeye fans.
Preference for Bowl opponent:— Buckeye Fett™ (@BuckeyeFett) November 30, 2023
4. Literally anyone but Louisville
As someone who has grown up despising OSU football pretty much my entire life, I would give anything to beat them in that game.
—Cards fans in the Denver area, there will be a game watch on Saturday night at Stoney’s Bar & Grill, which is located on the corner of E 11th Ave. & N. Lincoln Street). Street parking will be available within the immediate area, with nearby public parking lots at 1131 Lincoln, 1120 Acoma Street, and 1255 Sherman. The will also have U of L merchandise that will be raffled off at halftime.
—The CJ looks at the top players to watch during this weekend’s Kentucky high school football state championship games.
—Scotty’s right. Whether it’s Kenny Payne or someone else at the helm after this year, the Louisville-Bellarmine series needs to continue.
—The latest episode of the From the Pink Seats podcast is here.
—CardinalStrong answers some questions for our friends over at Tomahawk Nation.
—Chop Chat has five keys to a Florida State win over Louisville.
Avoiding Third and Long
This aspect is so important for the FSU offense. Unfortunately, it’s an area they’ve not been great in, even with Jordan Travis at quarterback.
It’s an area they struggled with last week, but Tate Rodemaker made a number of big-time throws to convert third down against the Florida Gators.
However, Florida’s defense isn’t as good as Louisville’s, so third and long isn’t a situation they want to consistently find themselves. Louisville’s defense allows third-down conversions 29.6 percent of the time.
That’s outstanding and nearly as good as FSU’s, granted they haven’t faced an offense with the caliber of players at the skill positions.
FSU will likely struggle to run the ball at times, but Louisville will allow explosive runs at times. I think we’ll see more first-down passing with Tate Rodemaker. Louisville’s secondary and linebackers are where they are most vulnerable.
I’d like to see some passes to the running backs out of the backfield as an extension of the running game. I think someone like Ja’Khi Douglas and Lawrance Toafili can have a field day against their linebackers.
Whatever it takes to stay in third and manageable.
—Eric Crawford writes about the U of L women taking care of business on the road against No. 19 Ole Miss.
—Times have changed, and they have changed quickly and completely.
—The first ACC-SEC Challenge ended in a 7-7 tie. With the half point from our win over Bellarmine, I’m happy to be the first to say congratulations to the ACC on its 2023 victory.
—There is a scenario out there in which the SEC gets left out of the College Football Playoff.
—The Athletic’s latest 2024 NFL mock draft still has USC QB Caleb Williams going No. 1.
—Joe Gallo is a very, very good coach, and he’s not wrong here.
Merrimack coach Joe Gallo on the technical foul called against him with 1:39 left in Merrimack's 69-67 loss to Georgetown. After Budd Clark was called for a travel, Gallo picked up a towel, wiped his hands, and tossed it back to the bench. pic.twitter.com/GNcO4RPqFi— The Mack Report (@TheMackReports) November 30, 2023
—Jeff Brohm hopes that the lessons he learned from participating in last year’s Big Ten Championship Game will help him and his team this week against FSU.
—Tomahawk Nation’s podcast predictor is liking Louisville.
—Here’s a tailgating option for those heading to Charlotte this weekend.
For those making the trip to Charlotte, feel free to join us for tailgate! GO LOUISVILLE, BEAT FLORIDA STATE! pic.twitter.com/LsaHwwnfvZ— Creighton Harley (@CreightonHarley) November 29, 2023
—Florida State is the only team in the country with more incompletions forced than completions allowed.
—The Athletic has a good read on the situation in Boulder, where Deion Sanders is sure that Colorado will be better next season, but others aren’t so sure.
—Matt McGavic of Louisville Report is predicting a 34-27 Florida State win on Saturday.
—Jason Jones has a fun breakdown of the NFL’s most memorable touchdown celebrations.
—If Louisville is going to have a shot to upset FSU in Charlotte, its defense is going to have to be better than it’s been the last three weeks.
—The ACC did the right thing in changing the format of its football season, and this year’s title game is proof.
—Athlon is rolling with a 32-21 FSU prediction.
—Joel Klatt of Fox Sports discusses the ACC title game here.
—The NET rankings for men’s and women’s basketball will be released daily, beginning Monday. You can view it each morning here.
—The ACC Digital Network counts down the five best plays of the U of L football season so far.
—The Mike Rutherford Show will roll from 3-6 this afternoon, and we’ll be joined by Louisville baseball coach Dan McDonnell at 5:15. You can stream the show here.
—And finally, beat Wright State.