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Tuesday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

Festive.

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—Spread check (Holiday Bowl): Louisville by 7.5.

—Louisville currently sits at No. 1 in On3’s team transfer portal rankings.

—Your Holiday Bowl announcing crew on Fox: GUS JOHNSON (play-by-play), Joel Klatt (analyst)and Jenny Taft (sideline).

—The U of L women’s basketball team will host undefeated Washington on Wednesday night. Here’s a preview.

—The Athletic names Louisville as one of the biggest portal winners of last weekend.

Louisville

Transfer commits (12): QB Tyler Shough (Texas Tech), RB Donald Chaney Jr. (Miami), WR Ja’Corey Brooks (Alabama), WR Caullin Lacy (South Alabama), TE Tanner Koziol (Ball State), TE Mark Redman (San Diego State), OL Victor Cutler Jr. (Ohio State), OL Jonathan Mendoza (Yale), OL Pete Nygra (Northern Illinois), DL Thor Griffith (Harvard), DL Jordan Guerad (FIU), DB Corey Thornton (UCF)

After far exceeding expectations in Jeff Brohm’s first season, Louisville is loading up to stay in ACC title contention and landing lots of exciting newcomers. As Cardinal Authority’s Jody Demling noted, this staff has already brought in a whopping 20 transfers on official visits in the past two weeks. So far, a dozen have jumped on board.

The Cardinals’ latest pickups include a trio of playmakers in Lacy, Chaney and Brooks, plus two new offensive linemen in Nygra and Cutler, a veteran defensive back in Thornton and the successful flip of Guerad, a first-team All-CUSA defensive tackle who had committed to Minnesota. All of those additions have helped the Cardinals rise to No. 3 in the 247Sports rankings as of Sunday night.

Lacy is going to be a problem in Brohm’s offense. The 5-foot-10, 190-pound senior was the nation’s fourth-leading receiver in yards per game and turned 91 catches into 1,316 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. He pulled off a seven-game streak of 100-yard performances, including 104 yards and two scores in South Alabama’s 33-7 win at Oklahoma State.

Brooks, a former five-star, was Alabama’s second-leading receiver in 2022 but missed much of this season with a shoulder injury. Chaney rushed for 478 yards this season while splitting carries with three other backs. Redman and Koziol were two of the better tight ends in the portal. Shough could prove to be the most underrated quarterback pickup in this cycle if he can stay healthy. If you’re a Louisville fan, you’ve got to love how this is all coming together.

—Matt McGavic if Louisville Report predicts an 18-point win for Kentucky on Thursday.

—Jeff Brohm discussed the early departures of both Jawhar Jordan and Jamari Thrash and just how severe the injuries the two were dealing with were this season.

—Former Duke DT Aeneas Peebles, who had listed Louisville as a finalist for his services, is headed to Virginia Tech.

—The CJ highlights five Louisville football players who can boost their draft stock with an impressive performance in the Holiday Bowl.

—The MLS is terrified of Lou City. But seriously, this sucks.

—Louisville Report looks at how Cards in the NFL fared this past weekend.

—ESPN’s matchup predictor give Kentucky an 86.6% chance to beat Louisville on Thursday.

—Seth Davis talked with Rick Pitino about the situation at Louisville and whether he would ever at least entertain the idea of a return to the Derby City.

Pitino told me he has only seen Louisville play for a few minutes, but he knows what’s happening there. He’ll give you chapter and verse about how the Kentucky governor stuffed Louisville’s Board of Trustees with Kentucky fans who engineered his ouster — “They torched the program,” he said — but he insisted that he takes no pleasure in seeing the place burn. “I don’t revel in the demise of the program at all,” he told me. “I love the people at Louisville, the fans there, the tradition. I want them to do well. I’ve tried to lose my bitterness about what happened. I was falsely accused, and I’ve moved on to greener pastures.”

While some schools (like Arizona and LSU) also jettisoned their head coaches, others dug in and waited for the dust to settle. The prime example is Kansas, which immediately took a confrontational position with the NCAA and stuck by Bill Self, who rewarded them with an NCAA championship in 2022. When the Kansas case was finally decided this past October, the Jayhawks were not hit with a postseason ban and the school’s self-imposed penalties were lessened. The final, ironic twist is that many of the actions that were considered fraudulent at the time the SDNY filed charges are now permissible in college sports. “There’s basically no NCAA anymore,” Pitino said. “There’s no compliance. They can no longer throw things against the wall and accuse people without facts.”

Given the state of affairs in Louisville, many Cardinals fans have taken to social media to float the prospect of bringing Pitino back for one more reclamation project. He laughed when I raised the possibility. “I would never even answer the phone if they called,” he said. “I wish them well. I want them to do well down the road because of all the good memories I have, but for me, I’m either at St. John’s, or I’ll be retired.”

I didn’t think a return was possible until the last line.

—The U of L lacrosse team has released its 2024 schedule.

—Western Kentucky overcame a 28-0 deficit on Monday to pull off the fourth-largest bowl comeback of all-time. They celebrated with toast.

—The Lexington Herald-Leader says there’s one thing that can save Kenny Payne’s job at Louisville: Beating Kentucky.

—Kentucky Today says this year’s Battle of the Bluegrass once again appears to be a lopsided affair.

—The CJ has a guide to this year’s King of the Bluegrass tournament.

—Only Florida State drew more eyeballs in the ACC than Louisville this season.

—The CJ has released its All-State defense and offense for the 2023 high school football season.

—If you missed the news over the weekend, Teddy Bridgewater is calling it a career at the end of this season. Here’s hoping my Lions can get him to a Super Bowl. Bridgewater says he wants to get into coaching high school ball next.

—The Louisville volleyball team finished the 2023 season ranked No. 6.

—Happy 13-year anniversary to the infamous “Beef O’Brady’s Bowl Dance-Off Dust-Up.”

Titus Teague forever.

—U of L WR commit Shaun Boykins has confirmed that he’ll be signing with Louisville at 1 p.m. on Wednesday at North Hardin.

—Louisville’s NIL situation gets a little love on this national college football podcast.

—Texas crushed top seeded Nebraska to win its second straight volleyball national title over the weekend. The Longhorns topped Louisville for the title a year ago.

—He’s not gonna win it, but he has a legitimate case.

—A Twitter video breakdown of new U of L tight end Tanner Koziol starts here.

—Former Ohio State QB Kyle McCord is headed to Syracuse. The Cardinals are not scheduled to face the Orange next season.

—Former Indiana head coach Tom Allen is the new defensive coordinator at Penn State.

—This picture makes me happy.

—The U of L women’s basketball team is No. 19 in both major rankings this week.

—Gambling site Point Spreads previews the Holiday Bowl.

—Louisville has been named a top place to travel in 2024.

—I never get tired of these videos.

—Thursday night is a battle of two teams headed in opposite directions.

—Attempting a Red Out right now seems like an error in judgment.

—And finally, the Mike Rutherford Show returns from 3-6 this afternoon to discuss all the madness swirling in the world of Cardinal athletics. You can listen online here or on your radio on 1450AM or 96.1 FM.