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Friday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

TBT forever.

—After looking briefly this morning like the Pac-12 might band together and survive, Oregon and Washington are now officially headed to the Big Ten, likely marking the beginning of the end for the West Coast’s dominant conference.

—Watch list season update:

Jawhar Jordan — Hornung Award

Ashton Gillotte — Wuerffel Trophy

Bryan Hudson — Rimington Trophy

—U of L volleyball is the preseason pick to win the ACC according to the league’s coaches poll.

—Louisville’s secondary has a chance to be special in 2023.

“It’s been good,” Ellis said. “The guys, they have a great attitude. I think they have a good foundation here. It started this spring and carried over into the summer. The first two days, we got a bunch of excitement. The guys have been energetic, and they have been listening. They want to get better.”

Returning starter Jarvis Brownlee advanced his skill set after last season and has shown to have taken a large step forward after the first two workouts. Brownlee has shown an ability to be around the football and make plays after recording a pair of interceptions last season.

“Honestly, the first few days have been solid,” Brownlee said. “The first day we came out we didn’t get a lot of takeaways. However, today you see we had about seven takeaways so you know saw progress and we got a lot better today.”

Last season, the Cardinals were one of the best in the country in causing turnovers, forcing 27, grabbing 15 interceptions. If Louisville wants to get an opportunity to win the Atlantic Coast Conference, they must be one of the best at forcing other teams to make that critical mistake.

“I feel like we could be on the top secondaries this year,” Brownlee said. “All we have to do is keep executing and just be consistent with doing it. We are just putting the time in , day in and day out here. As we keep going, it’s our goal to keep making progress and just keep executing. We just want to be really consistent in our play.”

—College football teams have the wrong incentives. Someone has to make them say no.

—Here’s a new one: Clemson linebacker TJ Dudley has been dismissed from the program after ... selling locker room photos of his teammates on OnlyFans.

—Mekhi Becton’s 2023 season got off to a solid start last night in the Hall of Fame game.

—New Wave Burritos is closing, which is a bummer.

—USA Basketball and Fox Sports have announced a multi-year TV deal.

—The U of L secondary gained some confidence during the offseason by watching tape of former Cardinal corner Jaire Alexander.

—Conference realignment is a moral hole.

Where and when it all ends, nobody knows. But eventually, if the Washington Huskies are making their fifth trip east of the fall, on their way to end the regular season in College Park, Md., instead of playing their natural rival in Pullman, there will be a reckoning. The existential questions: “How did we get here? What are we doing? Why did we let this escalate beyond all reason?” […]

The school presidents, athletic directors and conference commissioners all should be ashamed of their role in tearing asunder the fabric of college sports. But they’re too busy taking orders from TV partners and counting the resulting revenue. Yet and still, there is nobody looking out for the greater good of the entire enterprise—nobody willing to throw on the brakes and slow the gravy train.

—Twenty years ago, ESPN aired Playmakers, a scripted drama about a football team with drug issues, domestic violence and homophobia. It was a massive hit, but the NFL hated it, so it was canceled. The Athletic has the inside story of what happened.

—Terrence Williams has been hit with a 10-year federal prison sentence for being the ringleader in a scheme to defraud the NBA.

—Russ Smith and his bourbon gets some ink in Business First.

—Racing Louisville is having one hell of a season and deserves a record crowd in two Saturdays.

—Pat Forde has 40 observations about the 2023 college football season.

—Kyle Tucker and Sam Vecenie break down UK basketball’s late addition for the upcoming season.

—The latest episode of From the Pink Seats takes a look at Jeff Brohm’s defensive philosophy.

—Support the 502 Circle at Slugger Field later this month.

—Ty Spalding serves up some recruiting nuggets on the latest episode of the Third Banner Pod.

—Montrezl Harrell, who recently signed a 1-year deal with Philadelphia, has a torn ACL and meniscus.

—Yet another local high school coach has been arrested for inappropriate behavior with teenage girls.

—Cardinal Authority highlights some freshmen to watch this football season.

—Matt McGavic of Louisville Report looks at what a dream, realistic and disappointing season for U of L football in 2023 would look like.

Realistic Season

Now let’s come back down to Earth a little bit. If we’re talking about realistic expectations for the Louisville football program heading into the 2023 season, that likely sits at the 8-4 mark.

Plummer is an above-average quarterback who showed what he can do last season when starting all 12 games, and is the epitome of a field general type of signal caller. Meaning that while he might not lose you games, he probably isn’t going to be the reason you win them, either. That will come down to the skill position players. It will be interesting to see how the production from Jordan, an All-ACC caliber running back, will be impacted from seeing his overall number of carries cut back.

Plus, while the wide receiver room is leaps and bounds better on paper than last year’s, and Jamari Thrash is the clear-cut WR1, there were times in spring ball where the QB/WR chemistry was still very much a work in progress. Not to mention that, while the offensive line got a massive boost from the portal after spring, they didn’t look that great during spring ball at times.

Over on defense, as previously mentioned, the defensive line and secondary have quality depth a-plenty. But, the linebacking corps, especially in the middle at ILB, does not have the depth that the other two areas do. This could be something that opposing offenses scheme around and exploit.

Plus, this 4-2-5 scheme didn’t produce a ton of havoc plays in the front seven at Purdue. Although, this could be chalked up to the fact that the talent level at Purdue wasn’t/isn’t what it is at Louisville. Even with the players that the Boilermakers did have, their secondary was still better than they get credit for.

—Jarvis Brownlee is making strides as both a player and a leader for U of L.

—Jamari Thrash has individual goals for himself, but he’s more focused on the team goal of winning.

—Louisville’s newcomers are embracing Kenny Payne’s demand to work harder.

—And finally, Louisville Football will be back for an open practice for fans tonight (Friday) August 4th at 6 p.m. inside the stadium. Fans are encouraged to park in Bronze Lots F&G.