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Rick Pitino's 6th Favorite Website

Updated: 2017-07-23T14:12:14-04:00


Fightin’ Those Summertime Blues


Finding sports fixes until Cardinal kickoff Caveat: This includes a bunch of stuff that doesn’t have to do with U of L Cardinal sports. Deal with it. * * * * * Sometimes I wonder what I'm a gonna do/ But there ain't no cure for the summertime blues. Actually the whole point of this late July sports catch up -- just to let you know that Seedy K hasn't retired -- is that there are cures for sports fans in the heat of summer. Buuuuut, I love me some Eddie Cochran (And The Who's "Live at Leeds" version of the tune if that's your reference point), so I had to throw in some rock & roll, don't ya know. * * * * * Anyway, as I accelerate ever more swiftly into my dotage with the attendant cognitive life changes attendant, it's nice to report that I've discovered a situation where my memory loss is actually an advantage. Though I loved Wimbledon, cherish the coverage of the Tour, must admit to having caught a moment or two watching the Coming of Lonzo in Vegas, and have the final round of what I am required by the specter of Old Tom Morris as well as Royal & Ancient British Golf Authority to call The Open (Not British Open), I remain first and foremost a college sports fan. Gimme a pigskin Saturday, or Friday or Thursday or Tuesday; or a hardwood Sunday afternoon from the Carrier Dome or Cameron Indoor, and I'm a happy camper. Not to mention that such status places me firmly in the majority of sports fans in my neck of the woods, who love the college games. So, I lingered longer than I should last night as The World Wide Leader replayed one battle on its list of last season's Top 25 college football tussles. Getting back to my prior reference to memory -- Stick with me, kids, just trying to get my chops retuned, focused -- I happened upon the TCU/ Arkansas game last evening. With six minutes to play. The point: I could watch in earnest, get my mid summer college pigskin fix, because I hadn't the slightest remembrance who won the game. Or, frankly, that the Horned Frogs and Razorbacks had contested an OT battle early last season. So, take that Blue Cheer, there is a cure for some summertime blues. Even though it caused me to miss Tottenham Hotspur's winning goal in a friendly against Paris St. Germain, which was showing on another channel. That would be futbol, not football. * * * * * I am fascinated by the Hugh Freeze fall at Ole Miss. First, because of what it says about priorities at the higher institutions of learning in the Deep South. Two, because of a reference to University of Louisville athletics in the coverage of the story. The Rebels are in deep doo doo with the NCAA over alleged recruiting violations in the football program. Somehow, all of a sudden, Freeze was able to convince many of the nations' best pigskinners to matriculate in Oxford Town, where everybody has their heads bowed down. That the school is facing some serious repercussions, and had already opted out of any bowl participation after the upcoming season, Yet Freeze's employment situation didn't seem in peril at all. Because, you know, the Johnny Rebs were winning like back in the glory days of Archie Manning and Johnny Vaught and consecutive Miss America winners and Bob Khayat, the Rebel kicker who dated both of those crown-wearing sorority sisters then became chancellor of the university. But, Freeze had the audacity to call up a hooker or two on a school-issued cellphone, and thereby offended the denizens of Saturday tailgating in the Grove, and is now sayonara. Recruiting shenanigans: No problemico. Paying to mess around after hours: Egregious violation of the mores of the Magnolia State. Tony Kornheiser and Pablo Torre, the latter sitting in for Michael Wilbon, discussed the matter the other day on PTI. In the 90 second dialog, they made reference to both Rick Pitino's Karen Sypher imbroglio, and Bobby Petrino's neck bracing motorcycle inamorata in Arkansas. Anyhow, you fellow Cardinal fans who don't understand how much U of L's stature is held in disregard nationally are simply ignoring the obvious. It's a real thing. U of [...]

The Cardinal Countdown: 41 Days Until Kickoff



#41 Ryan Betlach


Class: Senior

Ht/Wt: 5-10/188

Position: Long Snapper

Hometown: Lexington, KY

Twitter: @RyanBetlach33

Thoughts: Ryan has been on the squad for a few years now taking a back seat to NFL draft pick Colin Holba at long snapper. This time last year I assumed Betlach and Lowery would be the two guys battling it out for that spot heading into the year, both as upperclassmen who have been in the program for awhile. While that statement is still technically true, they will be joined in the fray by newcomer Mitch Hall, who the Cards offered a scholarship last year out of high school.

I covered this topic back on Day 46, and while I called out Lowery last year as my projected starter it would be tough to call anyone but Hall the man at this stage. Can Betlach and Lowery beat him out in the fall? Absolutely, and I'm sure the staff will make sure the best man gets the PT, but offering a long snapper a scholly out of high school is pretty rare, which may not only be a sign of how good Hall is, but how much the Cards wanted him on the roster. Good luck to Ryan, the Lexington native, as he battles throughout the year to get reps at the one of the most underrated spots on the team. (Yes, I'm a non-apologetic special teams lover)

Sweet Tweet:

Not sure if I’ve ever hit on this on the Countdown or not but I’d assume most of us at least have some general interest in the NFL, even if college football is your go to. As a Bears fan…well, things have certainly been better for me than watching that product on the field the last 3 or 4 years. Curious as to what the distribution among the other Cards fans on here is in terms of who you root for in the pro game. Take a second and drop your team in the comments so we can all ridicule you and/or laugh at your misfortunes.

It’ll be a blast.

Louisville’s ACC matchups for 2017-18 basketball season revealed



The reigning national champs will be at the Yum Center ... or wherever Louisville’s playing this season.

The ACC has released the conference matchups for the 2017-18 men’s college basketball season, and here’s what the mighty Cardinals of Louisville are looking at:

Home/Road: Pitt, Virginia, Florida State, Virginia Tech

Home: Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Boston College, Syracuse

Road: Miami, Clemson, Duke, NC State, Notre Dame


—Even with Virginia in there, Louisville’s mirror games aren’t terrible. Pitt is probably going to be the worst team in the conference, and Florida State is likely to take a significant step back from last season. Virginia Tech should be a top 25-caliber team, and UVA ... well, I guess it doesn’t really matter.

—The road is not friendly. Duke is the obvious standout, but Miami has the potential to be a top 10/15 team, and Louisville still hasn’t won a road game against Notre Dame since the pair became conference mates in the Big East 12 years ago.

—UNC at home will be cool. Here’s hoping the time and date are cool as well.

You can see the matchups for each team in the ACC here.

Four years in, ACC football stronger than Louisville could have ever imagined


Now it’s on the Cardinals to deal with it. When Louisville was preparing to make the move to the ACC a half decade ago, the sell was an easy one for Cardinal fans. The basketball side was a no-brainer. With the likes of Duke, North Carolina, Virginia and Syracuse all in the fold, the ACC was set to be the best hoops conference in America for the foreseeable future. You also had Rick Pitino joining up with Roy Williams, Mike Krzyzewski and Jim Boeheim to make the league the first in college basketball history to feature four active members of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Good times. As far as football was concerned, the allure was a little different. You had two powerhouse programs to face and get excited about every season, but outside of that, you had what seemed at the time to be the most easily traversable set of adversaries from any of the power five conferences. Essentially, this was the old Big East with Clemson and Florida State; even in down years, Louisville would have the opportunity to be a force in the conference and go to a decent bowl game. The first of those two selling points has played out as expected. Since UofL joined the ACC in 2014, no conference has produced more NCAA Tournament teams or NCAA Tournament wins than the ACC. In three years, the conference has sent four teams to the Final Four, had a representative in all three national championship games, and won the national title twice. The surprise -- a pleasant one if you're looking at it from most angles -- has come on the gridiron. At last week's ACC Kickoff (the name the league uses for its annual media days event), Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher made national headlines by declaring that the ACC has "established ourselves as the premier conference in college football." While it may have made Paul Finebaum-infused heads across the Deep South explode, Fisher's statement was far more rooted in fact than hope. "Two of the last four national championships have come from here; we`ve played for three of them," Fisher said. "We're 8-3 in (College Football) Playoff games ... Our non-conference records against the SEC, the Big Ten and everybody else, we have the winning-record Power Five wins. You have two Heisman Trophy winners and also the runner up last year. You have six coaches in the top 20 all-time winning percentage in college football. You go down the list of everything, and I think the importance of it. "I coached in the SEC for 13 (years) — I think it's a tremendous conference. I think the Big Ten is a tremendous conference. I think they all are. But I think right now what we've accomplished in the last five years and you're talking about major wins, big wins, national championships, Heisman Trophy winners, coaches, everything that goes involved, I think the ACC is as good a league as there is in football, I really do." Expanding on Fisher's rationale, the ACC also produced the best bowl record (9-3) of any conference in 2016, and was the only league to own a winning record against each of the other power conferences. The ACC went a combined 10-4 in games against the mighty SEC, with Clemson's national title victory over Alabama serving as the obvious headliner. Against the other three power conferences, the SEC was 31-9. Heading into year four, Louisville suddenly finds itself playing not only in America's premier college football conference, but in college football's most glamorous division. The ACC Atlantic has produced a national finalist in three of the last four seasons and two national champions over that same span. It's also produced two of the last four Heisman Trophy winners, including the reigning honoree, UofL's Lamar Jackson. There's a positive side and a negative side to this unexpected strength. The positive is that Louisville's weekly stage is suddenly much bigger than it's ever been before, and its national profile much stronger. The negative is that the Cardinals can go 7-1 in conference play like they did in 2016[...]