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Updated: 2016-10-21T13:35:11-04:00


Friday afternoon Cardinal news and notes



It's Card Chronicle pumpkin season. Get those submissions in for the next 10 days.

(image) Spread check: Louisville by 19.5.

(image) Out of all the College Football Playoff contenders who don't control their own destiny, Louisville is the most likely to ultimately crash the party.

1. LOUISVILLE (5-1). The Cardinals boast the best player in the country, Lamar Jackson; the best performance of the season, against Florida State; and the best possible loss: Their only blemish, a 42-36 nail-biter at Clemson, arguably boosted U of L stock more than most wins by reinforcing that it could hang with a heavy hitter in primetime. Of all the teams on this list, at this point Louisville is the only one that can make that claim.

And while they don't control their own destiny as far as the ACC championship or the playoff is concerned, the Cardinals do enter the turn as the de facto Next Team In. They'll be huge favorites in five of their last six, and solid favorites at Houston. Make good on that potential, and there are many more hypothetical scenarios that break in their favor over the final eight weeks than ones that don't.

(image) Don Wheatley, the Louisville fan who Keith Kelsey had been visiting at the hospital every Monday, has passed away.

I like his chances.

For more information on Cassius and other adoptable pets, check out the Kentucky Humane Society website or visit one of their area locations.

John and the puppy both went a respectable 8-4 last week, while I went 7-5. That means that, remarkably, through seven weeks we have a three-way tie in the race for on-air bragging right.

Here are the standings:

Mike: 57-27

John: 57-27

Puppy: 57-27

Happy picking.

Key Matchups: NC State Wolfpack


Jack Tocho has one of the best names in college football but he can also be torched deep. NC State's Defensive Line Vs. Louisville's Offensive Line Louisville’s offensive line has been the most improved group on the team and they’ve been a huge reason why the offense is the best in the country. However, they did get dominated by Clemson’s defensive front and they struggled somewhat against Duke. NC State is pretty much the same team as Duke, statistically. The Wolfpack front is just much more talented. Both teams run the same 4-2-5 traditional nickel defense but State has the four very good defensive linemen while Duke really only has one. Duke manufactured some of their pressure. What if State doesn’t have to? The key to slowing down Louisville’s offense is containing Lamar Jackson. No team has truly done that so far but NC State might just be good enough to spy him about as well as anyone has. Duke decided to spy Jackson and they did a pretty good job of keeping him from getting outside and making big plays, but where he really killed them was in the middle of the field. Duke failed to stay in their rush lanes at times and Lamar killed them for it. The Wolfpack have the athletes to close some of those gaps more quickly which could help them keep Lamar under control, to a degree. Jack Tocho Vs. Louisville's Outside Receivers Jack Tocho is an extremely valuable and experienced cornerback for NC State. He has great size and he’s tough enough to be playing with a giant cast on his hand right now. What Jack Tocho is not is a very fast football player. Tocho is what I would call a "jumbo" corner. He’s over 200 pounds and he has no problem making plays in run support. He really doesn’t do well with keeping up with speedy receivers down the field and Louisville will likely look to exploit that. From what I’ve seen from watching them play, Tocho will play the left corner spot and he will stay there as opposed to flipping as a boundary/field corner. That puts him on the right side of the field which is naturally easier to throw to for a right handed quarterback. The Wolfpack defense plays a lot of man coverage so I would be absolutely stunned if they don’t go after him a few times if they get him in single coverage. Josh Harvey-Clemons and Chucky Williams Vs. Matt Dayes Matt Dayes has run for 100 yards in all but one game this year and his offensive line is providing him with plenty of space to get to the second and third level. He has shown great vision as well as cutback ability over his career and he can also catch the ball very well out of the backfield. What that means is that he will find himself in one-on-one situations with JHC and Chucky in the open field at least a couple of times Saturday. Dayes probably wouldn't be labeled as "shifty" but he's definitely agile enough to make a guy miss in the open field. That likelihood goes up a bit with the issues Chucky Williams has had making sure tackles this year. JHC leads the team in tackles but he has had his fare share of issues during his time here with breaking down and not lunging when he squares up with a runner. Louisville's safeties have to have a good game this weekend. Dayes is the type of back that can change the complexion of a game. If NC State gets the ball going on the ground, it keeps the Louisville offense on the bench. [...]

R&R Podcast: NOA reaction



There was a healthy dose of lashing out.

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Louisville basketball ranked No. 14 in preseason coaches' poll


Interested in some non-NOA Louisville basketball news? No? Well, tough sh-t we're about to talk about it anyway. The preseason USA Today coaches' poll for the 2016-17 season is out, and the Cardinals will begin the season as the No. 14 team in the country. Top-ranked Duke received 27 of the 32 first-place votes that were case. Kansas is No. 2 because they are contractually obligated to be ranked in the preseason top five every year. The Jayhawks are followed by defending national champion Villanova, Kentucky and Oregon. A total of five ACC teams are featured in the poll, with Florida State and Miami being two of the top four teams in the "others receiving votes" category. Here's your first preseason poll for 2016-17: FULL RANKINGS TOP 25 TEAMS, WEEK 1 RANK TEAM RECORD POINTS 1ST PLACE VOTES PREV CHANGE HI/LOW 1 Duke 25-11 792 27 NR 0 – 2 Kansas 33-5 721 1 NR 0 – 3 Villanova 35-5 700 1 NR 0 – 4 Kentucky 27-9 695 2 NR 0 – 5 Oregon 31-7 620 1 NR 0 – 6 North Carolina 33-7 614 0 NR 0 – 7 Virginia 29-8 596 0 NR 0 – 8 Xavier 28-6 552 0 NR 0 – 9 Michigan St 29-6 544 0 NR 0 – 10 Wisconsin 22-13 487 0 NR 0 – 11 Arizona 25-9 468 0 NR 0 – 12 Indiana 27-8 435 0 NR 0 – 13 Gonzaga 28-8 371 0 NR 0 – 14 Louisville 23-8 367 0 NR 0 – 15 Purdue 26-9 324 0 NR 0 – 16 Connecticut 25-11 239 0 NR 0 – 17 Syracuse 23-14 224 0 NR 0 – 18 West Virginia 26-9 204 0 NR 0 – 19 St. Mary's 29-6 203 0 NR 0 – 20 UCLA 15-17 185 0 NR 0 – 21 Maryland 27-9 153 0 NR 0 – 22 Texas 20-13 124 0 NR 0 – 23 Creighton 20-15 113 0 NR 0 – 24 Rhode Island 17-15 85 0 NR 0 – 25 Cincinnati 22-11 75 0 NR 0 – Others Receiving Votes: Florida State 65; Iowa State 56; California 43; Miami (Fla.) 35; Dayton 34; Oklahoma 33; Seton Hall 24; Texas A&M 22; Notre Dame 18; San Diego State 17; Virginia Tech 16; Wichita State 15; Southern California 14; Butler 14; Ohio State 12; Florida 11; Clemson 11; Colorado 11; Michigan 10; Pittsburgh 7; Georgia 6; Virginia Commonwealth 6; Yale 6; Chattanooga 5; Washington 4; Nevada 3; Kansas State 3; Arkansas 2; Davidson 2; Valparaiso 2; Southern Methodist 1; Utah 1. [...]

Tom Jurich/Neville Pinto issue joint statement on Louisville's Notice of Allegations



Here is the joint statement from Acting U of L President Dr. Neville Pinto and Vice President/Director of Athletics Tom Jurich:

"As parents and university leaders who care about every student who comes to the University of Louisville, we are heartbroken that inappropriate behavior took place here.  It saddens us tremendously.  We promised that if something was done wrong, we would be open about it, acknowledge it, and correct it.

From the beginning, no one wanted to know the truth more than UofL and that's why we immediately notified the NCAA Enforcement Staff and worked diligently with them to determine what took place.  It's why we retained NCAA consultant Chuck Smrt and outside counsel Steve Thompson to determine the facts.

We are now in receipt of the NCAA's Notice of Allegations (NOA). This is the next step in a process that will end with our appearance before the Committee on Infractions in the spring of 2017.  We have 90 days to determine our specific position on each allegation and prepare a written response.

From the start, the NCAA Enforcement Staff had our full cooperation.  Its staff and our investigators spoke to numerous Louisville employees and third parties, and the university produced every document requested by the NCAA.  We are disappointed that former Director of Basketball Operations Andre McGee did not cooperate.

These allegations underscore why it was appropriate for the university to self-impose strict penalties on our basketball program earlier this year.  

The NOA aligns with the results of our inquiry: improper activities took place in a dormitory that never should have occurred.  When the facts were established, we acted.  We took appropriate punitive and corrective actions.  The penalties we imposed were among the most severe penalties ever self-imposed by a NCAA member.  

It is important to note what is not being alleged.  The NOA does not contain an allegation that Coach Pitino had knowledge of what took place in the dormitory.  The NCAA does not allege a 'lack of institutional control' at Louisville, a very severe allegation.  The NCAA does not allege that there was a 'failure to monitor' against the institution, also a severe allegation.  The NCAA does not allege that Coach Pitino failed to 'promote an atmosphere of compliance', a serious allegation.  The NOA does contain a narrower allegation -€” which we will dispute - that Coach Pitino failed to demonstrate that he monitored Mr. McGee.    

We believe that Mr. McGee acted furtively and note that the NOA does not indicate that any other university employee besides Mr. McGee had knowledge of these activities. We are confident in Coach Pitino and we know he is and always has been committed to NCAA compliance.  

The entire episode is a deep disappointment to all of us who love this university.  We appreciate the NCAA's efforts and we regret tremendously that this took place.  Everyone who works here knows it can never happen again.  We will continue to work cooperatively with the NCAA for the final resolution of this matter."