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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

WVU to BIG 12...don't let the door hit you on the way out.


-The Mountaineers bolt for the prairie

-Women's sports: The BIG EAST remains the best bet.

-Golf in ninth after two days

-Gadd BIG EAST diver of the week.

In a football driven decision, the BIG 12 has offered and the West Virginia Mountaineers have accepted an invitation to join the conference. No matter what Missouri does. Of course,
the Mizzou bunch is headed to the just isn't official yet. 

Football. It's had some Cardinal fans sitting on the edge of their stadium seats for the past several months. Some desperately depressed because the Wild and Wonderful state got the
invite instead of the mighty Cardinals. It doesn't surprise us. If football is the qualifier, and engine driving all these conference re-alignments...there is no doubt that West Virginia is better than Louisville. In talent, in tradition, in winning percentage and in fan fervor. 

Ever been to a football Saturday in Morgantown, West Virginia? It borders on insanity. Especially the pre-game tailgating fervor. CARDINAL COUPLE has made that trip five times over the years, seen one Cardinal win on those trips, and ran into some of the craziest, out-of-control, passionate, rude and insulting fan bases in college football. Memphis? Forget about it. Nowhere near the crowd or passion. Kentucky? Couldn't carry WVU's water bottle. 

The majority of the trips went pretty well. Here's one from 2005 that didn't...

Louisville loses a triple overtime contest to WVU when Brian Brohm is stopped short of the end zone trying to tie the game with a two-point conversion attempt.  A game Louisville led by 17 in the second half...we watched West Virginia fans streaming toward the exits. Then, the Cards put the WVU starting quarterback out of the game and a young back-up named Pat White enters the game. Witness the WVU scrambling back into Milan Puskar Stadium. Bring in Barbra Streisand instead
of John Denver...because...

A star is born. WVU 46 - Louisville 44.

WE left the stadium...headed to the bus...and watched and heard the spectacle. 60,000 people singing "Country Roads", scores of fans heaping insults and profanities on anyone dressed in red. The three elderly ladies that Sonja and I are escorting back to the bus very scared. A group of inebriated WVU teenagers, approaching our group...pointing fingers, cursing. Paul ready to protect. Sonja...more enraged than she's been in years...screaming back at them to "go home." Fists clenched.

The redneck group... sensing the "backed into a corner mentality" and the big guy menacing a foot above them... retreats. We reach the bus, hear similar stories. We leave...our bus getting rocked, pelted with cans and trash when leaving.

Texas, Oklahoma, have NO idea what you are in store for on football weekends in Morgantown.

WE, at CARDINAL COUPLE, are tired of all this ballyhoo about football, BIG EAST breakups and knee jerk reactions when someone decides to stay, leave or forgets to flush the toilet. Let's go Independent in football (works well for Notre Dame) and keep a BIG EAST affiliation in the other 20 sports that our college athletes work so hard at. WE love the guru Walz quote when asked about conference re-alignment.

"We..I..don't care. We just want to compete. Doesn't matter who it is."

Words to live by.  The needs "of the one" do not outweigh the needs "of the many". I think Spock said that on one of the Star Trek movies.  And, the last time I checked...20 was bigger than 1.



For women's sports, the BIG EAST is still the best option for Louisville. The best basketball conference in college basketball, even with WVU,Syracuse and Pitt out the door. You know who the major players are in BIG EAST WBB. It ain't those three.

West Virginia does not field teams in women's lacrosse, field hockey or softball. They won't have to worry about the first two in the BIG 12. They don't exist. The BIG 12 is a very good softball conference, though.

Louisville has invested a lot of time, money and effort into lacrosse and field hockey.  The best field hockey stadium in NCAA. Their very own lacrosse stadium. Wouldn't want to see these two sports die on the vine because of a football driven conference affiliation.  

Contrary to popular belief, NASCAR is not a
college sport in the SEC or BIG 12...
The problem is this: women's sports has no seat at this table. No matter how many kills Lola Arslanbekova delivers, no-look passes Shoni Schimmel sends or shutouts Caralisa Connell fires...this is all about football. The BIG EAST is best for Louisville in women's hoops, volleyball, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey. They would enter a tougher conference if they went to the BIG 12 in softball. Golf, track, swimming, rowing, cross country and's really about the same wherever the Cards end up...since conference affiliations aren't that essential or the major factor in these sports. 

We wait to see what the gridiron group wants and gets. In the meantime, the University of Louisville women's sports teams continue to excel against some very good competition.

West Virginia...good luck. Don't let the door hit you in the back side as your leaving...And, work on building a softball diamond and getting some infield practice in.

Katie Petrino at 150.
Meanwhile, in women's sports...the University of Louisville golf team is in ninth place after two days in the Las Vegas Collegiate tournament. Yesterday saw Maria Castallanos led the Cards with a 75, good for a tie for 20th. place and 145 total. The first round star for Louisville, Emily Haas carded a 78...putting her into a tie for 31st. Low Cardinal score belonged to Tara Lyons...with a 72. Katie Petrino is at 150 for two days, touring the Boulder Creek course yesterday with a 76. Anna-Karin Ljungstrom fired a 78 and is at 153 for two days. Three individual scores...Maike Klein with a 74 and 148 total. Sara Karlsson delivered a 72...two day total of 151. Candace Wiley with back-to-back 80's.

The Cards conclude the three day event today.


Hannah Gadd has been named BIG EAST Diver of the Week, winning both events at the SMU Classic. She won the one and three meter events against stiff competition from Texas, Florida, Wisconsin, Virginia, and SMU. Season just starting for the swimming and diving Cards...looking forward to more honors from Gadd and her aquatic crew.



  1. My gut instinct is that the conference musical chairs that's going on is symptomatic of a larger problem. Just what it is I'm not so sure about.
    I gave up trying to understand the BCS system a long time ago. The fact is that it remains a popularity contest rather than a true reflection of performance. Post-season, I just get tickets to the bowl game that's convenient, and relax about it. This year I got Belk Bowl tickets. I'll have fun and fewer headaches that way. I might get some Sun Bowl tickets too, depending on how things go in the next couple of weeks.

  2. Your philosophy is as good as any of them out there, Chris. Got spoiled at the Beef O Brady Bowl last year. Wouldn't mind a return trip.


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