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Friday, September 30, 2011

Women Soccer vs. Marquette...Field Hockey at UConn Saturday...Volleyball at DePaul...St. X vs Trinity at PJCS

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WELCOME TO FRIDAY @ CARDINAL COUPLE

-Soccer Cards do battle with #10 Marquette tonite

-Volleyball heads to Chicago for DePaul match

-Field Hockey with a tough test Saturday @ UConn

-The greatest rivalry in high school football...Rocks vs. Tigers

Karen Ferguson-Dayes and the Louisville women's soccer team faces one of their toughest tests of the season with a 7 p.m. match tonight against Marquette at Cardinal Park. The Golden Eagles are 10-2 on the season and come to Louisville buoyed by wins last weekend over DePaul and Notre Dame.

The Cards (4-4-3) come into the contest after a win and tie on the road last week. Louisville downed Providence 1-0 and fought to a tie against UConn. The Cards have seemingly shaken off their slow start to the season and have either won or gained a tie in their last five outings.

Louisville will count on sophomore Christine Exeter to  continue her hot streak on offense. The Pickering, Ontario native has scored in each of the Cards last three games. A big performance between the pipes by senior goalkeeper Chloe Kiefer would benefit Louisville greatly tonight, too.

After tonight's match, USF visits for a Sunday, 1 p.m. showdown.

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Anne Kordes will have the Volleyball Cards ready for action tonight when they battle DePaul in a BIG EAST regular season match. Louisville (10-4) will look to Lola again for a productive night and she's been far from disappointing lately.

Kordes has done a very good job with a veteran Cardinal roster that in very thin on available bodies. With Gwen Rucker on the sideline, Anne only has nine players available for matches.

Emily Juhl and Taylor Brauneis have also been at the top of their games lately and Louisville should handle the Blue Demons (4-11, 1-1) pretty easily.


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Louisville Field Hockey faces a very tough test Saturday when they travel to Storrs, CT. for a face off against the #4 ranked Huskies. Led by Chloe Hunnable and Maria Elena Bolles, UConn has an 8-1 record this year and defeated Massachusetts (Justine Sowry's previous school) 4-1 on Wednesday. Boston College is the only team to hang a "L" on UConn this season.

Louisville will hope senior Hayley Turner can find the back of the net against the talented Husky defense. She faces one of the best in the nation at goal. Sarah Mansfield allows only 0.89 scores per contest. Erin Conrad had allowed only 10 scores this season for the #19 Cards.

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( The obligatory annual column about high school football next...)


Papa John's Cardinal Stadium will be packed and lit up this evening but it won't be Charlie Strong's Cardinals on the Sportsgrass. Instead, the 72nd. matchup between St. Xavier and Trinity will kickoff at 8 p.m. St. X leads the series 36-33-2 but will have their hands full with a Trinity team ranked #3 in the nation. This will be Trinity's (5-0) first game this year against a Kentucky opponent but they haven't been dormant...defeating some of the best from Ohio, Tennessee and Indiana.

St. X (3-3) comes into tonight's game off a 31-30 overtime win over Central. Coach Mike Glazer's Tigers lost both games to the Rocks last year...but anything can happen in this huge rivalry. Last year's attendance of 35,000 should easily be topped in what looks like a perfect night for football.

One to keep an eye on tonight will be Trinity receiver James Quick. The junior is drawing a lot of interest from major colleges already and Louisville and Kentucky are both interested in his services. He's done well in five games this year...over 600 receiving yards and nine touchdown catches.

PAUL'S PICK   Rocks roll....34-10 over St.X.
SONJA SAYS   Time for an upset...St X. 14 - Trinity 7

Over 35,000 for high school football. Not many rivalries can top that.  

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Lacrosse announces fall schedule....Field Hockey Clinic planned...More on Field Hockey

THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE:

-Lacrosse to play seven times in October.

-Fall Field Hockey clinic set.

-Sowry getting it done in first season.

The Louisville women's lacrosse squad has a busy October of fall ball ahead. Head coach Kellie Young's Cardinals will take to the field nine times in October...including five road trips to Pennsylvania, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Annapolis. 

The schedule:

Oct. 2:   Ohio State & Northwestern @ Indianapolis
Oct. 8:   Cincinnati & Detroit @ Cincinnati
Oct. 15:  at Annapolis for Navy Fall Invitational
Oct. 22:  ALUMNI GAME (banquet to follow)
Oct. 23:  Bellarmine (Friends of Jaclyn - Battle of the Sexes)
Oct. 29:  at Penn Invitational
Oct. 30:  at Temple

The 2011 squad finished with a respectable 10-7 record despite getting off to a slow start against some very tough competition. The Cards won eight out of their final nine games. Graduated is all-time leading scorer Began Foley...but second team all-west/Midwest Region Katie Oliverio returns...along with starting goalkeeper Ashley Herbst. The Cards also add nine freshmen to the roster.

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The Louisville Field Hockey team will hold the 2011 Field Hockey Clinic on Oct. 7th. from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at Trager Stadium. The clinic is open to players in grades 9 through 12 and will be conducted by staff and players from the Cards field hockey team. Cost is $20.

For more details, contact assistant coach Kelly Dostal at 502.852.8153 or kelly.dostal@louisville.edu







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Speaking of Field Hockey, first year head coach Justine Sowry has quietly built up an impressive record so far with The Flock. Louisville is 7-3 and 1-1 in BIG EAST play. The Cardinal defensive has been particulary impressive, pitching shutouts four times this season and allowing only three goals in their last six games. 

Louisville has eight games remaining on the schedule...four of those conference foes in Connecticut, Rutgers, Providence and Villanova. The Cards will also face Ohio State, Drexel, Indiana and Northwestern before the BIG EAST Tournament at Syracuse in early November. 
Caitlin Collins anchors a
tough Cardinal defense.

HOME GAMES REMAINING:

Oct 8:   Rutgers
Oct 21: Providence
Oct 23: Indiana


The Cards have outscored their opponents 30-13 so far this year and Hayley Turner leads the team with seven goals. Rock steady goalkeeper Erin Conrad protects the net and Lacey Jurich and Caitlin Collins have performed well this year to make sure Conrad doesn't have to defend too many shots on goal.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Angel's 26 lead Atlanta to WNBA finals...Christine Exeter named to BIG EAST Honor Roll...Watson gets a little grief...

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WEDNESDAY FROM THE COUPLE

-McCoughtry's 26 guide Atlanta to WNBA finals

-Soccer's Exeter named to BIG EAST Honor Roll

-Correspondent David Watson takes the heat.

-On the recruiting trail

-"Off the Rez" to be part of Louisville InternationaL Film Festival

The Atlanta Dream defeated the Indiana Fever 83-67 last night in Indianapolis to advance to the WNBA finals. Cardinal Couple's Sandy Walker with the report:

The Lynx went 2-0 against
Atlanta in the regular season
History really does repeat itself. Once again, Angel and her Atlanta Dream teammates are headed North for their repeat pursuit of a WNBA Championship...but must go over, around and through Angel's college rival Maya Moore and her Minnesota Lynx teammates to get there. Minnesota's higher seed gives them home court advantage for the first two games of the five game playoff. The Dream will play Sunday, October 2nd and Wednesday October 5th in Minnesota.

For a second time in the series, the Dream went with a smaller but quicker lineup which eventually overwhelmed the Indiana Fever by 83-67. The Fever made the mistake of trying to run with the Dream in what was also a very intense and physical contest.

Did you know a Lynx is a
medium sized wildcat found in
most of North America?
The turning point in the game occurred late in the second quarter when Angel became upset when Atlanta head coach Marynell Meadows decided to send in a substitute for McCoughtry after her second foul. A silent standoff between Angel - due to her desperate desire to continue playing - and Meadows' decision to protect her from potential foul trouble caused commentary and speculation to run through and beyond the halftime break. What could have led to an emotional meltdown was instead channeled into a blazing third quarter from the Dream. Tenacious defense, aggressive rebounding and hot shooting contributed to 26 points for McCoughtry. Her intense passion found her leading the withering transitional running and full court attack that the Fever had no answer for. Angel's emotional visibility creates just the diversion needed for Iziane Castro Marquez to toss in 23 points of her own.

Should Angel have received
the WNBA MVP award?
Atlanta took advantage of 18 Indiana turnovers and converted a four point halftime lead into a 14 point end of third quarter advantage. The league's Player of the Year, Tamika Catchings, played an ineffective 24 minutes despite receiving foot injections for a torn foot ligament received in the closing minutes of Sunday's game.

For Atlanta to be effective against the Lynx, they will need to find a way to overcome last night's absolutely horrid 21-33 free throw shooting - a pattern which has plagued the Dream all season long. 

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University of Louisville sophomore soccer star Christine Exeter has been named to the BIG EAST Honor Roll for her outstanding performances last week for the Cards. Her goal against the UConn Huskies tied the contest and she had the only score in a weekend win over Providence. 

Exeter leads the Cards with four scores this season and was the leading scorer for UofL last year with seven goals. 

Louisville hosts Marquette this Friday at 7 p.m. and USF takes on the Cards Sunday 1 p.m. in Cardinal Park.

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CARDINAL COUPLE Special Correspondent David Watson has received a little flak over his description of Louisville being "the next rat to jump off the sinking BIG EAST garbage scow and tread water to another conference". Several CARDINAL COUPLE readers have sent us e-mails expressing disapproval over his wording of the potential situation. We forwarded the comments to David and offered him the chance to reply. David writes:



Are we there yet? (Photo courtesy of UofL Card Game)
  " I will admit that I've never seen rats leaving a sinking ship. My lifetime encounters with rats and ships have been few and far between...thanks to the diligent prowling of our premises by our tabby Rufus and my aversion to boating. If the words I used to describe the current BIG EAST situation offended any readers, I'd like to apologize for the imagery and assure you that it was only an attempt by me to spruce up a column that was difficult for me to write. I don't like the current BIG EAST situation very much and have a strong distaste for the current conference-jumping that is going on in the BIG EAST and the other conferences. If Louisville decides to leave the BIG EAST, they're leaving behind a tradition-rich and highly competitive conference where they've created some very intense new rivalries and continued a few that have existed for many years. If the BIG 12 is a viable option for UofL, I hope they can continue to offer and field teams in the sports that aren't on the BIG 12 docket. Especially soccer. Once again, my bad. I'll do better next time and Paul has threatened to have me clean garbage cans outside Papa John's Cardinal Stadium in a rat costume and BIG EAST logo on my back if I don't. -David

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 CARDINAL COUPLE staff columnist and recruiting specialist Jenny O'Bryan checks in with a few tid-bits from the hardwood:

Mitchell is one of the best guards in the 2014 class.
Kelsey Mitchell is a name you need to keep on your radar. She's a hot prospect in 2014 that is a guard out of Cincy. She exploded on the summer circuit. She was Hoopgurlz early ranking #2 for the 2014 class. I expect to hear her name in our future recruiting efforts. Speculation on my part, of course, but the close proximity to Louisville doesn't hurt.

The Cardinal coaches are back out on the recruiting trail. Is Mychal Johnson, top 25 in the 2014 Hoopgurlz class one of the targets? The Huntington, WV guard is one I expect will rise tremendously in the rankings over the next few years.

The hard part about following recruiting is that the coaches cannot talk about the kids until they sign their LOI's. So, all you can do is follow the crumbs and hope the kids or their parents give info to the media.

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In case you missed it the first time around...the documentary about Shoni and her quest "Off the Rez" will be shown as part of the Louisville International Film Festival. The featured 90 minute film showing will be Friday, Oct. 7th at 10 a.m. at the Muhammad Ali Center.

Tickets available at http://www.louisvillefilm.net/

No mention on if it'll ever be shown again on TLC or any other TV venue yet.


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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dream vs. Fever tonight...Lola wins BIG EAST Player of the Week...Shine shines for women's tennis

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TUESDAY @ CARDINAL COUPLE

-Atlanta and Indiana decide it tonight

-Lola Arslanbekova named BIG EAST Volleyball Player of the Week

-Becca Shine sweeps at Michigan St.

-David Watson looks at re-alignment.

-Louisville Sports Report on-line

The Atlanta Dream look to advance to the WNBA Final for the second straight year by knocking off the Indiana Fever tonight in Indianapolis. ESPN 2 will have the coverage. Game time is 8 p.m. CARDINAL COUPLE'S Sandy Walker gives this preview:

The "Three Amigos" will be missing
Erika De Souza tonight in Indianapolis.
The deciding third at Conseco Fieldhouse tonight will draw a fevered bunch of Indiana fans to try and rally the Fever against Angel McCoughtry and the Atlanta Dream. Indiana head coach Frank Vogel has become a part of the several promotions designed to get fans in the stands. 1,000 attendees will be the guest of coach Vogel.  

Indiana's Tamika Catchings status for tonight's game is doubtful. Her injury in Sunday's loss to Atlanta has been diagnosed as a "foot injury" so far (much better than an Achilles heel problem). The Fever will most likely go to either second year player Shavonte Zellous (Pittsburgh) or rookie Jeanette Pohlen (Stanford) to replace Catchings if she can't go.

Tonight's battle will once again feature Atlanta as the top scoring Eastern Conference team vs. the Eastern Conference's best defensive squad. The Dream will be without the services of front liner Erika De Souza...who has left the squad to try and help Brazilian National Team qualify for the 2012 Olympics. The key to Atlanta's success tonight will be playing their fast and exciting transition game. If Izzy Castro-Marquez, Angel and Lindsey Harding can keep the Fever on their heels like they did Sunday...expect the Dream to advance to the WNBA Finals to face Minnesota.  

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Louisville Volleyball's Lola Arslanbekova has been named BIG EAST Player of the Week for her outstanding performances over the weekend in the KFC YUM! Center. The junior averaged 5.33 kills per set against St. John's and Connecticut and Louisville swept all six games against the conference foes.

Arslanbekova is 10th. all time on the Cardinal's kill list with 1,216 and had a total 32 this weekend. It is her second BIG EAST Player of the Week honor this season. 

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Louisville sophomore Becca Shine had a big weekend on the tennis courts for the Cards in the Michigan State Spartan Invitational. She won the Draw A Singles and she and teammate Gabrielle Duncan captured the Draw B Doubles in East Lansing.

Shine's coach, Mark Beckham, likes what he is seeing out of Shine:

"This has been a very impressive showing by Becca. For her to win her doubles event with a partner she's never played with before this weekend and then to win the top flight of singles really shows how good of an all-around player she is. We have been coming to this tournament for four or five years and this was the highest level of competition we have faced. There were two nationally ranked players and two starters from a top ten Michigan team in this draw, so for Becca to win a tournament of this quality just shows her will to be a great player. She is improving at a scary rate right now"

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(David Watson recently took his Ford Pinto in for an alignment, tire rotation and balance. It got him thinking about alignments in general.)

Texas A&M to the SEC. Pitt and Syracuse to the ACC. Connecticut and Rutgers wanting to follow. Missouri debating a switch to the SEC. Ashton Kutcher replacing Charlie Sheen in the Two and A Half Men's Association. Notre Dame turning a deaf ear to all but Touchdown Jesus. It's enough to make you switch from Total to Rice Krispies in the morning.

And, it's all money related (except for the Rice Krispies). I get the part about self-preservation and increased revenue. What I don't get is the back-stabbing and false promises scenarios. Pitt basically tells the rest of the BIG EAST a few bold face lies and bails. Texas waves it's Longhorn Network at the rest of the BIG 12 and tells them to deal with it. Whatever happened to integrity, honesty and commitment?

Louisville could be the next rat to jump off the sinking BIG LEAST garbage scow and tread water to another conference. Which would, effectively, be the final barrage that would sink the vessel. Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich is faced with the Rubik's cube dilemma. Leave a conference that is staggering on the ropes and waiting for the bell or stay and absorb a few more body blows from the opponents?

Money. It's all about it. And, that isn't changing, friends. In a beautiful world, Notre Dame would commit to BIG EAST football and the league would expand to 12 teams.

Real life, though, isn't that pretty. As long as NBC continues to fund the Irish coffers, the South Bend boys will watch aloofly from the grotto. Who can blame them? Strictly business. And business is good. Maybe the BIG EAST needs to hire Gordon Gekko as Commisioner.
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LOUISVILLE SPORTS REPORT is offering an on-line version of their weekly sports review. You can access it by going to our Sites We Recommend section on the left side of the board and clicking on Louisville Sports News. Howie Lindsey and the boys do a great job of covering Louisville sports and he's a Blues Traveller fan as well...what else could you want?


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Monday, September 26, 2011

Soccer, Field Hockey, Softball and Volleyball record wins...Dream ties it up with Fever

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CARDINAL COUPLE MONDAY:

-Soccer downs Providence 1-0.

-Field Hockey upsets #7 New Hampshire.

-Softball takes two from Morehead St.

-Volleyball sweeps Connecticut.

-The Dream force game three.

The University of Louisville soccer team defeated Providence on the road yesterday...getting a goal from sophomore standout Christine Exeter...to take a 1-0 decision in scenic Rhode Island.

Chloe gets another shutout
for the Cards.


Exeter took a pass from senior Jennifer Jones in the first half and found paydirt midway through the first quarter for the only score of the game. It was her fourth goal of the season and third straight game this year she has scored in.

Stepping up big again for the Cards was senior goalkeeper Chloe Kiefer who recorded her fourth shutout for the year. She was greated aided by the Cardinal defense...which only allowed Providence four total shots and just one shot-on-goal. Louisville now sits a 4-4-3 on the season and 2-2-0 in the BIG EAST.

The Cards return home to prepare for two more BIG EAST match-ups this weekend...hosting Marquette (Friday, Sept 30th., 7 p.m.) and the South Florida Bulls (Sunday, OCt. 2nd., 1 p.m.)

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Louisville Field Hockey successfully defended Trager Stadium yesterday with an upset over #7 New Hampshire 3-1. Freshman Katlyn Soucy had her first career multiple scoring effort with two goals to help guide the Cards to victory.

Haley Jurich also scored
for the Cards
Louisville recorded the game's first score when Soucy took a feed from sophomore Elizabeth Vance and fired successfully past New Hampshire goalie Katherine Nagengast. The Wildcats responded, though, near the end of the first half to send the teams into the break tied a 1-1.

Soucy found the net early in second half action, returning a missed shot-on-goal by Cardinal Paige Monsen past Nagengast for the Cards second score of the afternoon. Louisville put an insurance goal on the scoreboard just a couple of minutes later when Haley Jurich sent a rebound from Heather Stevens' attempt into the net.

Erin Conrad delivered another steady performance between the pipes with five saves. The Cards (7-3, 1-1)
take to the highway for their next one...visiting #4 
                              Connecticut on Saturday, Oct. 1st.

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Trimble's two run blast
gave the Cards a 5-4 win. 
Sandy Pearsall's softball squad concluded fall play with a 5-4, 1-0 sweep over the Morehead State Eagles at Ulmer Stadium yesterday. Jordan Trimble wore the hero's hat in the first game, belting a bottom of the seventh two-run, walk-off home run to give the Cards the game. Louisville entered the bottom of the seventh trailing 4-2...but a couple of freshman helped get the win. Kayla Soles pounded a double and scored on Whitney Arion's single...setting the stage for Trimble's base-clearer.

In game two, senior Kristin Austin's run in the first proved to be all the Cards needed. She drew a game-opening walk, advanced on a fielding error and scored on
Taner Fowler's fielder choice.

Sandy Pearsall has to be happy with the contributions from the freshmen and sophomores this fall. Louisville will get the regular season underway on Feburary 10th...in Miami for three days at the Florida International University Tournament.

Florida in late winter...wonder if they need a bat-boy....

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Louisville volleyball won easily in the YUM! yesterday against UConn. Be sure to read Donny's take on both weekend games in Sunday's post. Lola was Lola again...18 kills.

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CARDINAL COUPLE contributing writer Sandy Walker witnessed the Atlanta Dream's 94-77 win over the Indiana Fever yesterday. Here's her take on it:

Dream 94 -Fever 77

She's baaack! Angel McCoughtry' 13-point first quarter immediately set the tone for the game. Each of the Dream's starters, led by Angel's 27 points, caught fire and finished in double figures. Angel's previous post-season tournament foul woes were just a bad memory as she played with an intensity which burned through the entire team yesterday in front of an energized and dynamic Philips Arena crowd of over 8,000.

The Fever could not handle Atlanta's half-court transition game - sparked by Izzy Castro-Marquez's 30 point effort - who started in place of fellow Brazilian Erika De Souza. DeSouza has gone to fulfill a prior commitment to her home country's national team...which is playing a tournament in Columbia in an effort to qualify for the 2012 Olympics. 

On a sad note, with less than five minutes remaining in the game...the Fever's Tamika Catchings (2011 WNBA MVP) sustained an injury - which was reported as a tear to her Achilles tendon - while attempting to block an Atlanta shot. An MRI will be done today to determine the exact extent of her injury. Teammates carried her to the locker room and she did not return to the court. 

Katie Douglas led the Fever in scoring with 25 points. The probable loss of Catchings, though, doesn't bode well for Indiana's upcoming Tuesday night quest to advance to the WNBA finals.

The Dream's Sunday win sets the stage for the final game of the best-out-of-three series in Indianapolis. Awaiting are the Minnesota Lynx, who swept Phoenix 2-0 to capture the Western Conference title. Maya Moore had 21 points, seven rebounds and five assists in Minnesota's win. The Lynx will host the first game of the finals on Sunday, Oct. 2nd.

Maya Moore vs. Angel. Sets up a great potential rematch of the two stars that battled in the 2009 NCAA Women's College Basketball Championship game. Make it so, Angel.

(Thanks to Sandy for a great write-up on the Dream's impressive win yesterday! Be sure to catch Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals Tuesday night on ESPN 2...and hopefully another report from Sandy on the action.)
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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Cards Start Big East Play 2-0 at the Yum! Center

The UofL Volleyball team swept both St. John's and UCONN to start Big East play 2-0. They also started out their stretch of Yum! Center games 2-0. The Cardinals were never seriously threatened in either match. They beat St. John's 25-19, 25-14 and then 25-23 and they beat UCONN 25-7, 25-13 and 25-20. The 7 UCONN had in the first set Sunday was tied for the lowest score in any set in the 25 set era (2008-present) for a Louisville opponent.

Lola Arslanbekova was amazing Friday night as she notched her fourth straight double-double. Sunday, she added 18 kills and moved into 10th all-time in kills for a career passing Jackie Bryne.

Emily Juhl also had a nice night Friday, she had 4 aces and 12 kills. Sunday night Caitlin Welch and Taylor Brauneis looked great. Welch had 21 digs and 2 aces, the 21 digs set a record for the Cards in a three-setter in the 25 set era. Brauneis recorded a double-double with 37 assists and 11 digs.

Coach Anne Kordes told me she was very happy with the atmosphere, and called the Yum! Center "the best Volleyball venue in the nation." However, she urges all Cards fans to show up for the remaining 4 games at the Yum! Center.

The two wins set the Cards record at 10-4 (2-0). Their next 5 games are on the road starting with DePaul September 30th. They return to the Yum Center October 23rd against Pitt.

Softball takes two vs. Murray State...Numbers from 2011 Women's basketball attendance...A star is born

SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE PRESENTS:

-Softball outhits the Racers 2-0, 6-2

-We look at 2011 NCAA Women's Basketball attendance numbers

-Look out for this colt.

The softball Cards out slugged the Murray State Racers yesterday in Ulmer Stadium...sweeping the double-header 2-0 and 6-2. Louisville got a base-clearing triple from freshman Whitney Arion to provide the two runs in the first game.


Two today against Morehead State!
 In game two, the Cards plated four runs in the second inning and held on to down the Racers by four runs.

Strong pitching performances by Caralisa Connell and Tori Collins yesterday, limiting the Racers to four hits and picking up a combined 12 strikeouts.

The Cards will play a double-header again today...this time the Morehead State Eagles visit Ulmer. First pitch is 1 p.m.

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The University of Louisville women's basketball team drew 162,892 fans for 15 home games in 2011. This was an average of 10,859 fans per game - second in the nation in per game attendance. Only Tennessee was higher...with 12,599 per contest.

The Cards ranked fourth in total attendance. UConn, with 22 home games, drew 215,328 attendees. Tennessee had 17 home games with a total attendance of 214,187. In 21 home games, Baylor brought in 166,593.

In all games (Home, Road or Neutral) Louisville finished fifth. The numbers:

Rk.  School                Games       Attendance
1.   Tennessee              37            352,488
2.   Connecticut           38             323,470
3.   Baylor                    37             270,280
4.   Notre Dame            39            268,275
5.   LOUISVILLE            35            238,874

Out of the top fifty in average home game attendance, six Big East schools made the list.

2.  LOUISVILLE              15            10,859
3.  Connecticut              22              9,788
35. West Virginia           16              3,103
39. Rutgers                    13              3,039
45. DePaul                     17              2,866
50. Pittsburgh                14              2,614

Big 12 numbers? Pretty Impressive. In the top 25 for home game attendance:    

4.  Iowa State                17              9,370
6.  Baylor                      21               7,933
10. Texas Tech              17               7,043
12. Texas A&M               14               6,104
14. Oklahoma                17               5,490
18. Texas                      15               4,710
21. Nebraska                 16               4,333
24. Kansas State             15               4,068

Other schools in Kentucky:

11. Kentucky                 15               6,364
27. Murray State            14               3,758

The test for Louisville is to see if they can improve on those numbers with one less home game in the 2011-12 season and key home attendance games against Notre Dame and Connecticut on week nights.

IF the Cards are BIG 12 bound, they'd play in front of some pretty sizable crowds, as indicated above. Maybe the days of 200 in the seats on the road at St. John's and Seton Hall are over...but the raucous crowds at Rutgers, Notre Dame, UConn, DePaul and Georgetown would definitely be missed.


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Watch out for two year old colt HANSEN. In yesterday's KENTUCKY CUP JUVENILE STAKES the big grey runner demolished the field over the 1 1/16 mile race at Turfway.
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Hansen broke alertly, jumped out to a ten length lead over the rest of the field after six furlongs and cruised in a winner by 13 1/4 lengths. These weren't any cheap claimers he dusted, either.

Definitely a horse to be on the lookout in the juvenile races during Breeder's Cup at Churchill Downs this November. HANSEN is trained by Michael Maker and has had jockey Victor LeBron aboard in both of his lifetime starts. He won his debut at Turfway earlier this summer by a whopping 12 lengths. I'm calling him my " way too early to pick but I'm going to anyway.." choice for the Kentucky Derby next May and will hope to see him do a similar destruction job here at Churchill this fall.

The horse is named after his owner and northern Kentucky physician Kendell Hansen.
My cousin Scott's last name is Hansen...so odds are good I'll remember the name in the future.

Unless I start mistakenly calling him Jones or Willson. (Two more Scott relatives...It never ends, does it?)

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Sunday is a big day for UofL women's sports. We'll have recaps on volleyball, field hockey, soccer and softball games for you Monday...plus Donny Yaste promises an article on the Friday night volleyball match vs. St.John's. He's a hard-working college lad...so he posts when he can. 

Also, we'll have a recap of game two from Atlanta...where the Dream look to even the series against the Indiana Fever. Cardinal Couple reader Sandra Walker is in the Peach State city and will tell us what she saw.

A busy day, Monday. We may need to dig out the old Commodore 64 PC from the mid-eighties and turn Co-Co loose on the keyboards to keep up....(you have been warned)


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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Field Hockey falls 2-1 in O.T., Soccer battles to a 2-2 tie...Volleyball sweeps St. John

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CARDINAL COUPLE SATURDAY

-Conrad's 11 saves not enough against Syracuse

-Kiefer's nine saves help Soccer tie

-Lola's double/double keys Volleyball win.

-Softball today, tomorrow at Ulmer

-Will the BIG 12 come calling?

Louisville jumped out to a 1-0 lead against the Orange but falls in overtime to Syracuse Friday at Trager Stadium. The Cards got on the board when a missed Caitlin Collins shot was corralled by Kelsey Rosenmeier...who then fed Erin Schneidtmiller a feed and subsequent score. The Cards held that lead through the first half...Conrad picking up six of her career high eleven saves,

Syracuse wasted no time tying the contest after the break, though. Heather Susek slammed home a pass to knot the score and it remained 1-1 throughout the rest of regulation.

Louisville had opportunities to score in the extra period but couldn't convert on a corner or two direct shots on goal. It looked like the overtime might remain scoreless...but the Cuse put the winner in the net with under a minute to goal in O.T. when Leonie Geyer slipped past the Cardinal defense and connected from the circle for the winning goal.

Tough loss for the Cards (6-3) who will return to action Sunday. Just who they're playing is a bit of a mystery. The UofL schedule lists New Hampshire but a release from the sports information department says Northwestern. Those two face off today at Trager. Whatever, GO CARDS and beat the "N" squad....

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Women's Soccer travelled to Connecticut and earned a 2-2 tie yesterday against the Huskies. This one was a defensive battle in the first half...neither team producing a goal. The second half started the same way and it wasn't until 23 minutes into the final stanza before UConn converted on a corner kick to take a 1-0 advantage.

The Cards roared back, though, and knotted the contest when senior Jennifer Jones took a feed from Angelika Uremovich and found the back of the net for her first score of the year.
Assumption's Jennifer
Jones scored for the Cards
The Huskies regained the lead two minutes later. Louisville gained the tie with under three minutes left when Cardinal star Christine Exeter drove down the field and booted in a shot for an unassisted goal.

Louisville (3-4-3) was buoyed by the outstanding net work of senior Chloe Kiefer...who had nine saves for the Cards in the tie. UConn held the advantage in shots (22-19) and shots on goal (11-10).

The Cards travel to Providence next...for a 1 p.m. match against the Friars tomorrow. Next week, they return to Cardinal Park for two BIG EAST contests...a Friday match up against Marquette and also host USF on Sunday.


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The Volleyball Cards debut in the KFC YUM! Center was a successful one...sweeping St. John's in three games. CARDINAL COUPLE reporter Donnie Yaste was at the match and will have a report for us later today. Be sure to check back for it.

We can tell you that almost 3,000 attended the match last night at the downtown arena and the Cards will play there
again on Sunday....hosting the UConn Huskies.

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Coach "P" is locked and loaded
for another season.
Softball steps to the plate for an exhibition double-header vs. Murray State this afternoon. The Cards received some very strong pitching last weekend in the double-header win over Bellarmine...and should be a major force in BIG EAST softball this spring if Caralisa Connell and Tori Collins can stay healthy and produce like they did against the Knights. Two games, three hits allowed and 27 total strikeouts.

Louisville will also face Morehead State in a double-header Sunday. Sandy Pearsall is probably watching the conference re-alignment drama with as much interest as anyone. A UofL move to the BIG 12 would bump up the competition level to a higher skill level. Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Missouri all participated in the 2011 College Women's World Series.

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Where do you think the Cards will end up? Or do they go anywhere at all. WE'VE got a poll over on the left hand side of the site and invite you to participate in it. According to prominent Louisville sportswriter Howie Lindsey, the momentum for joining the BIG 12 is picking up steam and the BIG 12 has identified Louisville as their top eastern option if the league expands.  

The Cards are a more attractive option than WVU or Rutgers or UConn, in our opinion, if the BIG 12 comes calling...but it would effectively end some great rivalries that UofL has built up over the years. Cincinnati, Notre Dame and UConn have played some classic games over the years against Louisville in both basketballs, softball, field hockey and volleyball.

And, what do you do with field hockey and lacrosse...two sports that the BIG 12 does not offer conference play for?

The future is interesting. The BIG EAST appears to be on life support. Do the Cards bail? Stay tuned, 2014 seems like a long way off...but decisions affecting the future could be coming very soon.
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Friday, September 23, 2011

Atlanta fall to Fever 82-74....WBB Tipoff Luncheon to be at KFC YUM!...Smartest Fan...Big ????

friday Cardinal couple comin' at ya....

-Foul plagued Angel watches as Atlanta falls to Indiana

-Walz to headline WBB Tipoff luncheon

-Are you the smartest Louisville fan?

-The conference tug-of-war continues

The Atlanta Dream owned the Indiana Fever during the regular season...sweeping the series against them...but Indiana got a measure of revenge last night in Indianapolis by winning the first game in the Eastern Conference playoffs 82-74.


Angel got hosed in Indiana Thursday night.

Rough night for former UofL star Angel McCoughtry - held to 11 points and 17 minutes due to foul trouble. McCoughtry was visibly upset with several of the alleged violations and expressed her feelings to the officiating crew about them. The Dream was led by Lindsey Harding's 17 points and Atlanta a tie after three quarters at 57-57.

McCoughtry was whistled for her fifth and sixth fouls in the decisive fourth quarter...both on questionable charges drew by WNBA MVP Tamika Catchings. The foul disparity was ridiculous...Indiana going 23 for 27 from the line and the Dream hitting 9 of 17.

They head to Atlanta for Game 2 on Sunday afternoon. CARDINAL COUPLE will get a court side report on the action from one of favorite readers...Sandra Walker...and give you the article on Monday.



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The tipoff luncheon for UofL women's basketball will be held at the KFC YUM! Center on Friday, Oct.28th. at noon. Tickets are $25 each or a table of ten can be purchased for $250. Headline speaker will be UofL head coach Jeff Walz. (Makes perfect sense to us...it's not like they're going to bring in Geno or Pat...). Tickets are on a first come, first serve basis.

You can go to http://www.uoflsports.com/ and download a tipoff luncheon form and return it either by fax or mail. You can also call the UofL Special Events office at (502) 852-0706 to reserve your seats.

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The website SMARTEST LOUISVILLE FAN caught our eye the other day and so Paul went over and took the challenge Friday Morning. You're asked a series of questions about UofL sports and you get a chance at the end to double your score with one additional question. He didn't do too badly...scoring 40 points. You can play once a day and you do have to register and sign up for the site. He used the sign-up through Facebook option.

http://www.smartestlouisvillefan.com/ is the link. Good luck!

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The conference raiding, realignment revolution is rolling on all eight cylinders. This is getting ridiculous. Trending is the thought that UofL will now be invited to join the Big 12. Ugh.

For women's sports it is a plus and minus. The hoops in the midwest don't compare with the BIG EAST. The volleyball and softball, though is an upgrade. Say goodbye to conference competition in field hockey and lacrosse. Say hello to gymnastics, equestrian and wrestling.

In Jurich We Trust. Remember, Tom...your daughters play field hockey.

A tug-of-war picture that we hope doesn't offend
anyone.
So are we ready to say 'Goodbye' to the XL Center, Madison Square Garden and winter road trips to play women's hoops in front of 250 people at Seton Hall? Will the Cards be allowed to sell Budweiser products in PJCS and the KFC YUM! during athletic events? (The BIG 12 has a no alcohol sales policy). 

Will the tug-of-war change again tomorrow? Trading Geno and Muffet for Kim and Deb? Once thing is for certain, the barbecue in Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas is definitely better than what you'll find in Providence and Piscataway...so, based on that...sure, let's go.
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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Volleyball in YUM!...Field Hockey hosts BIG teams...Soccer takes a road trip...Softball scrimmages

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CARDINAL COUPLE THURSDAY:

-Big weekend ahead for UofL women's sports

-We look back at:

The action will be fast and furious for four Cardinal women's sports teams this weekend. Let's look at what lies ahead...

Louisville goalie Chloe Kiefer
Women's Soccer goes on the road to face two BIG EAST opponents...starting with Connecticut on Friday at 7 p.m. and finishing up at Providence with a 1 p.m. Sunday match. The Soccer Cards are coming off a tie against DePaul and win over Notre Dame last week...which boosted their record to 3-4-2 overall and 1-0-1 in the BIG EAST. Louisville will look to the leadership of Christine Exeter and play of freshman Erin Yenney to produce points and goal tending skills of Chloe Kiefer to sweep the journey east. Providence has been shut out in their last five games and sits at 3-3-5 overall...the Huskies are 4-4-0 and 1-1-0 in BIG EAST action. Both are winnable for Karen Ferguson-Dayes squad.

The Jurich twins will lead the
Field Hockey Cards into battle.

Field Hockey returns to Trager Stadium for Friday and Sunday games. The Justine Sowry led Flock shut out Georgetown and American on the road last weekend and Cardinal stars Elizabeth Vance and Erin Conrad received BIG EAST Player of the Week honors for their efforts. The weekend games against Syracuse and New Hampshire will be tough ones...both are ranked in the top ten. Syracuse - 5-2-0 on the season and #5 in the nation - is first...with a 3 p.m. Friday face off. UofL students should show up in big numbers for the one....free Papa John's pizza for them during the afternoon tilt. Louisville is an impressive 6-2-0 on the season and have shot out their last four opponents.

Lola leads the Cards
Volleyball heads to the KFC YUM! Center for their weekend matches...first ever for the UofL program in the downtown arena. They'll host St.John's on Friday 7 p.m. and Connecticut visits Sunday for a 2 p.m. match. The Cards faced two top 25 opponents last weekend in the BIG EAST vs. BIG 10 Challenge in Illinois and Purdue and took both opponents to five games before falling. Lola Arslanbekova has been scorching the nets lately for Anne Kordes' squad...with 20 kills against the Boilermakers and a career-high 30 kills in the Illinois contest. There are still six game packages for the YUM! Center contests available for only $30. Regular admission is $8.


Bemis doesn't know why this
roustabout is asking her questions..
Softball welcomes Murray State to Ulmer Stadium for a double header scrimmage on Saturday afternoon. The Cards got great pitching last weekend from Caralisa Connell and Tori Collins...limiting the Bellarmine Knights to just three hits in a double header sweep. Cardinal coach Sandy Pearsall is faced with the task of replacing the left side of her infield this spring...losing Colby Wherry and Chelsea Bemis to graduation...but several freshmen contributed to last weekend's wins and the Cards do return key components in Kristin Austin, Jordan Trimble, Maggie Ruckenbrod, Taner Fowler and Hannah Kiyohara...just to name a few. Since football is on a bye week, why not head over to Ulmer and get a sneak peek on what Pearsall's 2012 fence swingers have in store for Cardinal fans. Morehead State will complete the busy pitch-and-catch weekend with a visit to "play two" on Sunday. First pitch is 2 p.m against the Racers on Saturday and 1 p.m. against the Eagles on Sunday.


Good luck to all Cardinal teams headed into play this weekend!

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Angel's double-double led
Louisville past the Terps.
Louisville headed into the Raleigh regionals final with a chance to do something no Cardinal women's basketball team had ever accomplished before - reach the NCAA Final Four. The task would not be easy, however. Ahead lay Maryland, the #1 seed in the region. A bittersweet reunion for Cardinal head coach Jeff Walz, a former assistant coach at Maryland and recruiter of Maryland star Marissa Coleman.

March 30th, 2009 would be a day Cardinal fans would remember for a long time.

The Cards, survivors of a tough Baton Rouge first and second round opener, had earned the right to be in Raleigh...defeating LSU on their home court to advance. Two nights earlier, Louisville had dispatched of Kim Mulkey and Baylor 56-39 in the opening round of the Raleigh Regional. It was showdown time.

Louisville came out strong to start the game, shutting down Coleman and sensational freshman Kristy Tolliver and jumped to an early lead. The Cards went on a 13-3 run, capped by a Monique Reid layup to lead 24-14 with eight minutes remaining. 

Then, the ball ran out of air for the Cards. A nearly six minute scoreless streak saw the Terps climb back into the contest. Angel with eight straight misses before hitting a buzzer-beating jumper to give the Cards a tenuous 30-25 lead at halftime. 

Louisville had work to do and it was time to for Angel to put on the hard hat. 

The Cards held on...keeping Maryland at bay and increasing on the lead for most of the second half...but Coleman drained a difficult three with five minutes remaining to cut the Cardinal advantage to eight at 54-46. Candyce Bingham responded with a layup, though, and the UofL squad took off on a 13-6 run that put the game out of reach. An Angel three and Bingham inside putback set the score at 67-52 and the Turtles were on their backs and helpless. As the clock ticked to zero...Louisville celebrated on the sidelines with a 77-60 win.

"I told them it's one of the toughest games I've ever had to coach. It's different if you're playing them in a regular season game because everybody's career carries on. This was a game where we came out on the top side, though and their (Maryland's) senior's careers are over." Jeff Walz commented after the win.

McCoughtry led the Louisville assault with 21 points and 13 rebounds. Dez Byrd finished with 17 and Bingham added 15. Freshman Becky Burke completed the Cards double figure efforts with 10 points. 

"I'm dreaming right now...pinch me Dez." McCoughtry laughed after the game. "It's time to go to Disney World...oh, wait..we have two more games." 

The Cards would advance to St. Louis...to face the winner of the Oklahoma vs. Purdue game. Mom (Bingham) and the crazy aunt (McCoughtry) were headed to the Arch.

Because of business related travel, Paul had to watch the game from a hotel bar/restaurant in Evansville, IN. By the time the game ended, all 14 patrons and employees remaining were UofL fans. Ironically, several Purdue fans were in the place and chipped in cheering for the Cards. Being a good sport...Paul stayed and rooted on the Boilermakers...but their efforts fell short against Oklahoma. He relates:

"My cell phone started ringing non-stop with about three minutes to go in the UofL game and way into the rest of the night. Finally turned it off around 1 a.m. and had seven voice mails the next morning when I woke up....including one from a Kentucky fan I had met several months back and given a business card to. He assured me the Cards would make it to the finals. That night was truly one of the greatest moments in UofL women's sports ever. CARDINAL COUPLE wasn't even created yet...we were writing for Charlie Springer over at Card Game and he even called a few times. And, Sonja was going ballistic at work that night, calling me every few minutes while listening to the game on the radio."
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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Women's Gold finishes fourth in Wild Eggs...We look at C.B....Assumption one of nation's best...Who will replace the Orange and Panthers?

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WEDNESDAY WITH THE COUPLE:

-Women's Golf finishes fourth in Wild Eggs Cardinal Cup

-Hurricane Candyce rips through Puerto Rico

-Assumption Volleyball one of nation's best?

-Who replaces Pitt and 'Cuse?

Anna continues her
hot streak on the links
The University of Louisville women's golf team ended the two day Wild Eggs Cardinal Cup tournament with a fourth place finish at the Cardinal Club gold course in Simpsonville, KY. Led by Anna-Karin Ljungstrom, the Cards fired a 301 in the second day of competition to finish with a total score of 608. North Carolina won the event with a two-day total of 596. 

Ljungstrom finished tied for second with a closing round 74...one stroke off the leader - East Carolina's Julia Strandenberg. Her total for two days was 146. Other Cardinal finishes:

-Emily Haas - tied for 12th. with a 151
-Tara Lyons-  tied for 30th. with a 154
                             -Maria Castellanos - tied for 49th. with a 158
                             -Katie Petrino - tied for 69th. with a 164

Also shooting in the event as individuals and not associated with the team score were Cardinals Candice Wiley (161), Sara Karlsson (162) and Maike Klein (164).

Louisville returns to action on Oct. 7th.-9th. at the Tar Heel Invitational.

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Former UofL great Candyce Bingham is ripping through the Puerto Rican basketball leagues like a Category 5 hurricane. She recently received the Latinbasketball.com Week 4 Player of the Week award. She scored 26 points and 14 rebounds for her San German team...which is second in the standings.


C.B tearing up Rican hoops

Bingham has had an impressive stay in Puerto Rico...she's third in the league in points per game (21.0) and first in rebounds (12.9) per game. She also is the 6th. leading assist producer (4.7 per game). Can't say we're overwhelmed by the San German basketball logo (pictured right) but we do stand in awe of Candyce's stats so far. San German is 6-3 on the season. WE'RE glad to see #13 playing a little closer to the USA...she's been Euroball the last couple of seasons and done well...but statistics are kind of hit-and-miss on those leagues. Rumors floating around a couple of weeks ago that Bingham was in town and getting ready to take over the head coaching job for Fern Creek girls' basketball are obviously just that...looks like to us that C.B. is doing fine in the Commonwealth (of Puerto Rico)

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Louisville Assumption Volleyball is ranked one of the top ten high school girls' team's in the nation and they did nothing to damage the position against Holy Cross last night. The Rockets took a straight set win over Holy Cross.....25-13, 25-11 and 25-21.

Coach Kordes turns out winners.
Assumption also won the highly competitive Durango Fall Classic in Las Vegas, NV over the weekend. The Rockets are 23-1 on the season and coached by Ron Kordes. In case the name sounds familiar, Kordes is considered a legend in local high school and club volleyball and his daughter Anne coaches the University of Louisville squad....
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Goodbye Pitt and Syracuse, hello Army and Navy? How will the service academies fit into the new BIG EAST lineup...if, in fact..the BIG EAST survives the recent topsy-turvy shake up occuring on the college sports landscape?

Dress Louie in fatigues
and give him a rifle?
A lot to be said about the storied history of both potential BIG EAST members...but are they the right choice for a staggering conference? Other options do exist for John Marinatto, the university presidents and athletic directors. Do East Carolina and Memphis deserve a look? If the BIG 12 disbands...which schools from there could be candidates for the league?

A lot of questions remain and the final shakeup is far from being settled...... In Jurich We Trust.
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My wallet is fat and I like that, folks.
Truth be told, WE'RE tired of all the drama and innuendo that is going on about league affiliations and defections. Especially because it is all football driven and oriented. Don't get us wrong, WE enjoy the thrill and excitement of college football quite a bit. Season ticket holders for a very long time and make several road trips a year. WE were there when Schnelly won in Arizona and Bobby took the Orange Bowl. But, WE'RE not fans of how the $$$$ are driving the college landscape these days. ESPN is the main culprit here. The trickle down flow to women's sports is a nearly dried-up stream. IF it wasn't for women's college basketball, it would be a dust bowl. It's time for the university presidents and athletic directors to gain back control of the sports they participate in and tell "big money" to listen to them for awhile. Of course, that won't happen. Notre Dame telling NBC that they don't want the nation-wide coverage? It'll never happen. It's a pig-trough and even Louisville has got slop and mud caked on the Cardinal Bird. Bring us the head of Brent Musberger...
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