Now that I am a graduate student taking only online classes, the phrase "Finals Week" does not immediately induce the gray hair producing stress that it used to. I still have my work to do, but thousands of other students have spent every waking moment since Wednesday preparing for finals in classes they may have struggled in or may have never even attended. To all of those that are still struggling, I wish you good luck. To those finished for the semester, I say enjoy your break. And for you lucky dogs that are graduating in December, I say enjoy it; the real world isn't quite as fun as you might have been led to believe.
The reason I bring up finals is because there is always a lull in scheduling during this time. Student-athletes are just that, students, and they have to take finals just like everyone else. The men's basketball team played Wednesday against Southern Illinois, plays today against Texas Southern, and then doesn't play again until next Saturday against Eastern Kentucky. For those that didn't notice, we are in the midst of the "directional schools" segment of the schedule. The women's team, likewise, hasn't played since the Kentucky game on Sunday and won't play until tomorrow against WKU before their schedule ramps back up with games on Wednesday and Friday. The only scheduled items on the all sports calendar this week have been the Short Course World Championships for swimming and the indoor track Hoosier Invitational yesterday.
Kelsi Worrell has been busy in Windsor, Canada at the swimming tournament. Tuesday she was part of a winning American squad that took gold in the women's 400 free relay. Wednesday she set an American record of 2:02.89 in the 200 fly on her way to a silver medal. She then helped set another record as she was part of a gold medal winning 4x50 women's medley team that set a new world record. Continuing her relay success, Worrell capped off her tournament with a gold in the 4x50 mixed medley. It is great to see Kelsi continuing to have success, and I imagine we might see her again at the next summer games.
Louisville's football season did not end quite the way we all wanted. It still isn't over, but I'm quite sure we'd all prefer that we wouldn't have to be split screening the bowl game and the men's basketball game against IU. However, there is still one major piece of hardware at play. I'm not talking about the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl trophy, whatever that may be. I'm talking about the Heisman Trophy. We've been talking about Lamar Jackson's chances all season, to the point where Las Vegas sportsbooks closed the betting lines on the Heisman Race because it was considered a foregone conclusion. Lamar Jackson was 1/30 or 1/50 at the time, depending on who you believe. Since the end of the season, I have heard reports of some books reopening their lines, but Lamar Jackson is still the heavy favorite, with Deshaun Watson coming second at 14/1.
As Paulie mentioned yesterday, Deshaun Watson took home the Davey O'Brien, which is not particularly surprising. I really don't know who votes for these things, but I expected he would win it, even though he wasn't even the best quarterback in his conference. I say that because Lamar Jackson was voted as the ACC Player of the Year, ACC Offensive Player of the Year, All-ACC First Team QB, and Pro Football Focus All-ACC First Team QB. So, I'm sorry, Deshaun, but what was it that Jeff Walz said about participation trophies?
Lamar has already claimed the Maxwell and the Walter Camp Awards. Of the 28 players who have previously won both of those awards in the same season, 22 have gone on to win the Heisman. This seems like a concerning percentage, but keep in mind that Lamar Jackson also did what only two Heisman winners have ever done with 30 passing TDs and 20 rushing TDs, and both of them needed their bowl games to do it. Only Jordan Lynch has ever achieved the passing/rushing yardage splits that Lamar has, and he played for Northern Illinois. If Lamar Jackson doesn't win the Heisman Trophy tonight, I think it will be the biggest robbery in sports award history.
Dial it in
Tune into this week's Cardinal Couple Radio Hour at 11AM on 100.9 WCHQ. You can also stream it online or from the app, and if you miss it live, you'll be able to listen to the rebroadcast sometime tomorrow after it has been posted. Today you should be able to hear me talk about pretty much the exact same things you just read, but you'll be able to hear the words in my voice instead of the one in your head!
Until next time, Go Cards