Louisville Football Plays the Waiting Game
Last Saturday saw the Cardinals drop their first game of the 2016 campaign. Since then, sports talking heads have seemingly talked about nothing but the circumstances surrounding the loss, Lamar Jackson's stranglehold on the Heisman Trophy Watch (similar to Ben Boulware's stranglehold on him), and the chances of Louisville making the College Football Playoff as the first one-loss non-conference champion. After the loss, a lot has been said about the unofficial line-to-gain marker. Clemson issued a non-declaratory statement about it, and there hasn't been a peep from the league office on that or on the officiating in general. Regardless, no statement or apology or referee suspension changes the outcome of the game, so the Cards have to play the waiting game.
Louisville's best hope to make the CFP at this point seems to be to beat the crap out of everyone else on the schedule, hope that everyone on Louisville's schedule keeps winning, and hope that everyone else on Washington's schedule keeps losing. There are a few more qualifiers, as well. It would be great for Washington to drop one or two games, but that seems unlikely, so we just want everyone they play to look terrible. Also, we really want the loser of the Ohio State/Michigan game to lose another game sometime so that the decision doesn't come down to "one-loss ACC non-champ" vs "one-loss B1G non-champ." Actually, now that I think about it, it's fine with me if either one of them drops a game, because it's unlikely that the committee would take two one-loss teams from the same conference.
This weekend had a mixed bag of results for the Cards chances. Some of those results were very good: Florida State stole one from Miami on the road, Washington State beat up on Stanford, Virginia Tech stomped UNC (we really kind of want the Coastal to be a mess), NC State beat Notre Dame in a hurricane, and Clemson went up and put it to Boston College mercilessly. Some of the results were not so good: Michigan beat Rutgers so bad that they might as well stop playing football, Washington ended their losing streak against Oregon in impressive fashion, and (the biggie) Houston went to Annapolis and looked like a regular old AAC team. Louisville doesn't control any team's fate including their own. I'm just hoping the Cards go out and win every game by 50, and I'll hope for the best in every other facet.
The road to a one-loss season continues this Friday when the Duke Blue Devils (who beat up on Army yesterday) come to town. The game will be a blackout, and all signs point to a slick new uniform for the Cards. Duke has been up and down this year, but every remaining game on the schedule will require focus from the team to not allow the committee to have anything negative to talk about on our end. I'll be there, cheering raucously as always, and maybe I'll see you there, too.
Men's Soccer Continues Winning Ways
The Cardinal XI extended their 8 game unbeaten streak with another top-5 win Friday night in Lynn Stadium when they beat number 3 Syracuse. The Cards are vying for their own top 5 ranking and have silenced almost all doubters at this point. They have certainly exceeded expectations, after being picked to finish second to last in the Atlantic division this season. I love seeing Ken Lolla's team succeed because they were among the first non-revenue sports to really jump onto the national scene. Continued success of the non-revenue programs is what makes Louisville one of the top athletic departments in the country.
One O'Clock PM is a busy time slot today for the Cards. The women's soccer team plays their last home game today with a Senior Day matchup against number 15 Clemson, field hockey takes on Northwestern at Trager, and the volleyball team is on the road against Syracuse.
I should eventually be back in the booth with Paulie and Worldwide, probably as early as this week. I'm sure they've done fine without me in the meantime, and you can catch a rebroadcast of yesterday's show by following the link below.
Until next time, Go Cards.