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Sunday, November 26, 2017

2 Types of Football and Volleyball Selection - SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

We have two types of football to talk about today.  We'll start with the more popular one, first.

Sweet Sixteen

The Men's Soccer team (playing the most popular sport in the world) takes to the pitch tonight against
Colgate.  Louisville advanced over San Francisco 3-2 last week in 2nd round action.  UofL, as the 4 seed in the tournament, received a bye in the first round.  Colgate advanced in the NCAA tournament with a bit of surprise over Michigan on Blue's home field in a stunning 3-2 comeback win.  Before that, they advanced in the first round with a 2-0 win over UMass.  Colgate was the automatic qualifier from the Patriot league.

If the Cards win this one, they'll play Akron after they defeated Wisconsin 3-2 in the 92nd minute in Overtime.  Akron was the team that defeated UofL in the College Cup Finals in 2010, so the Cards could be looking for some revenge, there.

The match gets started at 5pm at Lynn Stadium on Floyd Street.  If you can't make it out, you can catch it on ESPN3 streaming.

Governor's Cup

In other football, The Cards have come home from a chippy game in Lexington with the Governor's Cup.  The 44-17 over Kentucky was marred by a significant fight next to the UK sideline.  Offsetting penalties were issued, so, essentially no repercussions were felt to either team.  Regardless of which side of this one you're on, no matter which teams/players you think may have instigated this, to have essentially no repercussions for the extra-curricular activity is repugnant.

To take the UofL side of this just a bit, the vibe, at least amongst UK fans that I know, is that the
Kentucky players were disrespectful towards UofL players, and to the game in general.  I sense a real disappointment, even embarrassment, among a fan-base that is already losing faith in their football team.  I've gone on the record numerous times, saying that I want UK Football to be good, because I want this rivalry to mean something.  I am also, perhaps, a bit naive, in thinking that a great rivalry can be pursued by the teams and fan-bases in a respectful and fun manner, while still be serious about wanting "your" team to win.  I look to an example that has gotten some media play in the past few days with Myisha Hines-Allen, and her brother Josh Allen.  Josh, who wears number 41 for the Cats, comes to some of Myisha's basketball games, and when he does, he wears red to support his sister.  When Myisha goes to Lexington for UK Football games, she wears blue to support her brother.  That's respect and compassion.

 I also look no further than the comments section here on Cardinal Couple, where the likes of "Matthew Mitchell For Governor" and our Clemson friend, Arthur, graces the entries.  These are real rivalry fans, but they come with respect. (OK, MMFG comments pretty heavily tongue-in-cheek at times, but that's where the fun, while being respectful, comes into play).  In my mind, if your rivalry fandom crosses over into wishing actual malice onto the other fan base or teams, it's time for you to take a step back, a step away from sports, and regain some perspective.  (A brief aside on Josh Allen...he can apparently be seen during the scuffle, but to his credit, his actions were to restrain his own teammate and de-escalate the fight.  Apparently they raise them right in the (Hines-)Allen household.)

To circle back around to a sideline fight in football, we have to remember that it takes two to tango.  I
wasn't watching the game closely, so I don't have strong opinions about how the fight came about, who instigated it, who was more at fault, and ultimately, I don't really care.  I presume there were probably transgressions on both sides, so I don't want to blame this completely on Kentucky Football players, and ultimately the coaching staff, but I do believe there is a problem, there, and it needs to be addressed beyond just some anemic post-game-interview comments.

Rant about needing more respect for sport aside, this game just wasn't all that entertaining to watch, in my opinion.  Lamar did his usual Lamar-as-an-EA-Sports-cheatcode things, but the Cards had this game well in hand from the opening drive.  The Governor's Cup comes back to Louisville, where it has spent most of the past decade, and we the conversation moves, on both sides, to basketball, where it looks likely that Kentucky will again have the upper hand on the men's side, and UofL is likely favored on the women's side.  It will make for an interesting winter, and I look forward to respectful rivalry'ing.  If you can't be respectful, though?  Don't expect me to engage with you on the matter.

Volleyball Selection

Tonight also brings the Volleyball Selection Show at 9pm on ESPNU.  UofL is guaranteed a bid as the automatic qualifier for the ACC Conference.  The Cards did end up being co-champions of the league with Pitt's defeat of UVA yesterday evening.  With the head-to-head win over Pitt, UofL gets the AQ.

As is my wont, I'll take a moment to engage in a brief bit of bracketology.

Volleyball uses non-pre-determined sites for all but the Final Four, which will be in Kansas City, this year.  16 teams will host 1st and 2nd rounds, and 4 teams will host Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight rounds.  Looking at rankings, both coach's poll and RPI, it looks like UofL will be a very long shot to host any rounds.  We're currently sitting 21st in the RPI, and "Receiving Votes" in the coach's poll.  There will be a new coach's poll tomorrow, but that will be after the tourney selection, of course.  Presumably the selection committee will have up-to-date RPI results which we won't get to see until tomorrow afternoon.

The general wisdom is that the selection committee heavily leans on RPI for their decisions, and atop
the RPI are our friends down in Lexington.  Beyond host teams, volleyball selection is very regional.  This means that there is a pretty good chance that Louisville will just be going down the road for 1st and 2nd round games to Memorial Coliseum.  Otherwise, looking in coach's poll and RPI, there's a small chance of Purdue (where UofL has played numerous tournament matches in the past), and then beyond to...Michigan State, perhaps Kansas, or Minnesota?

Wherever they may end up going, I'll be moving heaven and earth to try to make the trip as I haven't missed a UofL NCAA tournament match since prior to 2009.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

Two of the four "A" team knuckleheads (Paulie and Jeff) stumbled into the basement of WCHQ to provide you with our weekly look at the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports and Cardinal Athletics. Julie Sullivan joined us at the table and we called River City Cards main man Mike Gilpatrick with a live pre-game look-in from Kroger Field in Lexington.

There were brownies, a clip from Bionca Dunham and Kylee Shook and we went over WBB, Volleyball, Punkin and Monk in the control room and we had a fun hour of discussion and predictions.

Louisville 44 - Kentucky 17. Here's how we did in our guesses. All picked UofL to win

Touchdown Squirrel    21-7
Jeff                              38-28
Paulie                          42-21
Monk                           42-38
Julie                             42-31
Mike Gilpatrick           42-35

We declare Paulie the winner but what a bunch of stinking geniuses, right?

You can hear the rebroadcast HERE

Waning Days of November

WHO AM I? First correct
respondent in the comments
section gets entered for the
Panera Card drawing! 
We're honored to have a great community on this site, and are occasionally reminded of it by our
rivalry fan visitors such as MMFG and Clemson Arthur.  It's not uncommon for us to receive comments from people along the lines of, "I'm a fan of xxxx team, and we don't have any sites like this.  I wish we did."  It's comments like that which remind us that what we're doing is nigh on unique among sports media coverage.  It's encouraging to us that we're doing something a bit out-of-the-box and getting such great support doing it.  It's also, however, a bit daunting to look out there, and not be able to find any roadmaps on how to do this stuff.

We joke a lot about Paulie marching to the beat of his own drummer, and that is shown in...well, the think something like this could work, and the drive to make it happen, largely through sheer force of will.

I want to thank Paulie for giving me the opportunity to bore you with an overwhelming amounts of Volleyball talk, but I also want to thank you, our readers and listeners for supporting our work.  It truly is appreciated, and today is the last article write I will have to get a chance to say that in November donation month.

So.  Thank you.  So very much, thank you.



  1. You keep Coupling Cardinals. Read every day.

  2. That looks like a really mad Sean Moth.

    Nick O.

    1. Wonder what Moth was so mad about? Pitino steal his headset?

    2. Nick O nailed it! Congrats, you in da drawing!


    3. Probably didn't get to the media room at halftime to get a cookie. They go REALLY fast.


  3. I see you guys close up at Lady Cards games. You are dressing better this year. You should smile more.

    1. Thanks Norman! We'll work on the smiles!



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