If Louisville’s Left Out, Blame It On Petrino

Forget the watering down of the NCAA basketball tournament. The expansion(s) that will truly change forever the landscape of college sports are on the horizon.

Reports indicate the Big 11 is going bigger. So too, its Rose Bowl counterpart, the Pac 10.

Then, to use the overused — but apt — metaphor, the dominoes will start falling. There will be a seismic shift in the collegiate landscape. Catch my drift here.

When the volcanic ash settles, it will be a different world. Only the jumbo jets will be flying. Sorry, had to go with one last cliche.

There will be a few super conferences. The big media playahs, ESPN and whichever networks want to join the fray, will dictate the sports scene. The rich will get you know what. And the rest will be also rans.

It will happen becau$e, well, just becau$$$$$e.

The Big 11 will add — your guess is as good as mine — one or all of Pitt, Syracuse, Rutgers, Mizzou, West Virginia, Nebraska, Texas. And/or the biggest fish in the school, Notre Dame. Which, for the first time, is actually emitting pheromones that indicate it might be willing to give up the single life.

Other reports have the SEC casting a flirtatious eye toward Miami and Florida State. As if that football supergroup needs any more gridiron might.

Which means that Kentucky will be in the chips, earning even more tens of millions a year in revenue, before selling a ticket. So, too, IU. And Vandy and Northwestern. They’re geeks. But they’re legacies and ain’t goin’ nowhere.

Of the locals, here’s who will be left standing outside looking into the candy store, salivating, hands and runny nose smudged against the window glass.

The University of Louisville, that’s who.

The Big East will no longer be the BEast, but a not so big yeast that fails to rise. The league will splinter like, oh, like . . . where is the right analogy when I need it?

Whose fault is it, that the Cards will be on the outside looking in?

Bobby Petrino’s, that’s who.

When that lying vagabond was coaching the Cards, U of L’s stock as a major force in college sports was tracking to the top. Already one of the elite hoops schools, it was on a collision course with pigskin stardom.

One of the major internet sports sites ran an interesting assessment of the college football’s hierarchy. It categorized the schools in varying echelons. The highest were the perennial superpowers like Bama, Ohio State, Southern Cal, etc. Below them were the sometimes powers, like Iowa, Oregon, Texas A & M. Then there were several other layers.

It was a startlingly astute inventory of the status of all top division football schools. One school wasn’t placed in any category. It was in flux, or so the article reasoned, and the only school that seemed poised to jump to the highest levels with a legit shot at staying there.

The University of Louisville.

Then Bobby Petrino bid Louisville a not so fond adieu. Had he stayed at U of L, he would have some day joined JoPa and The Bear among the fabled coaches of all-time. But, like the Schnell before him, he didn’t see the future here clearly and skipped out of Dodge.

Then the Cards were Kragthorped back in the pack.

Now, when the action is heating up, U of L no longer has that premier football program that will shine when those leagues start looking about for the brightest lights.

Louisville coulda been a contenda.

And, unlike all those false accusations cast in Petrino’s direction during his successor’s administration, this one really is his fault.

Fasten your seat belts, Cardinal fans, turbulence dead ahead.

– Seedy K

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