MMQB/PG: Cards, Cats, Cowboys & Much Much Mo’

Cardinal fans, here’s a question to ponder.

Which U of L team will be the next to win a national championship?

Men’s soccer is a good bet. It came oh so very close last year, but took a little step back this season. That said, Ken Lolla’s boys are still alive in the post-season after a double OT W yesterday.

Women’s soccer is on the uptick. The program had its best season ever, which included two NCAA Ws.

Know this about the volleyball program. Anne Kordes will get it done here. This is one determined coach.

Charlie Strong’s football program is a longer shot, but it’s certainly headed in the right direction.

As for hoops, there isn’t a doubt in my mind that Jeff Walz will get it done before Rick Pitino or his successor does. I went to the Xavier game yesterday, and one thing was clearly evident. There is a lot — and I mean a lot — of young talent on this team. Freshmen. Sophs. The distaff Cards will be a constant playah on the national scene.

It appears obvious that the men’s team will never make it all the way to the upper echelon during the current regime. There may be another Final Four in the next season or so, but that appears to be the ceiling.

* * * * *

Speaking of Charlie Strong’s pigskinners, it is almost incomprehensible that they could actually play in the Orange Bowl this season.

The scenario for that to happen is not unfathomable. U of L must beat South Florida. Though the Cards have never won on the Bulls turf, it is not an impossible task. West Virginia must beat Pitt. Very doable. And Cincy needs to lose one of its final two games. The Bearcats travel to Syracuse, then close the season with UConn at home. Without Zach Collaros, Butch Jones team is not nearly as strong as with him. They were manhandled by Rutgers Saturday.

While the Cards’ L to Pitt would have made the path a little easier, it wouldn’t have made that much difference. Except for the team’s final overall record, which would be more respectable. It would only have eliminated the necessity of a West Virginia W over the Panthers.

We don’t have to wait long to see if the part the Cards can control pans out. Louisville kicks off 11:00 a.m. Friday morning.

* * * * *

The Cats hoopsters had a relatively tough game against ODU in the Hall of Fame Tip Off tourney.

It seems to me there are a few things to be taken from the W.

1) The team will struggle as long as Marquis Teague struggles. You’ve got to have a point guard. Especially in Calipari’s offense.

2) There’s nothing quite like experience. Darius Miller will be a major factor in how much this squad succeeds.

3) Extreme talent — which this team has in abundance — will overcome a lot of ills. At least until it plays teams which also have extreme talent.

* * * * *

As I watched Okie State destroy its chances to play for the BCS “championship” Friday night, I couldn’t help but think of one of Denny Crum’s favorite aphorisms, mentioned when one of his teams would be upset by a lesser foe. (Something that happened, sadly, with increasing regularity as his career wound down.)

“You’ve got to have a healthy respect for your opponent.”

Okie State never thought it could lose to Iowa State. And thus it did.

* * * * *

In case you haven’t heard, Mike Krzyzewski now has more Ws than any other major college coach.

* * * * *

Oregon’s chances for a BCS “championship” were derailed by one of the best teams money can buy, Southern Cal. But, my oh my, did they make the game breathlessly fascinating to watch.

The Ducks fell behind 38-14 with 3:28 to play in the 3d.

They ran the ensuing kickoff back to cut the deficit to 38-20. (Why they went for 2 at that juncture remains a mystery.)

They scored again early in the 4th on a fast break drive that covered 75 yards in 2:12. The kicked point after was good. 35-27.

They scored another TD on an expeditous 60 yard drive that t00k 1:27.

Then, after recovering a fumble at its own 14, the Quack ran 15 plays in 3:13 to get in field goal range. I was out of breath, sitting in my recliner watching. The FG was wide right. Disappointing. But it is truly fascinating to watch Oregon’s fast break football.

* * * * *

Obviously I have mixed emotions about Bobby Petrino and Arkansas. If the coach had stayed at U of L, I’m certain the Cards would have played at least one more and probably several more BCS games.

But he’s gone. And his offense remains innovative and a marvel to watch.

I would love to see the Razorbacks beat LSU Friday and throw the charade that is the BCS into total chaos. (Thanks Baylor for doing your part against the Sooners.)

I don’t know how it’s all going to play out, but I’d sure looooooove to watch a Razorbacks vs. Ducks match up. And I don’t care where they play.

* * * * *

Is Western Ky the best football team in the state?

I dunno. But the simple fact that you didn’t flinch when I asked the question means it’s not so off the wall.

Willie Taggert’s Toppers are bowl eligible — in their case, a most legit goal — and getting better by the week.

Plus, Bobby Rainey is the LEADING rusher in the land with 1,468 yards. He’s 32 yards shy of becoming the only the 8th rusher of the millennium to have back to back 1500 yard seasons.

* * * * *

South Carolina’s hoopsters followed their dumbfounding L to Elon with another to Tennessee State.

Say buh bye, Darrin.

* * * * *

Okay, enough for now. I need to get out of here before another U of L baller gets injured.

– Seedy K

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