Thursday’s Tidbits: Cleaning Off My Desk

Last night I experienced the oddest feeling. So odd was it I almost called EMS.

While watching the finale of the Made For TV Big Ten/ ACC Showdown, I found myself actually rooting for . . . Duke.

Frankly, though unexpected, it was not totally inexplicable.

One, I dislike Ohio State — yes, even more than the Blue Devils — because: 1) from all I hear, Thad Matta’s about as dirty a coach as is out there when it comes to recruiting, and 2) Buckeye fans cheered when former players carried Jim Tressel off the field on their shoulders last Saturday before the Michigan game.

Also, I had a moment during the Atlantis tourney when I realized that Duke just about always really plays a sweet, fundamental game of basketball. And, when Dickie V isn’t calling the action, and therefore there’s not a constant litany of over the top plaudits, I’ve finally accepted and come to begrudgingly admire the continued excellence.

Most important, I guess, is that I’ve always rooted for U of L’s conference mates when they’re playing a school from another league. If you haven’t been paying attention, the Cardinals are going to be members of the ACC.

* * * * *

Speaking of which stunning turn of events, I must opine that yesterday was NOT the biggest day in the history of U of L sports. It was huge, don’t get me wrong. It is an acknowledgement, finally, that U of L has officially reached playah status on the national collegiate sports scene.

But, again, it’s not the biggest day ever for Louisville Cardinal sports, as some radioheads were hyperventilating.

There are many events equally important, perhaps more so. The day Denny Crum was hired. The day in ’80 when Louisville won its first NCAA crown. The day Howard Schnellenberger was hired. The day Louisville won the Fiesta Bowl. The day Tom Jurich was hired. (By the by, a belated thanks to then prexy John Shumaker for making that hire. One as astute and successful as all those made by TJ save one.)

There is even empirical evidence that Louisville’s entry into the Big East from the C-USA was bigger than the upgrade to the ACC.

Which contrarianism isn’t meant to diminish yesterday’s dumfounding development.

It’s a good thing.

* * * * *

I posted this last night on Facebook.

Hear me now. Believe me later. Charlie Strong will be coaching the U of L Cardinals next season.

But, as I also posted, I have no inside information. From close observation of Strong, it is my belief that he is not giving mere lip service when he expresses his gratitude for being hired and his loyalty to Tom Jurich for giving him the coaching opportunity. I truly believe that he may cut from a different bolt of cloth than the Todd Grahams of the profession.

I would be very surprised if Strong moves on after only three years. Especially now that Louisville is in an elite conference.

* * * * *

Frankly I don’t know whether Mark Stoops is a good hire at UK or not?

I certainly hope so. Many pundits more in the know than I think so.

His task is Herculean. But not impossible.

* * * * *

I was struck again last weekend while watching, as usual, more than my share of college football, how much I love its overtime rules.

I dare say it’s the most significant rule change in college sports in a long while. The only possible contender that immediately comes to mind is the institution of the three point shot in ’86-’87.

It’s just really exciting. And really fair.

* * * * *

In a last bit ugliness, I feel compelled to advise I finished my regular season picking games with my 3d losing record in the last four weeks. Only Ohio State — ugh — won for me. Southern Cal, Florida State, UK and U of L did not. I finished the year, 37-28.

– Seedy K

3 Comments

  1. fred
    Posted November 29, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Charlie Strong will be back next year if for no better reason than the Cards will be LOADED next year. As not the Biggest Big Blue fan around, I do hope Mark Stoops can get something done in Lexington. I have too many good friends who have been miserable for too long. However, when I read his bio the word Kragthorpe kept pulsing in my head: good guy, great assistant coach resume, coaching in the family….NO head coaching experience. Let hope this isn’t a reprise of the disaster that fell upon the UL football program.

  2. Wildcat
    Posted November 29, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    I was going to comment about your off the wall comments regarding Duke. But I am literally speechless. Stunned. Dumbfounded. To the point that I can’t even issue a rant.

  3. Seedy K
    Posted November 29, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    @Wildcat. Conference loyalty uber alles.

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