U.S. vs. Sypher: Not an open and shut case

Be prepared.

The curtain rises Monday on the United States vs. Karen Sypher trial, the beginning of a two-week circus. Sex, money, celebrity. lunacy. All there.

Here’s an intriguing primer, an interview by WHAS-TV’s Adam Walser of former federal prosecutor Kent Wicker (a Bobby Petrino look-alike) on what to expect, including things that could go wrong during the trial:

Oklahoma Scribe Likes Louisville For Big Twelve

Yeah, more conference expansion blather …

And wouldn’t it be fun lining up across from a Bobby Petrino team?

Guess which school the largest newspaper in the Oklahoma believes would be the best candidate for Big Twelve Conference expansion if that league were successful in getting Arkansas to return.

Barry Tramel,  writing for The Oklahoman, says it would be the University of Louisville, keeping in mind that conference commissioner Dan Beebe has said the conference will not expand beyond its current five-state configuration:

  • “Comes from a decent-sized television market, No. 49 in the U.S., which is bigger than Memphis, New Orleans and Buffalo.
  • “Has a solid athletic program; in the 2000s, Louisville has won the Orange Bowl in football and reached the men’s Final Four, the women’s basketball NCAA championship game and the College World Series.
  • “Is an adequate geographic fit. Louisville is 508 miles from Kansas City, Mo. Boulder, Color is 622 miles from KC. Kentucky borders Missouri.
  • “Might be interested. The Big East is more vulnerable than the Big 12. The Big East reportedly is contemplating Central Florida and Memphis, which is not the kind of football move that will ensure long-term viability.”

His other candidates, in order, were Brigham Young, New Mexico, Air Force, Memphis, Pittsburgh, and Cincinnati.

Urban Meyer Steadies The Dominoes, For Now

The ground beneath the college football world was quaking, the coaching dominoes teetering, athletic directors shaking, fans hyperventilating …

But wait a minute. Florida football coach Urban Meyer, well, now he’s just going to take an indefinite leave of absence. Not retiring just yet. Gator fans not sure how to handle the news, may never entirely forgive him for the uncertainty … unless he returns as a winner, of course.

A lot of people can relax, at least for a while, especially the athletic directors at Arkansas, Mississippi State and Oklahoma, the respective homes of Bobby Petrino, Dan Mullen and Bob Stoops. Their coaches may have been at the top of the list for Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley’s list if Meyer had stayed retired.

Foley’s first instinct may have been to hire a replacement with head coaching experience for Meyer. However, the pressure to hire Charlie Strong would have been huge. Immensely popular with Florida fans and recruits, he was the logical choice, having been an integral part of the program’s success the past seven seasons.

A huge reprieve for Tom Jurich at the University of Louisville. Twelve hours of uncertainty over Strong’s future. After three-nightmarish seasons during the Steve Kragthorpe era, Jurich had to be dreading still another coaching search. The latest episode, though mercifully brief, underscores the scale of Jurich’s challenges in maintaining a successful football program at Louisville.

Tomorrow’s another day, and Urban Meyer could change his mind again.

Urban Meyer Gone, Whither Charlie Strong

[stextbox id=”custom”]Florida’s Urban Meyer has announced that he is stepping down as University of Florida football coach. How that affects Louisville and Charlie Strong remains to be seen. Meyer had to have been thinking about this for quite a while. Mr. Strong was probably in the know as well

Florida fans are already going nuts, every other Tweet from the Sunshine State mentioning Strong after expressing shock about Meyer. Anything can happen now if Strong is interested in that job. Contracts be damned when it comes to football and coaches. Strong’s contract terms.

Some heavy duty decisions to be made in the days ahead. Charlie Strong shed tears in accepting the Louisville coaching position. At any rate, it is already desperation time for Gator fans, many of whom seem to have already forgotten the beating Alabama handed the Florida defense.

(Tip for Florida AD Jeremy Foley: Bobby Petrino will leave Arkansas at the drop of a hat. That’s his agent calling you now.)


Greg Nord May Be Leaving Louisville

The coaching carousel goes round and round.

Greg Nord is reportedly leaving the University of Louisville as an assistant football coach to join Paul Petrino who is said to be joining coach Ron Zook’s staff at Illinois as the new offensive coordinator.

Greg Nord
Greg Nord

Paul has worked on the staff of his brother Bobby Petrino for the past seven years, with stints at Louisville, the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL and at the University of Arkansas. He was among the interviewees for the head coaching position at Western Kentucky in November.

Nord has been the one constant among assistant coaches at U of L for 15 years, having served along side coaches Ron Cooper, John L. Smith, Bobby Petrino and Steve Kragthorpe. He had strong ties to the Louisville area and is widely respected by high school football coaches throughout the state.

Illinois was in the market for an offensive coordinator after Zook fired four coaches — including offensive coordinator Mike Schultz — last week following the Illini’s 3-9 season. Illinois ranked 50th in the nation.

Louisville football will have an entirely new look next season, at least on the sidelines.