Georgia better football foe than LSU for Louisville

Thanks, LSU.

According to some, the LSU administration was insecure about its ability to sell tickets for an LSU-UofL matchup in the Music City Bowl and, as a result, the University of Louisville football team will be playing Georgia in the Belk Bowl on Jan. 30.

While the traveling distance — an eight hour drive to Charlotte as opposed to 2 1/2 hours to Nashville — is a concern to some Cardinals’ fans, the actual matchup is even better, with UofL ranked 20th, Georgia 13th in the final College Football Playoff ranking.

If the claim is true, Louisiana is mired in the mid-Sixties about football perceptions. Reportedly using its clout to lobby for what it perceived to be a bigger name opponent, LSU was able to get Notre Dame, practically guaranteeing a win over a traditional power.

Steve Kragthorpe
Steve Kragthorpe

Or, shudder to think that Steve Kragthorpe, a former UofL football coach fired after three disastrous seasons, may have had a hand in the decision. Kragthorpe is listed on LSU’s roster as Chief of Staff and Special Assistant to the Head Coach. Hard to imagine him wanting LSU to run up against Louisville.

We get it that UofL fans should be insulted by what LSU fans would perceive as a sleight. What they can’t comprehend from their exalted view is that the University of Louisville is a respected football institution, with two BCS bowls to its credit and a member of the club. Typical SEC pretentiousness, we suspect.

LSU Football Coach Les Miles also may have had visions of getting his butt handed to him in Nashville, with as many as 35,000 University of Louisville fans witnessing the humiliation. That possibility would have been a bit much for a school whose universe revolves around Tiger Stadium with its 102,321 seats and its football legacy. So Miles settles for a ho-hum matchup against Notre Dame.

Would Louisville fans like to have played LSU in the Music City Bowl? Of course, but a game matching up two of college football’s better teams from the 2014 season means much more.

UofL Defensive Coordinator Todd Grantham left Georgia last year to join Coach Bobby Petrino. Grantham spent four years as Georgia’s defensive coordinator where his defense was among the nation’s best in 2011. Louisville’s defense is currently ranked sixth in overall defense this season.

The Belk Bowl will be one of only 10 bowls this year that has two ranked teams competing against each other.

Dexter Heyman earns Howard Schnellenberger Award

Former University of Louisville coach Howard Schnellenberger gets together with Dexter Heyman prior to the Paul Hornung Award ceremonies.

Mike Ditka, better known as “Iron Mike” to his associates in the NFL, had an urgent plea for Dexter Heyman during the Paul Hornung Award ceremonies Thursday at the Galt House.

Mike Ditka

“Young man, if you don’t carry on in professional football, get your ass into politics,” said the former coach of the Chicago Bears. “We need people like you in public office.”

Heyman, who played defensive linebacker at the University of Louisville, was the recipient of the Howard Schnellenberger Award which is presented to the outstanding player in the annual U of L-Kentucky football game. He had four tackles and four tackle assists and forced a fumble in U of L’s 24-17 win.

Before accepting the award, the well-spoken Heyman had described the unselfish atmosphere in the U of L football program, the emphasis on academics and the importance of applying lessons learned in football and school to life.

Dexter Heyman

Defensive Coordinator Vance Bedford introduced Heyman in his own inimitable way, describing Heyman as a rock solid citizen who will do well in whatever he chooses to do. He also promised the packed Archibald Cochran Room that Louisville would never relinquish the Howard Schnellenberger trophy.

The Paul Hornung Award for college football’s most versatile player during the 2011 season went to Brandon Boykin of the University of Georgia.

Louisville Commit: Big, Bad B. J. Butler

Intriguing, the University of Louisville’s latest football commitment, the kind of player who’s been missing the past couple of seasons — big, talented, aggressive and, apparently, with some discipline issues.

B. J. Butler, a 6-foot-3, 225-pound athlete from Kissimmee Osceola, Fla., has decommited from the University of Georgia to play for U of L’s Charlie Strong, having declared to the Orlando Sentinel: “”Coach Strong, he’s just a real person. He’s a good coach, a good friend. He’ll teach you right from wrong and get you right.”

Rated a four-star recruit by Rivals, Butler played quarterback and defensive end in high school. He was suspended by his high school coach for his final two games.

Butler had some issues with getting right toward the end of his senior year, when Osceola Coach Jeff Rolson suspended him for the final two games for ‘disciplinary reasons.’ “It wasn’t an argument or anything like that,” said Butler, who would have been reinstated had Osceola been able to get past Lakeland in the state quarterfinals. “They said I was uncoachable and disrespectful. They told me to hit the house, so I hit the house.”

He will bring something else that’s been missing as well– a pass rush if this youtuber is any indication:

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