Jackson needs to keep breaking records to get Louisville to playoffs

Following the disappointing loss to Clemson, University of Louisville football fans are left to ponder the chances of UofL still making it to college football’s championship playoffs. Their hopes hinge heavily on the popularity of sophomore quarterback Lamar Jackson.

Lamar Jackson rewriting NCAA record books. (Cindy Rice Shelton photo)
Lamar Jackson rewriting NCAA record books. (Cindy Rice Shelton photo)

Right now, Louisville’s best shot for a playoff shot would be for Jackson and the Cardinals to take down an unbeaten Houston when the teams clash in Houston on Nov. 17. The college football world is hoping that happens because serious football fans want to see as much of Jackson as possible.

Jackson is on pace to become the first player in Football Bowl Subdivision history with 6,000 yards of total offense in a season, according to Kelly Dickey, UofL sports junky. The record is 5,976 yards.

Most fans would concede, however, that the odds getting to the playoffs are not great, not with nine undefeated teams in the top 10 of the Associated Press. Seventh-ranked UofL is the only team in that group not undefeated  after the first five weeks.

Louisville was so close to still being in that group, one yard from a first down, two yards from a game-winning touchdown with less than 40 seconds remaining in the game.

Like William Gay getting flagged for being offside on that failed Rutgers field goal attempt back in 2006, the memory of James Quick going down so easily a yard short a first down is going to stick with UofL fans for a long, long time.

While it’s true that one play or one player may not necessarily be responsible for losing a game, it can’t be denied that had a single play turned out differently that Louisville would be considered an odds-on favorite to make the playoffs this season.

UofL is going to need a lot of help to get there.  Alabama, Ohio State and Clemson are 1, 2, 3, respectively. Other traditional big-time programs like Michigan, Tennessee and Texas A&M, as well as Washington and Houston are serious contenders for one of the four playoff spots.

NCAA football betting odds for the slots are all over the place but at least one  source has Alabama and Ohio State at 5-2 odds, Clemson and Washington at 7-1, Houston and Louisville at 8-1, Michigan at 12-1 and Miami, Tennessee and Texas A&M at 20-1.

Forget about UofL getting to the ACC championship game. There’s just no way Clemson loses two more conference games. Louisville has to get back on the winning track and stay there, taking care of business against Houston and in the final home game against Kentucky.

Equally, if not more, important, Jackson must continue his record breaking pace. Along with that comes an immediate ratings boost for any network in a game in which he is involved.

He’s currently averaging 300.8 yards of total offense per game in his career, according to Dickey. He says Jackson is currently on pace to break the NCAA record of 63 total touchdowns in a season with 4:17 left in the second quarter vs. Kentucky on Nov. 26.

Rosenbaum leads UofL eruption past Ohio State

The sight of Blake Tiberi greeting Danny Rosenbaum at home plate is a welcome one for University of Louisville baseball fans, occurring twice on Saturday in UofL’s 15-3 romp over Ohio State.

Fun day for Brendan McKay on the mound and at the plate.
Fun day for Brendan McKay on the mound and at the plate.

Rosenbaum had homered and homered again, driving Tiberi across the plate in the third and one more time in the fourth inning.

The Louisville senior would come that close — within about three feet of the left field fence — of doing it still again in the fifth inning.

Batting seventh in the lineup, Rosenbaum is hitting at a .289 clip.  More than a third of his 55 hits this season have been for extra bases.  He now has 10 home runs, 12 doubles and a triple.

Louisville would bat around in third inning, burning Ohio State pitchers for eight hits and eight runs, taking a 10-0 lead in the third, increasing it to 14-0 through the fifth.

Brendan McKay shaking some recent doldrums, putting his pitching and hitting dips behind him, earning his 12th win against three losses.

Brendan set the offensive tone early with a towering two-run home run over the center field fence in the first inning.  Two hits on the day, driving in three runs. On the mound, he was denying the Buckeyes any glimpse of home plate and giving up only only three hits through his five and two-third innings.

Logan Taylor, batting ninth in the lineup, had three hits, including a double, and three runs batted in. Top of the order, bottom of the order, no place to relax for opposing pitchers on Saturday.

Photos and gallery courtesy of Cindy Rice Shelton:


Ohio State ends Louisville Soccer win streak

anthemNice start on a 74-degree night with gentle breezes as members the University of Louisville (in white uniforms) and Ohio State soccer teams line up for the National Anthem Tuesday at Lynn Stadium. Louisville would get 15 shots at the goal, most of them high and wide, compared to only six for Ohio State. The Buckeyes, however, would connect on one of theirs, winning 1-0 and ending UofL’s four-game win streak.

Fans not among the 2,817 in attendance would have enjoyed this one despite the outcome. The ACC-leading Cardinals travel to North Carolina State Friday and return home Tuesday for a match against Indiana.

Louisville Soccer leads nation in attendance, meets Ohio State

The University of Louisville  is leading the nation in college soccer attendance, averaging 5,193 fans per game.

Coach Ken Lolla
Coach Ken Lolla

Attendance has remained strong since the opening game when 7,047 witnessed a 1-0 win over then-ranked No. 2 Maryland in the first official men’s game in the new Dr. Mark & Cindy Lynn Stadium.  Maryland is second in attendance at 4,592 per match, while UConn is third at 4,038.

Ohio State arrives in Louisville for the 19th meeting between the two schools Tuesday at 7:30. The match is the 19th meeting between the schools in soccer. The series is tied 7-7-4.

Louisville, which has a 5-1-1 mark overall and is undefeated (3-0)in ACC action,  started a four-game winning streak with a 5-0 victory at home against Duke, followed by wins over Boston College, Kentucky and Pittsburgh.  Ohio State is 2-3-3.


Ohio State President gets stern warning

Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee is on the verge of being booted off the Columbus campus after his unseemly display of arrogance and ignorance.

Gee, Gee
Gee, Gee

Acting more like an incoming freshman, Gee had taken turns during a meeting insulting a wide range of schools and conferences Thursday, including the ACC, SEC, Big East, Louisville , Notre Dame and Kentucky. We’ll spare you any repetition or links to his remarks.

In a letter to Gee on behalf of the OSU board, Chairman Robert H. Schottenstein and Trustee Alex Shumate, the letter puts Gee on notice that inappropriate comments must stop. From the Columbus Dispatch:

“Although none of us expects this to be the case, should future instances take place, they could constitute cause for even more punitive action, including dismissal, and the board will have no choice but to take such action.”

To prevent future gaffes, the trustees laid out a plan that Gee must follow, starting with personal apologies to any groups he offended. Officials at Notre Dame yesterday said that he already had apologized to them.

Gee also sent a university-wide apology via email today, calling the December comments a “poor attempt at humor.”

“Quite simply, there is no excuse for my comments, which in no way reflect the core values of our university.”

That should hold him for a couple of months, but he’s on a short leash. What he really needs is a muzzle.