Grantham ends speculation, sticking with Louisville football

Todd Grantham happy here.
Todd Grantham happy here.

Todd Grantham is happy at the University of Louisville, thank you, reportedly turning down an offer to become the defensive coorinator with the Oakland Raiders.

A relieved Bobby Petrino made the announcement Wednesday, one week before the national signing day for college football.

“We’re very pleased and happy that Todd is going to be staying at the University of Louisville,” Petrino said. “He’s done a fabulous job with our defense that ranked in the top 10. He’s one of the finest assistant coaches in the country, and  you expect excellent coaches like Todd to get opportunities in the NFL. I’ve always had respect for the job that Todd has done throughout his career, especially this past year at Louisville, and we’re happy that he has and his family will continue to be members of the Cardinals’ family.”

Grantham, who is adding up frequent flyer miles on the recruiting trail, confirmed in a statement:

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to have interviewed for the defensive coordinator position with the Oakland Raiders, but I’m committed to the University of Louisville. I said when I came to Louisville that I thought we could win a national championship, and we are building toward that goal with the success we had this season. Coach Petrino and Tom Jurich have given me a great opportunity and I’m grateful for their commitment. My family loves it in Louisville, and I think we are establishing something special here with head coach Bobby Petrino and our staff. Our main objective over the next week is to finish strong in recruiting and continue to bolster this signing class.”

Case closed.

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.

Todd Grantham embraces UofL football aspirations

Thanks to the new playoff system, the college football landscape is changing. The University of Louisville is a position to take advantage of the new opportunities.

New defensive coordinator Todd Grantham believes UofL can contend for a national title. “When you look at what the vision of this athletic department, what it has done, and where it is going, how can you not be excited about Louisville,” he said during a press conference.

Petrino invests in Todd Grantham

Tgrantham

Think Bobby Petrino isn’t dead serious about going after a national championship for the University of Louisville football program? Think again. How about an assistant with a salary of $1 million per year.

Todd Grantham, defensive coordinator at Georgia the past four seasons, is headed north, for a similar position, leaving the Southeastern Conference for the opportunity to coach a unit that was ranked No. 1 in total defense this past season.

Just a year ago, Chip Kelly was reportedly attempting to persuade Grantham to be his defensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles. His 23-year career includes NFL stints with Indianapolis, Houston, Cleveland and Dallas and collegiate time at Virginia Tech and Michigan State.

More tangible evidence of Tom Jurich raising the bar again, providing his head coach with the resources he needs to attract top talent. Reaffirming that he intends for Louisville football to compete immediately in the Atlantic Coast Conference, beginning next season.

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Meanwhile, Chris Klenakis, former offensive line coach at Iowa State, spent his first day in Louisville Sunday preparing for similar duties with the Cardinals, and tweeting: