Was the five-point loss to UConn simply a disappointment that fans should consider as part of a growing process, or was it a symptom of a much larger problem? After all, a couple of wins can quickly change more than a few minds. Persuasive arguments can be made for either case but it was good to get a broader perspective from some Card Game visitors.  Here are some excerpts; for the full responses visit the comments section:

From R Stanton Scott:

The man can plainly recruit quality players. He kept Anderson and Beaumont–obviously the core of a future stud offense–in Louisville. He got Bilal Powell, also a future star. Phil Simms thinks enough of him to keep his kid at Louisville. And he did all this less than a month after his hiring in January last year.

My point is that Louisville has no chance to build a consistent winner and traditional power by bringing in a new coach every year until we accidently get into a bowl. This breeds Petrinoism—mediocre coaches who come in, win, and go for the big bucks. Besides, if it’s all about the coach, why is Petrino getting killed in Fayetteville?

Louisville has just now begun to build the facilities that attract young players. We are putting kids into the NFL. We have started to build a fan base and tradition. But this all takes years, and we have to keep plugging and take the good with the bad.

To be sure, Kragthorpe may not be the man for the job. But until his recruits are seniors, and players scouted by the previous regime are gone, we won’t really know. I say let’s give the guy a chance, and I predict success if we keep doing what we are doing (and keep Ron English–high school cornerbacks will want to play for him).

From David:

This team is still playing for the coaches. There are serious holes in key positions though. You have to give them time to plug those holes. We are also a very young/inexperienced team. This game, although painful to the fans, was a great experience for the team in learning how you have to continue to execute down the stretch.

I don’t understand the over-emotional reaction to a tough loss to a team that was loaded with veterans who knew how to close out a game. Some things are taught, but only learned through experience. You have to give them time.

From Sonja:

The time to rally behind the Cards is now. Just as the Southern Miss game back then [a devastating 30-point loss early in a 1-10 season in 1997] was a turning point in a season…the Memphis game could prove to be a bellweather for the rest of the 2008 season. Capture a win in the Liberty bowl, and the Cards will have the momentum and confidence to take down a good Middle Tennessee team at Papa John’s.

Keep supporting these guys, there are a ton of rough and unpolished diamonds on this roster that could become brilliant showpieces with a little care, maintenance and support. Instead of jumping off the ship, grab a friend and bring them out for the rest of this cruise.

As Yogi Berra used to say, “It ain’t over till it’s over.” and your support over these next three games is crucial to a team tottering on the brink of either success or failure.

Meanwhile …

Joe is hopeful that Tom Jurich “will in due time admit this mistake and get us the coach we need to sustain a quality football program. I just hope it’s in time to hold onto the faithful who have donated and followed this program to the heights we have experienced the past nine years.”

Shannon believes that U of L has had stronger recruiting in the past and fears that Cards may have to resort to some “last minute Christmas shopping for junior college recruits.”

Personally, this observer can’t remember U of L ever having more than five or six recruits at this time of the year. John L, remember, wouldn’t tell us anything.

Finally, Wes, just wants to dump the coach, implying that anyone who even debates the wisdom of a quick firing is somehow overly supportive of the current head coach.

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.