Congratulations to Big East brother West Virginia University for being voted No. 1 in the Coaches’ Poll this week. WVU is second in the BCS standings, less than seven tenths of a point behind Missouri.

The recognition has been a long time coming but few (the clueless Associated Press writers who voted Missouri tops in the AP Poll) can deny that the Mountaineers have earned their lofty ranking. Now comes the hard part, as any team that has been ranked No. 1 this year can tell you: Not getting beat by an unranked opponent in the next game.

Guess who the Mountaineers play next? None other than the Pittsburgh Panthers, their most hated rival, in a Saturday night game at Morgantown. Think it’s bad between U of L and UK? That’s a love fest compared to the WVU-Pitt rivalry. Don’t rely on past records to predict the outcome.

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Kolby Smith, one of the pieces missing from U of L’s offense this season, picked up 150 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries in his first start for the Kansas City Chiefs against Oakland. He was standing in for the injured Priest Holmes. Chiefs lost 20-17 but found a jewel.

— The men’s soccer team defeated Duke 1-0 at Cardinal Park Friday in the first round of NCAA tournament action. The Cards move on to the second round on Wednesday, squaring off against Ohio State at Columbus, Ohio at 5 p.m. Remember, Coach Ken Lolla (photo) has said the team’s goal is to win the national championship.

— The
women volleyball players have earned an invitation to the NCAA Volleyball Tournament. The Cards will open first round action against Middle Tennessee State University on Friday in a set to be played in Louisville. The Cards are 22-7 after dropping a set to Ohio University 3-2 Saturday.

— The women’s basketball team looks forward to its home opener against Florida at Freedom Hall at 2 p.m. next Sunday. The Cards defeated Chattanooga 80-53 in the title game of the Panera Classic behind Angel McCoughtry’s 28 points and 10 steals. Their won-loss record is 3-2.

U of L senior midfielder Janelle Avila was picked for the National Field Hockey Coaches Association All-America third team. A senior, Avila finished second on the school’s scoring list with 109 points.

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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.

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