Remember the march to the Orange Bowl. How indestructible University of Louisville football seemed to be? One went to every game confident of winning, expecting a big gainer every play. Fans planning their Christmas holidays around annual bowl appearances.
The bawdiness that was Louisville football, a team dispatching the most of the opposition with impunity. Fans traveling to away games en masse. The really big one, the Orange Bowl, the BCS game in 2006, attracting between 35,000 and 40,000 Louisville fans to Miami.
That was then, this is now.
Fans packing Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in the opener, hoping for some improvement from a Steve Kragthrope-coached team after three years. Only to be disappointed. Only 23,000-plus showing for 12th and final game, still wanting some improvement, any signs of progress. Only to be disappointed.
The 2009 season finally ends with a 4-8 won-lost record, the wins over teams mediocre to poor. Any play over five yards considered good, anything above that surprising. The only threat Louisville can muster being the Trent Guy offense, the occasional breakaway punt and kickoff returns.
Anyone expecting anything much different during a fourth season of Kragthorpe is going to be disappointed. He won’t be on the sideline.