University of Louisville fans want coach Steve Kragthorpe to be confident about the upcoming football season, want him to turn things around, get on the winning track. Right?Brochure

That’s debatable, especially among those who threw in the towel halfway through the 2008 season. Those fans still hanging in,  hoping for the best, might be a little encouraged by the Kragthorpe’s optimistic tone in a solicitation for the 2009 Kickoff Luncheon, August 13th:

“We are ready to set our sights on a Big East title and a trip to postseason play. We have a solid crew of veterans and a good nucleus that is poised to put the Cardinals in the thick of the Big East race. Led by senior wide receiver Scott Long and locals Doug Beaumont and Victor Anderson, the offense promises to be one to watch in 2009. Second team All Big East linebacker Jon Dempsey, defensive tackle L. T. Walker and safety Richard Raglin lead a hard-hitting and attacking-style defense that is primed to get after the opposition … Everyone associated with the football program looks forward to a promising 2009 campaign … “

One might expect the coach to be little more reserved, even if it is a brief paragraph in  a brochure. But, hey, it’s Kragthorpe’s team, and he apparently wants to build expectations for the faithful, as opposed to none for those lacking patience.

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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.

6 thoughts on “Kragthorpe Sets Sights For Louisville Football”
  1. There is negative talk and then there is realistic talk. When it comes to speaking of Kragthorpe they are the same.

  2. Man, I’m sure glad all Cards fans aren’t like you. You know next to nothing about Brent Guy and nothing at all about the role fans play in help motivating a team. The negative talk gets us nothing.

  3. Yes, I think the program will be OK…in the long run.

    Perhaps we will even surprise some people this year and be better than Phil Steele thinks.

    Sitting around getting pissed before they even play the games won’t help.

    I mean, c’mon!

    1. your blind optimism isn’t rubbing off on me. I am still in my 20’s but have been at lease 50-60 UofL football games in my lifetime. Been to a Liberty Bowl, the Gator Bowl, and the Orange Bowl. The point of all that is I know have been around this program long enough to know when it is sour. The defense is going to be bad, without any real talent other than Dempsey and Patrick, add to the loss of one of the best defensive minds in the game in English. This fella Guy, is a mediocre defensive coach at best. English’s work last year was nothing short of a miracle with the talent or lack there of. And the offense, like I said no QB, no ofensive line. I’ll wager what ever that this team doesnt win 5 games next year. I know football, and this will be the worst team since, well heck I can’t remember, maybe Cooper’s last year.

  4. You know, reading this blurb almost makes me think they may be pretty good. This is a pretty good nucleus for a team. The main question, I think, will be depth.

    Kragthorpe has to tout his team–remember that he has two audiences: his team, as well as fans. A reserved attitude will definitely not get his players pumped, nor show that he has faith in them and in his system.

    He would not be the first coach–or even the first bad coach–to take an underrated team to a lot of wins.

    And remember there was a time when no one had ever heard of Stefan LeFors. Only Louisville recruited him out of high school–not even Ball State and Akron. He was first a big question mark, and then a pleasant surprise, in 2003. So don’t assume that we won’t have a quarterback.

    Kragthorpe will get one more year, perhaps two, to bring the program back. With a larger stadium, much improved facilities, and Jurich’s committment, we will be OK in the long run.

    1. OK…, you think the program will be ok? Heres the deal, this team will be the underdog in 9 games, 9 games. UofL will start the season off with the a terrible Indiana State team that won’t prepare them for anything especially a tough defense in UK. So UofL starts the season 1-1, after that you have have an impossible task of a road game at Utah, now they are 1-2. Pitt has to much talent to lose to this UofL team, so now the Cards are 1-3. Fans will be already pissed going 0-3 against the Cats and the Southern Miss game will only have 30k, maybe less to watch the Cards blow a late lead to a streaking spred offense team. So a 1-4 start for a team that lacks defensive depth… this is a bad schedule and once this team gets off to a bad start, its over. Whoever the QB is, he won’t get comfortable until mid or late in the season, that is if he isn’t replaced by whoever the 2nd stringer is. By the middle of the season the defensive depth will once again start to show. I really only see 3 wins with this team, maybe 4. Thats a Kragthorpe rebuilding year. I guess thats ok, 4-8? Please the only thing that sucks is that Krag has ruined it for whoever is next due to no depth and little talent. Jeeez how did it get so bad so quick? Oh wait the guy is in way over his head and its gonna take 3 years for everyone to figure it out.

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