Louisville Football Halfway There?

Thoughts going into the Louisville vs. Kentucky football game:

  • Now we know exactly what Tom Jurich meant when he declared a little over a year ago that U of L football was in a rebuild mode, adding “I just hope we can get through it.” The negative talk directed at Louisville coach Steve Kragthorpe is off the charts in some quarters (i.e., messsage boards).
  • Would anything be sweeter than force feeding the garbage talk down the throats of the haters? Some sound a lot like Alabama fans going after Mike Shula a couple of years ago. But Shula had one 10-2 season and Alabama had five decades of tradition.
  • Louisville’s opening game was the longest, most boring game the observer has seen in all of his years of watching U of L football. Maybe there was a reason for that, as in showing absolutely nothing to a hated arch rival. One can always hope. Make that one must hope.
  • There’s a lot of talk about Louisville’s explosive backs. Victor Anderson is, for sure. But Bilal Powell didn’t show anything last season. And Darius Ashley has yet to set foot in a college football game.
  • If U of L’s wide receivers are a strong point, we have yet to see that either. Scott Long and Trent Guy have spent almost as much time nursing injuries as playing games. Josh Chichester is far from being a proven receiver. Doug Beaumont has yet to find the end zone. Troy Pascley shows only flashes.
  • How will Justin Burke respond to the UK wall of noise. There has been at least one estimate that 80,000 people will show up a Commonwealth Stadium. That would be standing room only in a 67,600-seat stadium. If Burke was nervous against Indiana State, he could be a basket case in Lexington.
  • Ryan Tydlacka, brother of former U of L kicker Wade Tydlacka, kicking for Kentucky when Louisville’s kicking game is among the needy.
  • U of L has 21 players from the Ville. Kentucky has 15. How long will it take them to overtake U of L at the current pace?
  • Tom Jurich said two years for the rebuild. We’re just a little over the halfway point.

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Charlie Springer

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

6 thoughts on “Louisville Football Halfway There?

  • September 18, 2009 at 9:30 am
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    Just a couple of points on your points:
    On your 1st point: I’d just like to note that that quote came after the Syracuse loss, and the week before Tom Jurich was quoted “I’m upset that we lost to Kentucky, but we still have an excellent shot to make a BCS bowl.” Just puttin that out there…
    On your 2nd Point: A lot of haters would love to see a victory too. It’s just that nothing that Steve Kragthorpe has shown us in the last two years would suggest that it is probable, especially after the last two games, (ISU and Rutgers). While we would gladly change our tune if we were presented with evidence that things were getting turned around in the form of a win over UK, are you willing to change your tune and start questioning the competance and capabilities of Steve Kragthorpe if we are blown out by UK?
    Finally to your last point: Have you seen any evidence over current rebuilding process to suggest anything is actually being built? Or is what we are witnessing is the “rebuilding” of a consistant 7-10 win/season program into a 3-6 win/season program?

  • September 18, 2009 at 9:35 am
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    I think about half my points were expressing doubt in Kragthorpe, including the final point.

  • September 18, 2009 at 10:04 am
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    The rebuild is akin to raising the Titantic. With the Skipper and Gilligan in charge of the operation. Ryan Tydlacka is just one of a half dozen in this state that might have been in the Cardinal camp…if we had recruited them.

  • September 19, 2009 at 9:59 am
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    Evidence of a re-build or a turn-around would come in the form of signs of improvement such as better tackling, more imaginative play calling, improved player development and actual defensive schemes (rather than just reacting to whomever has the ball). So far, none of this is evident. I do feel we have good athletes who are not being well coached.

  • September 19, 2009 at 10:48 am
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    Get your game face on. Doesn’t help being defeatist with less than a half hour before the kickoff.

  • September 23, 2009 at 2:14 pm
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    That 10-2 season was enough to get Shula a big contract extension. But any sweetness people got from “force feeding the garbage talk down the throats of the haters” went out the window very quickly when they went 6-7 the next year and canned Shula.

    You can also look at a guy like Ron Turner at Illinois who basically improved the program year-after-year to a great 10-2 season and then went down the toilet over the next few (5-7, 1-11, 3-8).

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