Louisville Has Yet To Touch Bottom

The valley is bottomless.

One would think playing the nation’s fifth ranked team would get the adrenaline going, but the University of Louisville football team was listless.

Steve Kragthorpe’s team can and will play worse than it did against Cincinnati. Only a matter of time until it does.

This U of L team plays with effort but without a sense of purpose. Talented players struggle, stumble, fumble, get pushed around, come up short, even on good plays.

Cincinnati may have ripped any remnant of heart or fight, any hope of any improvement, possibly any illusions of self-respect.

South Florida will not tap the brakes with a 31-point lead in the second half. Neither will West Virginia and Rutgers.

Barren and bottomless.

  • If one has an offensive threat like Darius Ashley, a running back that Victor Anderson says is light speed ahead of him, why wait until the game is nearly out of reach to begin using him?
  • Bilal Powell, bless his heart, gets the call as starting running back.
  • Offensive tackle Byron Stingily keeps his string in tact, averaging one illegal movement per game.
  • Scott Long is receiving fewer passes now than when he was injured.
  • Opposing defenses have solved Trent Guy as a kickoff return threat.
  • Defense against the pass, any pass. Non-existent.
  • Quarterback controversy when third stringer Will Stein looks better than the people in front of him. Of course, he was competing against Cincinnati’s third stringers.







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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.

8 thoughts on “Louisville Has Yet To Touch Bottom

  • October 24, 2009 at 6:54 pm
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    The one and only bright spot in the game was Darius Ashley. How in the hell did we steal him away from Brian Kelly?

  • October 24, 2009 at 7:17 pm
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    I sort of disagree with the observer, at least in the timing of reaching the bottom. My take is that we first reached it while struggling at home to beat the worst team in college football, and we have been bouncing along the bottom ever since.
    Each ‘bright spot’ is only a momentary improvement, in comparison to the embarrassing plays before–and the frustrating plays coming soon.
    Get used to it. Another Orange Bowl is five years away. A good team is at least two years away–maybe three.
    And basketball will pay the bills until then.
    Just trying to cheer up the observer. 🙂

  • October 24, 2009 at 7:37 pm
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    I listened to the game on line with WLW’s streaming audio. They had very little, let’s change that, nothing positive to say about SK but several negatives.

    And they pointed out we called one time out because we had 12 players on the field and another because we had 10. And we used our last 2nd half time out in the THIRD quarter. SK’s organizational skills could screw up a one car funeral which the way this season is going will be his.

  • October 24, 2009 at 8:22 pm
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    It is embarrassing that the U of L football players are stuck with coaches whose best days are long gone. This collection of former head coaches and rejects from other colleges deserve to be unemployed. I cannot believe that TJ approves their paychecks every week. At the very least he should insist that a tied blue ribbon be around each one to signify what it truly is – a gift. The fans deserve better, the players deserve better and the alumni deserve better. Kragthorpe and crew have no shame and certainly have no place in the Big East.

  • October 24, 2009 at 11:46 pm
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    The tone and attitude in Nippert Stadium was set very early this afternoon, way before the opening kickoff. Small groups of Cardinal fans, huddling and talking in resigned tones about hoping the score didn’t get too far out of reach. Speculating which UC quarterback would do the most damage to our beleagured and undermanned defense.

    Cincy fans, for the most part were understanding and condescending. You see, they’ve been there before, fairly recently and know the highs and low associated with coaching changes and unfufilled promises. Refusing to believe that Brian Kelly would desert them now, centainly not at the pinnacle of Bearcat football success.

    Kickoff and the ensuing beatdown that followed was almost anti-climatic…a chapter we all knew was waiting in this book but were afraid to turn to.

    And the difference is this, the talent pool somewhat skewed in their favor but the coaching decisions light years different. You stretch for positives…temporarily get your hopes up after crawling to a 11 point deficit…but the beatdown comes.

    Take solace that not all the Cardinal football players have cashed it in and are going thru the motions. Know that the Cards are dinged up, disorganized and deflated from the play against superior opponents. But also realize that unimaginative playcalling, personnel decisions and general confusion concerning a game that Cincinnati made look so easy this afternoon gave way to a lot of reflection on the trip back this evening.

    It’s broke, we can’t seem to fix it and it could stay that way for several more years.

    • October 25, 2009 at 9:07 am
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      Even with a coaching change of great improvement (any change would be a big improvement) we would still be in a three to four year rebuild mode.

      I think faster, better organized practices and better evaluation of personnel would show some immediate improvement but we really need to reload the roster. We are thin and slow. Recruiting has had a few good results but in general the players brought in by Kragthorpe are nowhere near the caliber of those recruited by Petrino or even John L.

      I had to gag reading Howie Lindsay’s remarks in his rag about how wonderful recruiting is going with 15 commitments. Howie needs to be committed. Certainly some players are undervalued and turn out to be far better players than anticipated (Leflors, Dumervil to name a couple) but at least three of the 15 received no offers other than UofL. And at least 6 received no other BCS offers. That means at least two thirds of the class fall into the “project” catagory. Even if our new coach is a great evaluator/recruiter it will take years to undo the damage created by Kragthorpe (and by his not getting canned after year two).

  • October 25, 2009 at 11:00 am
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    To put the Kragthorpe era in terms of bar ownership.

    I’ve made “last call”, my waitresses are cleaning tables for the final time tonight, I’ve got a fresh pot of coffee on for those who might need a switch in beverages and I’m restocking the coolers for tomorrow.

    The dozen or so who gathered here yesterday specifically to watch the Cards v. Bearcats were mostly Cincy fans and they had a great time. The Cardinal couple that was here quietly paid their tab at the end of the third quarter and left. THe UT fans darn near tore the place apart until the final.

  • October 25, 2009 at 5:55 pm
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    cbcard has it right but the sooner we start this process the better. Card fans need something to give us hope and create some excitement. If the team has no depth and is looking for able bodies in the secondary (again), whose shoulders does that fall on (can’t still be blaming Bobby? We need to go another direction with our coaching. I believe everyone is in agreement. The only variable is time. “No doubt about it”. Let’s get this party started.

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