Battle of the Bluegrass (The Governor’s Cup)

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– THE BEAK Governor’s Cup Preview: Louisville is back at home and looking for 2 in a row over Kentucky


This Sunday our Louisville Cardinals  will square off against the Kentucky Wildcats in the classic instate rivalry game in Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. The game starts at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. With a 24-17 win last year the Cardinals will be looking for their 2nd in a row over the Cats. The last time UofL won two in a row in this series was in 05 and 06.

Since the inception of the Governor’s Cup in 1994, each team has recorded a maximum of a four-game winning streak with Louisville winning from 2003-06 and Kentucky taking the Cup home from 2007-10. The Cardinals’ win last year prevented Kentucky from winning the Governor’s Cup for a record fifth-straight year. Kentucky leads the all-time series with a record of 14-10. U of L has lead the series since 1994 with a record of 10-8. The Cards go into this game listed as a double-digit favorite by many of the Las Vegas sports books.






On paper, it looks to me like Louisville has an advantage with linebackers, offensive line, defensive backs, wide receivers, and running backs. Louisville also has the advantage at the quarterback position with home field. These are two big ones.The only advantage that I would give to Kentucky in this game is on the defensive line and in the kicking game. These are slight advantages in my opinion.

The Battle of the Bluegrass really shouldn’t be that much of a battle at all. These are two programs going in very different directions. But in these rivalry games you never really know for sure as UK found out last year.

The Beak’s Prediction:
Louisville 27 Kentucky 10
Louisville will win the Governor’s Cup for the second straight year

The Beak’s Pediction for the
Howard Schnellenberger Award:

My prediction for the award this year is QB Teddy Bridgewater who will finish 17 of 24 for 198 yards with one rushing TD. I believe he will win this award due to his game management.

The 2010 game was the inaugural year for the award. The award is given to the Most Valuable Player of the game. It is named for Howard Schnellenberger, who played under Bear Bryant for Kentucky and coached at Louisville.
Previous winners:
-(9-04-2010) Derrick Locke, RB@ Kentucky had 23 Carries, 104 Yards, for 2 TD’s
-(9-17-2011) Dexter Heyman, LB@ Louisville had 12 Tackles & 1 Forced Fumbles

The weather looks to be wet for the game on Sunday as Hurricane Isaac rolls through the Ohio Valley. It will be the perfect storm. A RED STORM in Papa Johns Cardinal Stadium.

THE BEAK DAILY (Big football recruiting weekend)

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– Big recruiting weekend for football program

This Sunday is a big football game for the University of Louisville. It will set the tone for the entire season, and could have major implications on recruiting. On the sidelines, a talented cast, of almost 50 unofficial visitors. 

Though Charlie Strong and his staff will no doubt be occupied with the team in blue and white, they’ll be spending some time thinking about the biggest visiting weekend Louisville has seen in a long time.

Headlining the list are 2013 in-state stars James Quick, Kyle Bolin, Jason Hatcher, Ryan White and James Quick, and out of state stars Jalen Ramsey, Makail Grace and Jonathan Howard.

You will see a lot of guys in this group that are from the state of Kentucky. Coach Strong was ask Monday about in-state recruiting and if this game Sunday means anything:

“Look at in-state recruiting and all the good guys are leaving. We just have to find a way to keep them home.”

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UofL Football’s “Meet the Press”

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– UofL’s “Meet the Press”


We are just 6 days away from the gridiron version of the “Battle of the Bluegrass”. Today Coach Strong and senior OL member Alex Kupper met with the press.

The theme of this press conference was that of humility and playing hungry. Strong said “We’re just not good enough yet to turn the switch on and off.”, “We have to understand the expectations are high but preparation is the key to fulfilling those expectations. We have to pay attention to the small details.” Coach Strong praised his opponent saying that “UK is a very good football team, similar to us in a lot of ways”;”UK has some outstanding players. In a rivalry game, everyone is excited but this is two very good teams”

Coach Strong then talked about his team:

Teddy QB- “Teddy is more of a student of the game.” Says he had a really good preseason camp and “improved a lot.”

RB’s- “We still have Tuesday and Wednesday to go and then we’ll sit down with the offensive staff. We still have three good RBs sitting there and it will be one of the three and whomever we pick is going to be the feature guy.”, He says D. Brown, Wright, and Perry are all very good players. The winner of the battle will have earned it & will do a good job. Strong said, “There will be a featured back.”

WR’s- Coach Strong said that the WR position “has been the surprise position of preseason camp” He like the development of Copeland, Andrell Smith and says “We have enough receivers, we have enough guys there. We lost a really good football player in Michaelee Harris but that position had a really good fall camp.”

OL- Charlie says about the O-line that they have five returning players with starts from last season. Says they feel very good about it and that it’s really gelling as a group. Strong said “In the trenches is where it has to happen” “We feel really good”

DL- Coach Strong says that they have some depth and have lots of guys who will help. Says they have plenty of talent to succeed.

LB’s/Secondary- Strong “have enough depth at LB position, and return four starters in secondary” Strong repeatedly said “we have enough guys”, Says “Durant has just had an outstanding camp, like his whole attitude and the way he’s working”

Special Teams- Coach strong mentioned that he was very concerned about the kicking game. Says “A concern for me is the kicking game. I’ll tell you right now, I’m not really pleased with how it’s going in the kicking game” Strong says “no consistency.” Added that Nakatani and Wallace are missing too many FGs in practice and said punting unit also not consistent. “Might be 50 yards one time and 20 the next.”

Some other points from the press conference by Coach Strong:

Game Plan: “We want to run the ball. If you’re strong up front, and UK has a strong defensive fron, they can create issues for you”

On Leadership: Strong “despite only having 9 seniors, those guys are leading. With so many young guys, they do play and they’ve been challenged to lead.”

Bryce McNeil: “Left on his own. Always say when get transfer, this program is not for everybody. Some can handle it, some can’t.”

On the favorite/Underdog: Says we’re going to be the hunter. We will go out on the field with the mentality that we’re always the underdog. “We haven’t talked about preseason ranking, it’s where you finish”

Emotions: “We must control emotion and make sure guys aren’t too fired up”. Says they “must channel that energy into executing properly”.

Camp: “We’ve had some really good hitting practices. I think I need to back away a little now”, “This has been a very physical camp for us”, Says he tells his guys “Don’t punch that clock. Keep working.”

Governor’s Cup effect on recruiting: “Look at in-state recruiting and all the good guys are leaving. We just have to find a way to keep them home.”

Next up was Senior O LINE member Alex Kupper: He talked about how tough training camp had been but did say that there were fewer reps due to the depth. He mentioned expectations and said they must handle it one game at a time and said that this team hasn’t even scratched the surface on how good they can be. Then talked about facing UK’s defensive line: “It’ll be a challenge but we have to face it. They’ve gone against big time offenses and offensive lines.”

Other notes from Kupper:

On RB’s- Said that they have great confidence in Brown, Wright and Perry. Says all 3 guys have great talent and all 3 can help the team win.

On Humility- Says they must stay humble. Says they haven’t done anything yet and that you can’t expect to just roll the ball out and win. He said they must execute and “Play UofL football”

On “The Rivalry”- “It’s a big game for this program and a big game to the state. Newcomers will know how big the game is on Sunday”

Very informative press conference today and it seems like Coach Strong and Alex are very focused on the task at hand. I really like the things that I heard from them today. Kick-off now just 6 days away folks.

4 Louisville Offers Played in Elite 24 tonight

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– 4 Louisville Offers in Elite 24

The Under Armour Elite 24 is a celebration of streetball’s past, present and future. This event has existed for 6 years and has become the premiere event of the summer. The first four were at Rucker Park, and the last two years at Venice Beach. This years event was held at Venice beach.

Among the 24 participants this year were Louisville offers Isaac Hamilton, Jermaine Lawrence, and Marcus Lee from the 2013 class. And Rashad Vaughn from the 2014 class. Vaughn was a late add after another player couldn’t make it to the event.


Ultimately, the 164-138 win for the Brandon Jennings-coached Raymond Lewis Squad over the Kyrie Irving-coached Marques Johnson Squad did turn into a giant fastbreak, but not till the last five minutes—and that was the fault of whoever drafted the teams, not the game’s format.


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-Louisville Cardinals 6th best in the nation


Using a point system devised by the ESPN Stats & Information department, counted down the 50 most successful programs of the past 50 years. 

Our Louisville Cardinals come in at number six in that countdown. Our program has previously been named the seventh best all-time basketball program by Street and Smith’s, The Sporting News, and CBS Sportsline. 

Our program has been in 38 NCAA Tournaments ranked 5th, have 64 tournament wins ranked 6th, been to 9 Final Fours ranked 6, have 1662 wins that ranks 16, and have a winning percentage of .658 that ranks 8th nationally.

I’m very proud of our program and it’s achievements over the past 50 years. Looking forward to the next 50 years of Cardinal basketball. And looking forward to watching the program add to these already impressive numbers. 

Go Cards!

Beak Basketball Notes:

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The Beak basketball notes:

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We are a little over two weeks from the start of the 2012 Louisville Football season but the buzz about basketball hasn’t stopped.

We are right in the middle of the recruiting period. Recruits are making their college choices and planning their official visits. Recently some Louisville targets have made some of those plans known.

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Jordan Mickey: He is one of the most sought after power forwards in the 2013 class. Mickey will cut his list of suitors at the end of the month and Louisville is expected to be on it. He told Alex Schwartz of NBE Basketball in June that, “A style of play that fits me would be a team that likes to run, get up and down.” Rick Pitino’s up-tempo offensive system would qualify. I look for the Cardinals to be a serious consideration for Mickey.

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Marcus Lee: He is arguably the top big man in the Class of 2013. We learned this week that Lee has set an official visit to Louisville and will be on campus Sep. 8th. The 6-foot-9 power forward is great at scoring in transition and has a soft touch around the basket. Though he needs to add weight to his lanky frame, Lee can block shots with the best in the country. He is considered to be a Indiana lean but looks like the Cards are still in consideration for this big mans services.

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Anthony ‘Cat’ Barber: He is one of the most sought after PG in the class. Barber is a great prospect at the point because of his great size, length, and the major burst to his game. We learned this week that Barber will be on campus Sep. 8th. IMO there are three schools with the shot at landing his services. Alabama, Kansas, and Louisville. “I just want to view all the schools before I can make my decision,” Barber said. “I think it’ll come down to how comfortable I am at all the schools, knowing where I can come in and play and being real comfortable with the system.”
With Peyton graduating there will be major minutes available next year at the Point Guard position. This just might be the thing that helps “Cat” make his decision.

Jarrell Martin: He is one of the best Power Forwards in the class of 2013. In an interview with Martin’s coach Jeff Jones, Eric Bossi of reported Sunday that there are several developments in Martin’s recruitment. He won’t sign until the spring and has cut his list to 7. And Louisville is among the remaining teams on that list. Because of early academic trouble and then a school transfer, his junior season was his first full season on the high school circuit. So Martin’s true potential has yet to be discovered. Not only does he rebound, he explodes and looks to blaze a path for himself. Awesome mix of strength, power, semi-inside skill and the desire to make the most of his chance.

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Mangok Mathaing: We learned that the 6’10” center is at Louisville and has enrolled for classes. He has been cleared at least academically and was supposed to take part in a team meeting on Sunday. Sounds like the big man still has some hurdles to clear before suiting up this season. He may end up redshirting, but there is some speculation that he will actually play.

Pitino scouts his 4 legged athletes

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– Rick Pitino spending some time this summer with his other athletes


Our basketball coach Rick Pitino has been out west doing some scouting the past couple of weeks. He’s been checking out some pretty fast athletes on this trip. But not the ones with 2 legs. These athletes have 4.

That’s right this scouting trip had nothing to do with hoops. Pitino has four horses with trainer Doug O’Neill, including three 2-year-old colts, giving Pitino his first presence as an owner on the West Coast after having horses in Kentucky and on the East Coast for years.

Doug O’Neill is the trainer that had  Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes victories earlier this year with I’ll Have Another. O’Neill was introduced to Pitino by a former Louisville soccer player Jack Sisterson who is an assistant to O’Neill.

Pitino watched all of his horese train last Wednesday. Among those horses was Russdiculous. Last night Coach P spent some time in the winners circle at Del Mar Racecourse. His horse Koco Loca won the first race.


Among the partnership for the West Coast horses is Lou Lamoriello the chief executive officer, president, and general manager of the New Jersey Devils. He was the athletic director at  Providence that gave Rick his first job.

Good to see Ricky P out getting some time away from basketball. I want him to be well rested. He’s got some 2 legged thoroughbreds to coach this winter. And hopefully the Louisville Cardinals will be in the Winners Circle at the Final Four in Atlanta.

THE BEAK DAILY (Biggest football games)

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-Biggest games of the upcoming football season:

Yesterday 247sports came out with their list of the 100 most attractive games of the upcoming football season. 4 of the Louisville games below made that list. I agree with their assessment but decided to add a few games of my own to the list. I also added my own insight into why these games are so important for the Cardinal Football program.

Photobucket-Kentucky at Louisville, Sept. 2, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN) – The bitter banter has heated up this summer between UK and Louisville fans. We have had twitter wars, Facebook wars, and billboard wars but now its time for the gridiron version of “The Battle of the Bluegrass” to take center stage. Both programs will be on display for the nation to watch on a Sunday afternoon. The build up for this game has been as big as ever. UK leads the all-time series 14-10, but UofL snapped a four-game losing streak with last year’s 24-17 win in Lexington. Our Cards are the heavy favorites in this one and victory will be sweet. Its Louisville versus Kentucky and possibly the most important game on our schedule.

Photobucket-Louisville at Pittsburgh, time and TV TBA – Another big rivalry game as the Cards head to Pitt to face the Panthers. Pitt has won four straight in the series, including 21-14 last year. The Cards need to stop their streak and show them why we are the Big East favorites. Plus this game will mark the last against Pitt as a Big East member. They will be headed to the ACC for 2013. Would be nice to send them out with a big L. This game could really play a major role in deciding the Big East Champion.

Photobucket-USF at Louisville, Oct. 20, TBA – This rivalry has added some sparks in recent years. Both were picked at the top of the Big East at media days. Louisville was picked #1 with 219 votes and USF was picked #2 with 176 votes. It is almost certain that both will be battling it out for the conference title this season. Both of these schools also have the best young coaches in college football with Charlie Strong and Skip Holtz. Louisville won the game last season in South Florida 34-24.

Photobucket-Cincinnati at Louisville, Oct. 26, 8 p.m. (ESPN2) – This should be a great Friday night battle for the Keg of Nails. U of L and UC have a football rivalry that has stretched over the span of 3 conferences from the Missouri Valley Conference, to Conference USA, and more recently in the Big East Conference. It is believed to be the oldest rivalry for the Louisville football team and the second oldest for UC. UC has won the last 4 in this series. Time for our Cards to win back the keg.

Photobucket-Louisville at Rutgers, Nov. 29, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN) – I don’t need to remind Cardinal fans about the last time we were Big East favorites and had a perfect season going into New Jersey. I still get a sick feeling in my stomach just thinking about it. It may be déjà vu as they may need this game to win the conference title and advance, most likely, to the Orange Bowl. Let’s hope for a better outcome this time around.

Photobucket-Orange Bowl (at Miami Gardens, Fla.), Jan. 1, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN) — ACC champion vs. BCS at-large.

Photobucket-Sugar Bowl (at New Orleans), Jan. 2, 8 p.m. (ESPN) — SEC champion vs. BCS at-large.

I put the Bowl games most likely to have our Cardinals in them if we have the season we expect. I would prefer to face a SEC powerhouse in the Sugar Bowl. Would be awesome to get a shot at one of the big boys. But the Orange Bowl would be great as well. I just want to see our football program bring home another BCS trophy in what will be the final season of the current system.

Enough with the hype, breakdowns, and preseason rumblings. Let’s play some football..!

THE BEAK DAILY (The Big Beast?)

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The Big East may turn back into the Beast:


We all know that the Big East has been on shaky ground lately. I have even been its biggest critic making it widely known that I wanted our Cards out.

But in the words of my favorite Howard Stern staffer “Wo Wo Wo Wo stop da clock”. We may be underestimating the potential of this conference. The Big East may be on shaky legs as a BCS league these days, but its announcement of its engagement with Bevilacqua Helfant Ventures, a sports media business that most recently negotiated a $3 billion multi-platform deal for the Pac-12, shows that the league doesn’t see it that way.

Coming up on September 1st the Big East will have 60 days to negotiate their deal with ESPN and will also be able to field offers from other networks. It’s obvious that the league feels pretty confident about the fact that they have a conference footprint in 13 of the 50 largest television markets holding a population base of 32 million people.

The question remains if most of those folks actually care about the local programs in the Big East. Or if they will watch or support teams like UCF and San Diego State. But that’s the reason the Firm was brought in to deflect those questions.

And today we found out that the Big East will hire a TV guy CBS Sports VP Mike Aresco as its New Commissioner. This move really wasn’t a surprise considering that their upcoming tv negotiations are integral piece of the conference’s future.

Folks don’t be surprised if in a few months we are all sitting around wondering how the Big East is worth more than the ACC. I know I’m gonna lay off my rants about the dying conference. It may very well be on life support but it doesn’t look like they are ready for us to pull the plug.

Fan Day 2012

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– Louisville Football Fan Day 2012


The football team held its 2012 Fan Day festivities at Papa Johns Cardinal Stadium today. There were over 3000 fans on hand to meet the players and coaches for the autograph session.

This was a day for fans of all ages to get up close and personal with their favorite Cardinals. Lines were long at both the defense and offense tables. The longest line of the day appeared to be at the coaches and QB table. Everybody including myself wanted a chance to meet our star QB Teddy Bridgewater and our Coach Charlie Strong. 

Today was a great opportunity for the fans to show just how much we appreciate the hard work our players and coaching staff give on a daily basis. It was also a chance for the team and staff to show their appreciation to the fans.

After attending this event there is no doubt that Cardinal Nation is ready for some football.

Below is photos and video from Louisville Fan Day 2012: