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Posts Tagged ‘Louisville’

P.S.R. 1-124: Week 4 Re-Ranking

With the weekend in the books, here’s a look at how the country ranks — using the original rankings as the starting point, with the season’s results as rationale for any movement. The top 25 teams land a one-sentence breakdown. The rest? Not so much. Part of the perks of being one of the best. Think your team is too low? Feel another team deserves more credit, less credit? Let’s hear it below. It’s a delicate ranking process, particularly with only two weeks in the books, so you may see one team ranked below a team it just beat — see Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech, for example. Don’t be alarmed. Everything will become clearer by the end of the month.

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    No. 35: Louisville

    Charlie Strong’s not working wonders; not exactly, at least. The talent he’s brought into Louisville over the last two years might be young, but it’s certainly not lacking in ability: his most recent recruiting haul, from February, was studded with high-profile additions from Florida, where Strong has used his Gainesville ties to great effect. Regardless of the talent level, however, winning games in a B.C.S. conference, whether or not it’s the Big East, is no easy feat. The Cardinals won games last fall with a true freshman playing quarterback. With three freshmen leading the way at receiver. With two freshmen starting on the defensive line. With two freshmen starting in the secondary. So perhaps it’s not surprising to see that Louisville played its best football in October and November, a statement the team’s won-loss record backs up: 2-4 heading into mid-October, the Cardinals closed the regular season with five wins in six games. That this youth will be a year wiser come September, as well as the fact that Strong is still around — and that West Virginia is not — explains why most believe that Louisville will be the Big East’s best team in 2012.

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      A.P.R. Scores Viewed at 2014-15 Level

      The latest Academic Progress Rates, released yesterday by the N.C.A.A., uses the baseline of a four-year score of 900 for postseason eligibility. By that standard, all 120 F.B.S. programs – not yet 124 when this data was compiled – earn a passing grade.

      But beginning with the 2014-15 academic year, the baseline to avoid penalties will increase to 930, putting a few F.B.S. programs in danger of suffering one or more of several potential penalties: a postseason ban, a loss of scholarships or a loss of practice time, for example.

      According to the N.C.A.A., an A.P.R. score of 930 equates to a graduation rate of roughly 50 percent. While the current rate of 900 remains in place for the next two years, the increased standard has the potential to impact a handful of B.C.S. and non-B.C.S. conference programs.

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        As a Whole, The Big East Scheduled Up

        As if getting only three Big East games at home wasn’t bad enough for Syracuse. At least the Orange aren’t alone in this regard: Rutgers, Pittsburgh and Connecticut also play four road games during Big East play.

        Where Syracuse stands alone against the rest of the Big East is in its 2012 non-conference schedule, which ranks among the most difficult for a B.C.S. conference program. The Orange face four fellow B.C.S. conference teams during non-conference play; worse yet, only one, Northwestern, comes to the Carrier Dome.

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          In Smith, Arkansas Finds a 10-Month Solution

          Forget what you think you know about John L. Smith, because to Arkansas, all that mattered was this: he was experienced, he was familiar with the roster, he was familiar with the program’s returning staff and he was available. Oh, and he was available to rent, not to buy; Smith is being leased by the university, which needed a solution, but wasn’t yet in the market for a permanent solution. Smith, who left Fayetteville after last season to take the head coaching job at Weber State, signed a 10-month, $850,000 contract with the school, which can now reenter the coaching pool in December or January, depending on when Smith’s one-year turn with the Razorbacks ends.

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            Temple Officially Slides in for West Virginia

            Just as the Big 12 waited to unveil its conference schedule until West Virginia’s transition was official, the Big East needed to get its own ducks — or Owls, I guess — in a row before releasing its full 2012 slate. Unsurprisingly, the Big East avoided any difficulties by simply inserting Temple into the Mountaineers’ slot; the Owls will take on what would have been West Virginia’s conference schedule. For Temple, that means three home games and four road games in the Big East’s seven-game conference schedule. Credit the league for keeping things simple, as while it might have been fun to get imaginative it made too much sense to just have the Owls replace the Mountaineers in name, slot and schedule.

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              The Year in Review: Louisville (7-6, 5-2)

              I’ve heard of one or, the depth chart word meant to signify little separation between two position contenders, if not a word meant to signal true co-starter status, but Louisville took it to a whole other level late in 2011. Charlie Strong and the Cardinals see your one or, or your two ors, and raise you five ors, with five running backs theoretically neck-and-neck on the depth chart heading into the regular season finale against South Florida. That’s a game the Cardinals would win, by the way, to ensure a second consecutive bowl trip under Charlie Strong.

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                The Big East’s Lose-Lose B.C.S. Scenario

                West Virginia waits by the phone – or in front of the TV, actually. Louisville holds its breath. Both have done all they could do: it took overtime, but the Mountaineers sneaked past South Florida to move to 5-2 in conference play, while Louisville has been in the clubhouse since last Friday. Both teams have the same goal, reaching the Orange Bowl, but both have opposite rooting interests this afternoon. West Virginia is rooting for Cincinnati; Louisville is rooting for Connecticut. Something has to give. Someone is going home disappointed. The Big East as a whole might lose either way.

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                  The Countdown

                  A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.