Listen up peasants! Peasants? It's time for another WDRB College Football Notebook . . .
Are Cards, Wildcats and Hoosiers College Football "Peasants?"
Sports Illustrated college sports writer Stewart Mandel is not going to be a popular man in Kentuckiana this season.
Five years ago Mandel organized all the FBS programs in his Program Pecking Order. Mandel said he tried to rank them by using a variety of categories – winning, tradition, name recognition and "a certain aura."
In other words, tough to quantify but Mandel knows it when he sees it. Read it here.
Mandel's four categories are Kings, Barons, Knights and Peasants.
The Kings include programs such as Alabama, Louisiana State, Oklahoma and Penn State (not any more, Stewart, not any more).
Oregon, West Virginia and Wisconsin top the Barons, while you'll find Boise State, Missouri and Purdue on the list of Knights.
But the local schools?
Louisville, Kentucky and Indiana are ranked among the game's 20 peasants.
The Notebook understands Indiana. Kentucky is open to debate. But the Notebook needs Mandel to explain his questions about Louisville. Here is part of what he wrote:
"Five years ago I wasn't sure where to place Louisville, which was coming off a 12-1 season and Orange Bowl win. Now it's clear the Cardinals aren't too different from the rest of their Big East brethren, seven of whom sit here. None can seem to sustain success. We'll see if it's possible for any to make inroads once the Big East loses its AQ status."
The Notebook will toss the question to Charlie Strong – as soon as he ends his summer-long silence.
Could Pac-12-Big Ten breakdown help Cards' scheduling?
When the Big Ten and Pac-12 announced a plan to play 12 interleague games beginning in 2017, at the very least, it cut down theoretical scheduling options for U of L, which will be looking for quality non-conference names if it continues to be a part of the Big East Conference.
But in looking over the Cards' past schedules in reality, not theory, neither the Big Ten or Pac-12 has been fertile scheduling ground anyway for U of L in the past decade.
U of L's main non-conference successes have come in scheduling against the ACC, with one series against Kansas State of the Big 12. The Cardinals also had Georgia on the schedule, only to have the series contract bought out in favor of the Bulldogs facing Boise State. (The Cards did have a home-and-home with Oregon State of the Pac-12 a couple of years back.)
What the dissolution of the agreement this week by the Pac-12 and Big Ten shows, more interestingly, that cooperation at the highest levels is an increasingly difficult thing. And that suggests that future stability in the current college football postseason arrangement might be an elusive thing.
Among other reasons, the Pac-12 had to back out of this deal because USC wouldn't go along with it. USC, which already is playing Texas and Notre Dame in its non-conference schedule, had little need or desire to pick up another quality opponent. Said L.A. Daily News columnist Scott Wolf, "Schools like Washington State did not mind playing a Big Ten team (any Big Ten team), but did USC want to play Indiana in Bloomington in October? Not especially."
Brohm Likes Cards Chances in 2012
Brian Brohm was the quarterback for Louisville's last magical college football season in 2006 when the Cardinals rolled to a 12-1 record as well as a victory over Wake Forest in the Orange Bowl.
Add Brohm to the list of people who expect the Cards to deliver a solid season this fall. A very solid season.
"I'm looking for big things," Brohm said. "I think they have the pieces in place to have a team like we had in 06.
"As a freshman (quarterback) Teddy Bridgewater was very impressive. I feel like from my freshman year to my sophomore year was a huge jump. I felt like a way better player. I felt like that's where I grew the most as a player.
"If he's having the kind of jump I had back then, we're going to see some big things."
Former Cards' QBs find coaching spots
Sources tell the Notebook that former U of L QB Adam Froman, after being released from the Spokane Shock of the Arena League, may be heading to LSU to take a volunteer staff position working with quarterbacks -- alongside former Cardinals coach Steve Kragthorpe. And U of L fans certainly will remember Justin Rascati, a highly touted QB recruit from Gainesvile who transfered out. He wound up at James Madison, where he led the team to the NCAA Division I-AA championship. Rascati had been working as offensive coordinator at Kentucky Country Day when former U of L coach John L. Smith picked him up as quarterbacks coach on his staff at Weber State. Though Smith left Weber State for Arkansas before coaching a game, Rascati remains.
Phillips urges fan support at Louisville event
Joker Phillips had a passionate plea for UK fans at a Louisville Quarterback Club speaking engagement on Friday.
"Get behind this football team," he said. "You don't have to get behind me. But I'm selling you to recruits, not me. You don't have to get behind me because when this thing is all over for me, I'm going to become one of you."
Phillips' Louisville swing will continue on Sunday, when he'll take his GameDay Ready Tour to Shawnee Park at 2 p.m.
Scheduling for dollars -- and sense
We all know how college football works. Even programs that Mandel considers peasants try to schedule non-conference victories. They sprinkle winnable games in throughout the season, but September is the month that many of these matchups develop.
Western Kentucky is an annual participant. The Hilltoppers visit Alabama Sept. 8, play Kentucky in Lexington Sept. 15 and then host Southern Mississippi Sept. 22.
But the Hilltoppers aren't the only ones scheduling for dollars. Here are several other Sun Belt Conference non-league matchups on Sept 15:
Arkansas State at Nebraska. FIU at Central Florida South Alabama at North Carolina State Mississippi State at Troy Florida Atlantic at Georgia Louisiana-Lafayette at Oklahoma State Louisiana-Monroe at Auburn Middle Tennessee at Memphis North Texas at Kansas State WKU at UK
The Notebook will conservatively estimate that at $8 million in guaranteed payouts – and two wins.
Last season, UK paid $300,000 in guarantees to visiting teams. U of L paid $950,000.
Michigan's Carr Says Playoff Will Expand
Former Louisville coach Howard Schnellenberger is not the only former heavyweight coach who believes that the college football playoff will expand beyond four teams.
Lloyd Carr, the former Michigan coach, says that four won't be enough for long. Carr is not advocating 64 teams the way that Schnellenberger is. That's a Schnellenberger special.
But Carr in an interview on SiriusXM radio Carr said that the playoff will expand. Read it here.
"We're down that road now, and I think in the future there's going to continue to be pressure, just like there was in basketball, to continue to raise the number of teams," Carr said. "But I don't have that answer."
ESPN selling college football ad time to political campaigns
According to the Wall Street Journal, you can expect more political advertising on college football games this fall. ESPN has increased the amount of ad time sold to political parties and Super-PACS, Ed Erhardt, ESPN's president of global customer marketing and sales told the newspaper.
"Sports has become so culturally relevant, and the live nature of the programming has made what we happen to have at ESPN very attractive to the advertising community across all kinds of products," Erhardt told National Public Radio. "And those concepts would be applicable to political candidates as well."
NPR also reported that political spending is up for ad buys in the Olympics and other sports, including $5.5 million in buys by President Obama's campaign and $7 million by Republican super-PAC And Restore Our Future during the Olympics.
"If you're looking for white males in battleground states, football is a very good way to reach them. Think about battleground states in the Midwest like an Ohio or a Wisconsin," Ken Goldstein, president of the ad tracking firm Kantar Media CMAG, told NPR. "What's it worth to be on an Ohio State-Wisconsin football game in the fall just before a presidential election? I think the answer is a lot."
New field challenges Boise State's blue turf for eyesore title
Finally, it must be seen to be believed. The new turf at the Univerity of Lindenwood-Belleville in Illinois, which will begin play at the NAIA level this season. After seeing this field, you'll be thankful that national TV hasn't come to NAIA . . .
SEC Football Coaches With the Best Career Winning Percentage
1. Hugh Freeze, Ole Miss, .810 (30-7) 2. Mark Richt, Georgia, .736 (106-38) 3. Nick Saban, Alabama, .729 (146-54-1) 4. Les Miles, LSU, .725 (103-39) 5. Steve Spurrier, South Carolina, .723 (197-75-2)
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