LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Has there been a worse decision in the entire college realignment landscape than the Big 12 Conference taking West Virginia over Louisville?
WVU certainly will rebound from an off year in many of the marquee sports. But U of L continues to advance in sports with the highest visibility. On Sunday, the Cardinals knocked off a Big 12 hopeful, Oklahoma State.
U of L's women's basketball team knocked off Baylor on its way to the NCAA championship game. The men's basketball team, of course, won the national title. The football team won the Sugar Bowl and did something that no Big 12 team has done since 1999 -- beaten an SEC opponent in a BCS bowl game.
As good a year as U of L is having, it is not setting up to be a record-breaking all-sports performance in the NACDA Directors' Cup, unless baseball can manage a big finish. A sluggish spring has U of L at No. 33 nationally in those rankings, though baseball making a super regional should help boost that finish some.
U of L is tied with Syracuse at No. 4 in the Capital One Cup (competition that Indiana could be poised to win on the men's side), but that ranking counts only top ten finishes and tends to arbitrarily give some sports more weight than others.
Regardless, by any measure -- objective or subjective -- those two West Virginia senators who wrangled West Virginia into the Big 12 might want to pass on any national elections. The folks in Big 12 flyover country picked the wrong horse, at least for 2013.
The Freshmen are Coming
June is here and that means that freshmen for both the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville basketball teams will be getting to campus this week.
At U of L, Akoy Agau was the first to arrive this past weekend, and it was an energetic arrival. He pleased Cardinals coach Rick Pitino by bouncing into the basketball office on Sunday about 17 pounds lighter than he was a few weeks ago when he played in the Derby Festival Classic all-star game.
Pitino is back in town after some extended time with family and watching Game 6 of the Heat-Pacers series in Miami as the guest of Pat Riley. He also had an offer of tickets from Pacers coach Frank Vogel, who Pitino remembers as a high school kid writing him letters at the University of Kentucky to let him come be a manager for the Wildcats so he could learn the coaching profession. Vogel did work for Pitino at UK, then went on to the Boston Celtics with him.
Weekend Sports on TV
The most watched sports event on television in the Louisville market last weekend was Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals. Indiana's win over Miami to force a Game 7 drew a 6.5 rating and an 11 share for TNT. Each ratings point represents about 6,700 Louisville households.
Runner-up was Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup broadcast on FOX, which did a 5.8/12. The Nationwide race from Dover did a 1.6/3 on Saturday for ESPN.
What conclusion can be drawn from the weekend's baseball ratings in Louisville? For starters, folks here like postseason college baseball just about as well as they like regular-season pro baseball. ESPN's ratings on its main network and ESPN2 ranged from 1.3 to 1.7 for most baseball broadcasts this past weekend. The only major league broadcast to top those numbers was FOX's prime time Saturday night telecast of the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates, which drew a 1.9/3.
U of L's win over Oklahoma State drew a 1.1/2 share on Sunday afternoon. The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox drew a 1.3/2 share on Sunday night.
The French Open on NBC drew a 1.2/2 share on Sunday afternoon, the same as a college rugby telecast that followed.
Soccer was a washout in Louisville this weekend. The U.S. Men's National team's victory over Germany in an international friendly drew a 0.1 rating on ESPN2 Sunday afternoon, worse in the same time slot than the Giants and St. Louis Cardinals on TBS (1.0/2), Mission Impossible on TNT (1.1/2) and college softball on ESPN. Of course, none of them did as well as Law & Order reruns on USA. We've entered the slow sports season, friends.