According to USA Today, the average ranking of Louisville's 11 FBS opponents is 76.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – This isn't the first helmet slap at the quality of the 2013 University of Louisville football schedule. It also won't be the last. Script your rebuttal or get used to it. It's going to be a national story.
But to get the Monday Rewind started, I decided to attach rankings to the teams that the Cardinals are scheduled to play this season. The numbers are not pretty, although there is one pretty interesting twist.
Paul Myerberg of USA Today writes the most exhaustive team previews in the country. Myerberg is on track – again – to write more than 2,000 words on every FBS program, counting every team down from 125-to-1. Trust me, that's a lot of words, more than double this story, and this story isn't about Tulane. Can't imagine writing 200 words about Tulane.
Myerberg has not written about U of L – yet. His latest piece explained why UCLA was his pick as the 30th best team in the nation.
It will be days until Myerberg gets to Louisville.
But he has already written about every team on the Cardinals' schedule because the highest-ranked team that Louisville is scheduled to play is Cincinnati. The Bearcats are ranked 34th – and don't play Louisville until the final game of the regular season.
Here is the average ranking for Louisville's 11 FBS opponents: 76.
The strength of schedule computers aren't going be gaga about the Louisville 76ers.
Louisville is scheduled to play three teams that Myerberg ranks 101 or lower and four others that are not in his top 70 – plus Eastern Kentucky, an FCS program.
Here is the interesting twist: The second highest-ranked team on the Cards' schedule is Ohio University, the team U of L plays in its home opener. The Bobcats are 39th.
In other words, Louisville's toughest game sets up as the finale, but the second-toughest is the opener.
Here is the entire list: Cincinnati 34; Ohio 39; UCF 42; Rutgers 54; Houston 71; USF 80; Temple 88; UConn 92; Kentucky 101; Memphis 116; FIU 118.
I can't give you comparable numbers for Kentucky or Indiana. Myerberg has not ranked every team in the SEC or Big Ten yet.
I know the Associated Press Top 25 is not included in the Bowl Championship Series formula. I also believe it's a more reliable poll than the coaches' poll because A) writers don't hand the job off to their sports information directors; B) they (usually) don't obsess over only one team and C) they (hopefully) don't reward and punish teams depending upon the conference affiliation.
Well, maybe not. Strike that last item.
Anyway, the AP college football poll is due Saturday. John Clay, columnist for the Herald-Leader in Lexington, has the only vote in the state of Kentucky.
Phil Steele has already filed his prediction on the first AP poll – and he's got U of L ranked 10th, behind five Southeastern Conference programs (Alabama 1; Texas A&M 5; Georgia 6; Florida 8 and South Carolina 9). Here's the link to Steele's predicted AP poll.
That will be the first line item to check Saturday -- whether the Cards are ranked ahead of Florida or behind the Gators.
Especially on the ballots of guys who work in SEC towns.
Teddy Football Fourth Behind Johnny Football
Who are the quarterbacks that college football fans won't be able to take their eyes off this season?
There is nobody better to ask than Pat Forde, a national columnist of Yahoo! Sports and a guy who has lived in Louisville for more than 25 years. The man has a wonderful way with lists, ranking coaches, games and now quarterbacks. His current list ranks the 25 Most Intriguing Quarterbacks for the upcoming season.
If you don't know which guy sits in the first position, you obviously took several wrong turns while clicking on this story. He plays for Texas A&M and he's fussin' with the NCAA these days. First name starts with a J, last name with an M.
But it's fair to ask where Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater sits on the list. The answer is fourth, behind runner-up A.J. McCarron of Alabama and Braxton Miller of Ohio State.
Hard to question the list. Johnny Manziel is first and nobody else is close. McCarron is trying to win his third BCS title. Miller went unbeaten last season, and the Buckeyes might win them all again.
There are two other names to remember on Forde's list: His fifth pick – Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees, who got the job by default after Everett Golson was dismissed from school. He's not Joe Montana, but he'd better not be Dayne Crist either.
And his pick at 25? Ohio University's Tyler Tettleton, who will open his season against Bridgewater and the Cardinals Sept. 1 at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. The kid beat Penn State at Penn State last season, something no Indiana quarterback has ever done.
Jason Dufner will come to Valhalla next August as the defending champion in the PGA Championship. He's also the 19th different golfer to win a major championship since July 2008. The only guys to win more than one major during that period are Padraig Harrington, Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson.
Once upon a time Tiger Woods was supposed to come to Valhalla in 2014 positioned to tie or break Jack Nicklaus' career record with 18 majors. Now the only way Tiger can get to 18 next year is if he wins the Masters, U. S. Open, British Open and the PGA. He's more likely to throw 18 clubs.
Once upon a time the field was afraid of Tiger during a major championship. His victory at Valhalla in 2000 was the third of four straight that Woods won over two seasons.
Now Tiger is afraid of major championships. He sure plays that way.
He's played solid golf all year. He wins other tournaments. But here is Tiger's record in the four majors this year:
Masters – tied for fourth.
U.S. Open – tied for 32nd.
British Open – tied for sixth.
PGA Championship – tied for 40th.
And Then There Were Two
In the beginning, there were five players from the 2012 University of Louisville football team trying to make it into the NFL this summer.
Now there are two – offensive lineman Alex Kupper (Houston) and receiver Andrell Smith (Miami). Kupper and Smith have both drawn snaps during the exhibition season.
Don't look for center Mario Benavides, defensive back Adrian Bushell or halfback Jeremy Wright. They're not listed on NFL rosters. Wright was with the New York Giants, but is no longer listed in Eli Manning's backfield.