It might be Tuesday but it's time for a special edition of the Monday Rewind.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Blame it on Labor Day. Blame it on driving nearly 600 miles in less than 72 hours – and then riding a bike for about 16 more Monday.
Blame it on being in Bloomington (for Indiana's opener), Nashville (for Kentucky vs. Western Kentucky) and Papa John's Cardinal Stadium (for the Teddy Bridgewater Show).
Take your pick. The Monday Rewind got flagged for delay of game. But it's your lucky day. There's a special Tuesday edition.
TOMMY TUBERVILLE FOR PRESIDENT
Opening Day went about as well as possible for Charlie Strong's U of L team. It couldn't have gone worse for the rest of The American Conference, which should already be concerned about life when Louisville leaves for the ACC after this season.
OK, I know what it will be like – bleak. Not that anybody around here will care about The American after the logos are scraped off the Papa John's Cardinal Stadium turf.
The exception? Cincinnati. The Bearcats are looking like the only conference team that will give the Cards critical strength of schedule points.
Cincinnati made a superb debut for Tommy Tuberville last Saturday. The Bearcats beat Purdue the way you'd expect Wisconsin to beat Purdue, 42-7.
Now U of L needs the Bearcats to play better at Illinois Saturday.
Let me explain:
The Cards buried Ohio University Sunday. The rest of the country tried to bury The American all weekend. Excluding U of L, the league went 3-5 – and two of the losses were to FCS opponents. By double figures. You don't need a degree from MIT to understand that won't help the Cardinals' computer rankings.
In fact, the average margin of defeat in the five games was nearly 18 points. None of the losses were to Top 25 opponents. All that occurred without Memphis, likely the league's worst team, playing until next Saturday.
What are the prospects things improve this weekend?
Not great. South Florida is a 24 ½ point underdog at Michigan State. Memphis is a six-point home underdog to Mike Krzyzewski University. Three teams from the American, including U of L, are playing FCS opponents.
Cincinnati heads to Illinois favored by 8. Back-to-back multiple touchdown victories over Big Ten teams are the only chance American teams have for credibility during the first two weeks of the season.
Until Dec. 5, when the two schools play in Cincinnati, Tommy Tuberville is Louisville's best friend.
FIRST-YEAR REPORT CARD
Before anybody starts howling about Kentucky coach Mark Stoops and the way the Wildcats' defense played against WKU and his decision to change quarterbacks after one game or anything else, please allow me to share a few statistics with you.
There are 30 coaches who have taken over new programs in the FBS division of college football. The laws of symmetry resulted in 15 guys who were handed the keys to winning programs (like Gary Anderson at Wisconsin) and 15 others who were summoned to fix losing programs (like Stoops).
Here is the first-weekend record of the guys who took over winners – 11-4.
And guys fixing losers? Try 4-10 (one didn't play).
HOOSIERS STILL THE ONES
It is only Week One. It was only a game against Indiana State. Only. Only. Only.
But Indiana still leads the nation in scoring after hanging 73 on the Sycamores. Take that snapshot of the scoreboard.
Five other teams managed to score at least 60, all of them (like IU) against FCS competition. That would be Georgia Tech (70), Baylor (69), Oregon (66), Arkansas State (62) and Houston (62).
Check the individual statistics. Indiana halfback Tevin Coleman ranks third in the nation in rushing with 169 yards.
And IU's Nate Sudfeld, who replaced Tre Roberson in the second quarter, ranks second in the quarterback efficiency ratings, one spot ahead of Teddy Bridgewater, who polished his place in the Heisman Trophy race against Ohio University. (Sudfeld was first and Bridgewater second until the Jameis Winston Show for Florida State Monday night.)
CARDS MOVING ON UP?
The first regular-season edition of the Associated Press writers' and USA Today coaches' polls will be released Tuesday. Keep an eye on the results to see if Mitch Vingle of the Charleston (W. Va.) Gazette ranks the Cardinals higher than Number 21 this time.
Shuffling in the Top 10 will be minimal. Only one team ranked ahead of Louisville was beaten over the weekend – Georgia, which lost by three at Clemson.
If you believe in good losses, that absolutely qualifies because Clemson believes it can contend for the BCS title. Georgia was ranked fifth, Louisville ninth in the opening polls. That's a close one to call, but I'll project Georgia will not drop lower than eighth. The power of the SEC and all that stuff that Bob Stoops calls propaganda.
The Cards will have a chance to move forward a spot because South Carolina, ranked sixth, visits Georgia this weekend.
MORE LOVE FOR CARDS, HOOSIERS
Professor Phil Steele is at it again. He has added a new feature to his blog, which is a nice companion to his college football yearbook. Steele crunches the statistics from every game, measures them against the quality of an opponent as well as the site of the game and ranks teams by how they performed over the weekend.
Who was Number One?
I would have guessed Clemson. That was a dazzling win against Georgia, even if it was at home. Or maybe Ole Miss. The Rebels' victory at Vanderbilt might have been the best road win of the opening weekend.
Professor Steele says no.
He put Louisiana State at the head of the class for the way the Tigers outgained TCU by 189 yards while winning their season opener.
But there is good news for two local teams. Steele ranked Louisville's season-opening performance against Ohio U as the third-best performance and Indiana's 38-point win over Indiana State as Number 16.
Notre Dame and Michigan have played every year since 2002. The game the two schools will play in Ann Arbor Saturday will be the 41st between the schools. It will also be the last one the schools will play at Michigan. After the schools meet again in South Bend next season, the contract ends – and Notre Dame has decided to end the rivalry.
Michigan coach Brady Hoke has accused Notre Dame of chickening out of the series.
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly has shrugged and said he's never really considered the Wolverines one of those historic, traditional rivals for the Fighting Irish.
For the record, Notre Dame has played more games against USC, Purdue, Michigan State and Pittsburgh, just to name four schools.
So Kelly is correct.
For the record, Notre Dame has also played fewer games against Air Force and Stanford and those schools keep hanging around the Fighting Irish schedule.
So Hoke is correct.
Who gets to deliver the tie-breaker?
Me, of course.
Notre Dame and Michigan should play.
The Notre Dame-Michigan State rivalry has more longevity, but the Fighting Irish-Wolverines rivalry is more likely to be appointment television. ESPN is sending its College GameDay crew to Ann Arbor Saturday. Hoke said it will be the sixth time ESPN has blessed the game with all-day coverage. I wouldn't look for Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and the fellas to be around for the Michigan State or Purdue games.
If you don't want to play, Coach Kelly, just say that. It's not that difficult.
CONFERENCE ROLL CALL
Comparing the records of the six BCS level conferences in their non-league games:
BIG TEN 10-2, 833. High Five: Northwestern huffed and puffed and outlasted California; Hide Your Eyes: Did I mention that Purdue lost to Cincinnati by five touchdowns?
ACC 9-3, .750. High Five: Dabo "Don't Call Me William Christopher" Swinney is making people remember more than his adopted first name at Clemson; Hide Your Eyes: No reason to hide them. Virginia Tech, Syracuse and North Carolina all lost, but they were supposed to.
SEC 9-3, .750. High Five: Phil Steele says LSU, and who am I to argue with Professor Steele? Hide Your Eyes: Looking at the rushing totals, I'd say Alabama's offensive line.
PAC-12, 7-3, .700. High Five: Beware Washington. Ask Boise State all about it; Hide Your Eyes: Beware Eastern Washington. Ask Oregon State all about it.
BIG 12, 6-3, .667. High Five: Oklahoma State did not let Mississippi State score a touchdown – and Dan Mullen is supposed to be a confirmed SEC offensive guru. High Your Eyes: I heard Kansas State lost a home game to a team from North Dakota, but I don't believe it.
AMERICAN 4-5, .444. High Five: Cincinnati by 35 over Purdue trumps Louisville by 42 over Ohio U by a whisker; Hide Your Eyes: Do I really have to go through this again.