ESPN GameDay host Chris Fowler had Louisville 14th on his AP college football ball, behind 6 SEC teams.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Ohio University football coach Frank Solich was impressed by the way the University of Louisville overwhelmed his team, 49-7, Sunday. Ditto for Bobcats' quarterback Tyler Tettleton.
The 65 voters in the Associated Press writers' college football poll moved the Cardinals from ninth to eighth. So did the coaches who vote in the USA Today coaches' poll.
Were there any critics who looked at the performance Louisville delivered and shrugged?
Nine voters in the AP poll actually dropped Louisville on their ballots after the Cards outgained the Bobcats by 342 yards. Three moved U of L down by multiple spots.
Two are guys with national platforms – ESPN GameDay host Chris Fowler and Andy Staples, a columnist for Sports Illustrated.
Fowler had Louisville sitting at 13th on his first ballot. He voted the Cardinals 14th Monday – right behind Oklahoma (13th) and six – count ‘em, six – teams from the Southeastern Conference. (That would be – in order – Alabama, South Carolina, LSU, Texas A&M, Georgia and Florida.)
I believe we have our latest example of what Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops was talking about when he railed about SEC propaganda in the media during the summer.
Only one guy, Eric Avidon of the MetroWest Daily News in Framingham, Mass., has the Cards ranked lower. Avidon has U of L 15th, the same spot where he ranked Charlie Strong's team before the season began. Mitch Vingle of the Charleston (W.Va.) moved U of L from 21st to 10th on his ballot.
Staples liked Louisville better than Fowler did before the season. He ranked the Cards seventh in his pre-season poll. He did not like them nearly as much after Sunday, dropping them to 10th.
Staples has Texas A&M, Clemson, Florida State and Notre Dame in the four spots directly ahead of Louisville. He has three SEC teams ahead of Louisville.
Remember this: It's Week One. The AP poll is not part of the Bowl Championship Series formula. It's more accurate than pulling names out of a hat, but not by much.
But you can certainly consider this another example of how folks will dock Louisville because of the schedule the Cards play this season. Many considered Ohio the best team booked to visit Papa John's Cardinal Stadium in 2013.
What's going to happen after the Eastern Kentucky game Saturday? Or when the Cards play Kentucky, their only SEC opponent? Or Florida International? You know the list, all the way down to Cincinnati.
How will Strong respond?
My guess is he will be thrilled. As a motivator, he pushes aside the praise surrounding his team and magnifies the discouraging words. This qualifies to be filed in the Discouraging Word category.
The overall story is that Louisville gained one spot in the poll, jumping Georgia, even though the Bulldogs lost a close game on the road to a dynamic Clemson team.
How many voters moved the Cardinals up on their ballots? Two dozen.
But nine guys apparently wanted to see more.
*On Sunday after the game, Strong said he thought his team survived the Ohio game without any serious injuries. That is not so.
Corvin Lamb, a sophomore running back from Miami, was lost for the season with a torn ACL. Lamb carried the ball four times for 13 yards against Ohio U. Strong said Lamb will have surgery.
"It's tough because you look at Corvin and each year it's been something," Strong said. "Like one year it was the back, then a wrist, then we had a hand injury. When a young man has put so much into it and worked so hard, you don't want to see any injury happen."
*Congratulations to former Trinity High School and U of L offensive lineman Alex Kupper. He made the Houston Texans' eight-player practice squad as an undrafted free agent.
"Got to keep climbing," Kupper said in a text message.