If Houston does not beat Central Florida Saturday night, Louisville's chances of winning the AAC will all but disappear.
LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) – Unlike the rest of the world, the University of Louisville football team does not need a Monday Rewind. The Cardinals need a Friday Replay.
Friday Oct. 18 to be precise.
That was the night the Cardinals came from ahead to lose to Central Florida, 38-35. You know the details. Life hasn't been the same since.
And it won't be the same unless somebody else in the AAC beats UCF. If you look at what the Knights face the rest of the season, there's only one somebody for the job.
This Saturday at 7 p.m.
At 4-0, Houston actually leads UCF (3-0) in the AAC standings. But Louisville gets a crack at the Cougars here Nov. 16. If Houston beats UCF and then Louisville beats Houston, then the Monday Rewind will have something to talk about next week. The league's automatic spot in a BCS bowl game will be in play. If UCF wins, well … I'll get back to you.
Vegas says you get 10 ½ points if you take the Cougars. So the Cards are going to need a fairly significant upset. But if Houston does not deliver, Charlie Strong's team is going to need a really significant upset to have any chance to grab a piece of the AAC title. UCF's final four opponents have a combined record of 11-21.
I checked Jeff Sagarin's predictor ratings for UCF's final four opponents. The Knights will be favored by at least 15 points in every game: By 18 ½ at Temple; by 19 at home against Rutgers; by 27 ½ at home against South Florida and by 15 ½ in their final regular-season game at SMU.
It's Houston – or bust.
One last fun note on the Louisville football team: There are guys on Charlie Strong's team who love to hoop. During the off-season, of course. So I asked one of them for his list of the best basketball players on the squad. This was his top six:
6. Gerod Holliman, defensive back.
5. Calvin Pryor, defensive back
4. Dominique Brown, halfback
3. Marcus Smith, defensive end
2. Kai De La Cruz, receiver
1. DeVante Parker, receiver
For the record, Parker was not the guy who gave me the list.
INDIANA FOOTBALL STAFF FLUNKS COACHING 101
If you're a regular reader of the Monday Rewind, you understand this is not a place where I place coaches' on the tee and kick them down the field. Coaching is not an easy job. These coaches know their personnel better than I do. Won-loss records and turnstile counts will determine everybody's future.
But the work that the Indiana football staff did in handing a football game to Minnesota Saturday in Bloomington deserves special recognition. Because their work was awful.
First, they stuck with Tre Roberson at quarterback the entire first half even though many of the balls Roberson threw were high and outside. Nate Sudfeld is IU's best passer. When he entered the game, the offensive dynamic changed.
Second, IU head coach Kevin Wilson made a puzzling decision to go for two points after Indiana went ahead 39-35 with about 5 ½ minutes to play. If the Hoosiers had kicked the point they would have led by five. Then, even after Minnesota scored, IU would have been in position to win the game, not tie it, with a field goal. The two-point conversion failed. The decision failed.
Third, they called a swing pass that turned into a game-losing lateral in the final minute even though halfbacks Tevin Coleman and Stephen Houston had shredded the Minnesota defensive line in the second half.
Fourth, the Indiana defense is not better in 2013 than it was in 2011. Minnesota was the fifth team to score at least 41 on IU – all IU defeats.
Now Indiana will have to win at Wisconsin or Ohio State to make a bowl game.
Smells like wait 'til next year.
PITINO VS. PITINO? DON'T COUNT ON IT
Richard Pitino was eager to bring his Florida International basketball team to the KFC Yum! Center to play a basketball game last season. Don't look for him to rush to bring his University of Minnesota team to town to play the Cardinals, too.
Different world. The Minnesota basketball budget doesn't need the money that a game with Louisville would bring. Pitino (the son) has plenty of opportunities to build his team's strength of schedule merely by bouncing through the Big Ten.
And, frankly, Richard is not in a rush to coach against his father again.
"It's tough," Richard Pitino said. "Yeah, on one side it would be great to play him. It'd be a lot of fun. It'd be a lot of fun to compete against him instead of him handing me a check like he did at FIU.
"But with that being said, I really enjoy him. I enjoy working with him and him being part of our program, as much as possible, sending him practice film, sending him an exhibition game and asking, 'Hey, what do you think of this guy?'
"I don't ever want to get a feeling where we're competing against each other. I think people think that. I tell them all the time: We're not competing against each other. We're working with each other as much as possible."
ANTHONY THE ALL-STAR
It's only three games. It's too soon to think about February. The NBA season isn't even a week old.
Sorry. It's prediction time. Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans is playing like a guy who belongs in the NBA All-Star game.
Three games into his second NBA season after leading Kentucky to the 2012 NCAA title, Davis ranks in the top 10 in the league in points (ninth, 23.7), rebounds (third, 12.3) and blocks (second, 4 per game).
The 2014 NBA All-Star game will be played Feb. 16 in New Orleans. Look for Anthony Davis. He won't even have to leave home to participate.
I asked for your opinions on several topics last week – and you responded. Thanks for that. I'm working at doing a better job at sharing the answers. Here goes, with the results from two questions that I posed last week:
1. Which two teams would you like to see play in the BCS Championship Game?
Oregon vs. Florida State, 33 percent
Oregon vs. Alabama, 28 percent
Alabama vs. Florida State, 27 percent
Alabama vs. Ohio State, 5 percent
Other, 5 percent
Baylor vs. Oregon, 2 percent.
2. Do you believe that former Louisville guard Chris Smith made the New York Knicks' roster because he is the younger brother of Knicks' star J.R. Smith?