BOZICH | Louisville snubbed by Las Vegas -- and the coaches' poll
Get this: When the initial coaches' college football poll was released Thursday afternoon, Louisville was ranked 36th, two spots behind Miami. Five teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference -- Florida State, Clemson, North Carolina, Miami and Duke -- are ranked ahead of Louisville.
What’s going on here?
Is Charlie Strong worth that much more than Bobby Petrino?
Will the absence of Teddy Bridgewater ground the Cards’ offense?
Not with Petrino around.
Is it the seven missing pieces from the Louisville defense, including NFL first-rounders Marcus Smith and Calvin Pryor?
I think you’re on to something.
Is Miami that much better simply because the Hurricanes’ best running back, Duke Johnson, is back on the field?
Starting with Johnson is the best spot. Some argue that he is the best back in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the reason the Hurricanes were picked to win the Coastal Division.
Johnson missed the Russell Athletic Bowl. In fact, Johnson missed Miami’s last five games.
With Duke Johnson, Miami was 7-1. Without Duke Johnson, Miami was 2-3.
With Johnson, Miami averaged better than 198 yards per game rushing. Without Johnson, Miami averaged 100 yards per game.
The Hurricanes did not pack their running game for the trip to Orlando, finishing with 14 yards on 28 carries.
Duke Johnson is good enough to deliver 14 yards on any carry. There’s your starting point to explain why Louisville is only favored by three points.
Johnson told Susan Miller Degnan of the Miami Herald in this story that he was recently timed at a blazing 4.33 seconds in the 40-yard dash and then he backed up that performance with a 4.4 as well as a 4.44.
“I barely feel it,” Johnson said, talking about his broken ankle. “Sometimes I feel pain when I’m doing too much and have a long day – when I do more than one workout, when I go the extra mile after practice. It’s just tightness. Not really sharp pain. You get off it, ice it, heat it and stretch it out.”
Word is that Miami is optimistic that Jake Heaps, a transfer, will win the quarterback spot in August. How good is Heaps?
Miami is his third school. He was a big-name recruit who started at Brigham Young, played great as a freshman and then flopped as a sophomore. He lost the starting job and did what players today typically do when they lose the starting job.
He transferred – to play for quarterback guru Charlie Weis at Kansas.
Another flop. After sitting out in 2012, Heaps played in 11 games for Jayhawks last season. He completed 49 percent of his passes. That’s awful. He threw more interceptions (10) than touchdowns (8). That’s worse.
Now Heaps has reportedly thrown the ball well during summer workouts, and at least one Miami player has already talked a bit of trash – linebacker Denzel Perryman.
“Nobody likes to be embarrassed,” Perryman told the Miami Herald during ACC media days. “Just to start with them … is going to be great. It’s a rematch. I’m 0-1 against those guys. I ain’t going 0-2.”
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