BOZICH | 12 nuggets 12 days before college football opens - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | 12 nuggets 12 days before college football opens

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – On the 12th day of college football, my true love gave to … nah, I'd better stop right there. Not going to lock myself into a song or rhyme. Only Eric Crawford could pull that off with gusto and humor.

But it is merely12 days until the 2014 college football season actually begins – Abilene Christian at Georgia State on Aug. 27.

Western Kentucky falls in line two nights later when Bowling Green visits Bowling Green (I enjoyed writing those last five words). On Saturday the 30th, Kentucky buys a win against Tennessee-Martin while Indiana purchases one against Indiana State.

Then on Labor Day evening, Sept. 1, Miami comes to Louisville for a national TV game at 8 p.m. The Cards won't start the season ranked in the Top 25, but might get their by beating the Hurricanes.

But it's still 12 days until the season begins, so I plan to count them down until Aug. 27 – 12 items with 12 days to go; 11 items with 11 days to go; 10 with 10 days to go all the way until Aug. 27.

GREEN. 86. OMAHA, OMAHA, OMAHA. Let's do it.

1. Let's begin with names you will recognize – Louisville quarterback Will Gardner and Nate Sudfeld of Indiana.

What are they doing on the same list?

AthlonSports.com named them to the list of the 10 Most Underrated Quarterbacks. Sudfeld, a junior with plenty of experience, is ranked fifth. Gardner, who is taking over from Teddy Bridgewater, is ninth. Both guys have power arms, the right scheme and talented receivers. It's a nice list to be on.

The leader is Dak Prescott of Mississippi State, who brings the Bulldogs to Lexington to play Kentucky this season.

2. The Miami quarterback situation remains in flux. The Miami Herald reported that the Hurricanes released a depth chart Thursday that had both Jake Heaps, the fifth-year transfer from Kansas, and true freshman Brad Kaaya, listed as co-starters.

Miami coach Al Golden refused to separate the two players at a post-practice press conference, essentially saying they were listed in alphabetical order, using first names. Sounds like both guys will play against Louisville. Also sounds like QB could be an issue for the Canes. Not a great situation for a team opening on the road.

“I'm not very good at the alphabet, I guess,” Golden said. “First name, I don't know. It's just the way it shook out.”

3. This sounds like fun: Trying to steal from ESPN's market share for College Game Day on Saturdays, FoxSports1 will broadcast a Friday night Countdown to Kickoff Show.

They'd better bring the juice, irreverence and insights.

Former USC quarterback Matt Leinart will be one of the featured hosts in the studio. I guess that means he washed out in the NFL.  Writers Bruce Feldman and Stewart Mandel, two guys FoxSports.com has recruited to beef up its web site, will be featured. Former Pitt and Bears coach Dave Wannstedt will also contribute.

Fox has pulled it off in the NFL, but they've got work to do in the college arena.

4. Remember when it appeared that Louisville was going to get left behind during conference realignment and not make a successful run to the Atlantic Coast Conference?

Well, everything turned up sevens for the Cards. But a number of other schools were left behind. The folks at LostLetteman.com took another look at the group and ranked them in terms of their attractiveness to one of the five power leagues.

The winner (or loser)?

Cincinnati – and I would like to watch the Bearcats play this season because their quarterback figures to be former Indiana high school football star Gunner Kiel.

5. The folks at AthlonSports.com always deliver a string of interesting stories. David Fox put one together about the best Coaching Trees in the game.

Plenty of local connections: The top tree is credited to former Iowa coach Hayden Fry teamed with Bill Snyder of Kansas State.

The local connection? Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops played for Fry – and his younger brother Mark now coaches Kentucky, while his former offensive coordinator, Kevin Wilson, is starting his fourth season at Indiana.

But there is also a legitimate – if regrettable -- Bluegrass Connection. The fourth-ranked tree belongs to Hal Mumme, who started fast and finished with his tree chopped down at Kentucky.

Among the guys Mumme has mentored – Mike Leach, Sonny Dykes and Dana Holgorsen.

5. There's no reason to play the season. The folks in Vegas already have – 50,000 times.

And the winner of the national championship is?

According to Jimmy Shapiro, Florida State will beat Oregon, 41-34, in the first championship game of the four-team playoff era.

OK, can we start talking basketball?

7. The season can't begin without a Hot Seat List, can it?

Did I hear somebody say that's a little premature because nobody has played a game? Details, details.

John Taylor of CollegeFootballTalk.com has already worked up an eight-man list. Exhale, everybody. No local coaches are included.

But the top three are guys who have already heard plenty of squawking – Will Muschamp of Florida; Brady Hoke of Michigan and Dana Holgorsen of West Virginia.


If you're starting a pool, I'll take Hoke.

8. Tennessee coach Butch Jones made his pick at quarterback – senior Justin Worley. Jones said that experience tilted the competition to Worley, who started seven games last season before suffering a thumb injury.

Worley outplayed sophomores Nathan Peterman and Joshua Dobbs for the job. Worley certainly has experience, but he is no lock to hold the position all season. He completed only 55.6 percent of his passes last season with 10 touchdowns and eight picks.

The Vols are still looking for the next Peyton Manning. Or Tee Martin. Or Heath Shuler.

9. 100 Things College Football Bettors Should Know – the primary takeaway is that it's safer to bet the Over. Scoring keeps going up, up and away.

10. Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com loves college football as much as anybody. He shares about 1.1 million thoughts on the new season here, leading with five possible nicknames for Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston.


Are there a few cheap shellfish jokes?


What do you think?

11. Who are the five schools that landed the five regional covers for Sports Illustrated's college football issue?

They're not difficult to guess: Florida State, Alabama (that's the one that hit my mailbox), Ohio State, Oklahoma and UCLA (West Coast love).


Oregon endured the biggest snub. Maybe Nike needs to buy the magazine.

If you're Oregon, Michigan State, Stanford, or Auburn, there's no reason to get upset. Just wait for the Sports Illustrated cover jinx to kick in.

12. Looking for some furniture?

I mean free furniture.

Better get in your truck and drive to College Station and then start root, root, rooting for Texas A&M.

The good folks at Ashley Furniture say they will cut you a check for your any purchases made over the next 12 days – if Texas A&M beats South Carolina by at least 10 points in the season opener Aug. 28.

Check the fine print.

The game is in Columbia, where the Gamecocks have won 18 straight.

South Carolina is favored by 10-1/2.

Johnny Manziel is stuck in Cleveland.

What time do you want to leave?

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