BOZICH | Monday Muse: Louisville's role in stopping media SEC fo - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | Monday Muse: Louisville's role in stopping media SEC football brainwashing

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Ten days until the first college football games. Twelve days until Bobby Petrino must pick his University of Louisville quarterback.

One nagging question to ponder until the serious hitting begins:

Will Louisville be playing for more than a 1-0 start and a chance to creep into the Top 25 against Auburn Sept. 5 in Atlanta?

You bet. The Monday Muse was created to explain.

Did you see the results from the Associated Press pre-season college football poll Sunday?

Not Ohio State arriving as a unanimous Number One. Gomer Pyle could have figured that out.

No, the most jarring news delivered by the poll is that America’s sportswriters are still brainwashed by the Southeastern Conference, despite the five whacks (in a dozen games) the SEC absorbed in bowl games last season. Reminder: the SEC went 2-5 in bowls against Top 25 opponents last season.

Check the numbers in the AP poll. Three Top 10 SEC teams. Four in the Top 15. Six in the Top 20. Eight in the Top 25. Ten in the Top 27.

You’re telling me that more than 40 percent of the top 27 teams in America play in the SEC?

Cough.

Meanwhile, the ACC placed three teams – Florida State, Clemson and Georgia Tech – in the Top 25.

David Hall of ESPN.com filed a powerful dissent. He did it with some nifty facts.

The ACC went 6-6 against the SEC and Pac-12 last season with wins against USC, Georgia and Mississippi State; The ACC’s record in BCS and New Year’s Six bowls the last two seasons is 4-1. The SEC is 1-6.

Doesn’t matter. Folks have decided that Arkansas and Tennessee, a pair of 7-6 teams last season, deserve to start this season ranked. Why? Because they do.

Who can do something about the perceptions in 2015?

Louisville, ranked 32nd in the opening poll.

The Cards are an 11-point underdog against Auburn, which is ranked sixth in the AP poll. If the ACC’s fifth-best team, according to the AP poll, can take down the SEC’s second-best team on a neutral site, maybe the AP poll would start to look fair and balanced again.

Cough.

2. Poll Plagiarism

Either the writers copied off the coaches or the coaches copied off the writers because the 25 teams ranked in the AP poll are the same 25 ranked in the Coaches’ Poll.

It gets better. Every team in the Top 25 in the AP landed within two spots of their ranking in the Coaches’ Poll. (I have three teams in my Top 25 that didn’t make the AP list – Miami, Utah, Virginia Tech.)

Hmmmm.

3. Is Anybody Rating Louisville?

If you’re searching for a college football website to help you survive the next 10 days, I’d recommend www.stassen.com.

It’s marvelous for polls and conference predictions. There’s a page where you can check the accuracy of polls and magazines from previous seasons.

Then there is this: A compilation of polls and predictions for the 2015 season. Stassen has the numbers from 19 sites and publications.

Three – 25th by ESPN, 20th by Harris and 19th by PickSix Preview, rank Louisville. (Your link.)

The good news is that PickSix Preview has delivered the most accurate pre-season predictions over the last three seasons. And PickSix gives Louisville its highest rating. PickSix has Auburn ranked sixth.

4. Louisville-Auburn Just Misses Top 10

The wait for college football games to begin is so challenging for many observers that they begin ranking more than the teams. They also rank the top quarterbacks, coaches on the hot seat, tailgating venues and other things.

Like the top games of the year. My friend Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports made one of those lists. So did Newsweek magazine.

The Louisville-Auburn game made both lists, checking in 11th with Newsweek and 17th with Forde, who notes that Bobby Petrino’s record in season-opening college games is 10-0.

5. Louisville Legacy Recruits

I can’t go five straight items without some basketball. On Saturday afternoon, I visited St. Stephen’s Church, where former U of L star Manuel Forrest hosted a basketball camp for about 40 neighborhood kids ages 9-to-12.

Among his speakers: Local coaching legend Wade Houston as well as Milt Wagner, the star of the Cards’ 1986 NCAA championship team.

If you’re into recruiting, write these names down: Allan Houston III and D.J. Wagner.

The two grandfathers advised me that both of their grandsons are talented players.

Houston, the son of former Ballard and Knicks star Allan Houston, will be a ninth grader in Rye, Conn. Like his father, he can shoot, shoot, shoot.

D.J. Wagner is only 10, the son of Dajuan Wagner, who played for John Calipari at Memphis before health problems derailed his NBA career.

Milt said that his grandson is a football/basketball phenom who is going to be a better player than his father or grandfather. (Link to a YouTube video of D.J. Wagner playing football.)

“He’s long and lean, like me,” Wagner said.

Will he follow his father’s path and play for Calipari?

“He’s a Louisville fan,” Wagner said. “He wants to go where his grandfather played.”

6. Who Replaces Jim Burr?

Jim Burr has finally decided to join Tim Higgins, John Clougherty, Curtis Shaw, Mike Kitts and other top college basketball officials of the last two decades and retire.

Burr had a marvelous career and worked so many of the college basketball’s greatest games. He probably stayed two or three years too long, but he earned the right to leave when he was ready.

But Burr leaves a void: Who’ll be the official that college basketball fans will taunt with the most vinegar next season?

Ted Valentine?

Mike Stuart?

Doug Shows?

Line One is open.

7. Tom Crean’s Random Acts of Kindness

Several years ago, I wrote this story at WDRB.com about the night that Indiana basketball coach Tom Crean and his son, Riley, stopped on their ride home from Assembly Hall one night in late December to assist a young man whose car had slid off a snow-covered road in Bloomington.

Crean did not want to talk about it, but I’d received a tip from somebody who saw the encounter, and Crean grudgingly agreed to fill in several details.

Turns out that was not a one-night thing. The Indianapolis Star put together this story about other times when Crean has demonstrated he walks the walk of his strong Christian faith.

8. DeMarcus Cousins’ Big Assist

Last week, a hat tip for former Kentucky star John Wall, for distributing backpacks with school supplies to disadvantaged youths in Washington, D.C. Today a hat tip for his former UK teammate DeMarcus Cousins.

Cousins was presented a key to the city in his hometown of Mobile, Ala. He’s more than just a local guy who has played his way into the NBA All-Star game. Cousins is providing funds to upgrade the Michael Figures playground basketball facilities where he played while growing up in South Alabama. Cousins has not forgotten his roots.

Nicely done, DeMarcus.

9. Charlie Strong On Michael Dyer, Core Values

Taking a chance on college football prospects with flashing lights in their backgrounds is always a hot topic. It was big last week in Texas, where one of Art Briles’ players at Baylor was dismissed from the team after he was found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman. This was a guy Briles brought to Waco from Boise State, where the kid had been asked to leave the team.

Treating women with respect is something that former Louisville coach Charlie Strong preaches every day. He is still preaching it at Texas, where Strong will begin his second season on Sept. 5 at Notre Dame.

In the aftermath of the Baylor situation, Strong talked about that issue in this story. He also expanded on his decision to bring former Auburn running back Michael Dyer to Louisville. It’s worth a read.

10. Poll Results

Last week’s question was a response to the closed scrimmages that are generally the rule in college football today. I asked this if fans would like to see one open scrimmage in August or if coaches and programs had too much to lose to open the gates?

One open scrimmage – 58 percent.

Too much to lose – 42 percent.

Copyright 2015 WDRB News. All Rights Reserved.

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