BOZICH | Monday Muse: Debating U of L vs. WKU; More trouble for - WDRB 41 Louisville News

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    Louisville (6-4)
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    35%
    196 votes

BOZICH | Monday Muse: Debating U of L vs. WKU; More trouble for Charlie; Louisville legacies

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WKU is 8-2. U of L is 6-4. Which team is better? WKU is 8-2. U of L is 6-4. Which team is better?

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – No snooze from The Muse this week. I’m ready to go on Monday. Consider me energized by the basketball/football combination last weekend delivered.

Dr. Bo had a better weekend than Disbelieving Bo (Ryan). His Wisconsin team endured the most surprising upset of opening night in college basketball – and then the Badgers doubled down with a Tweet that went straight to the Delete key. (Tease intended.)

This will be a football and basketball inclusive Muse – and with football rolling into its final weekends of the regular season, chinstrap wins the toss.

1. WHO’S NUMBER ONE – U of L or WKU?

Remember when we had four candidates for the best local FBS college football team?

Of course you do because I wrote about it Oct. 9. Western Kentucky (40), Kentucky (43), Indiana (46) and Louisville (48) were ranked within a nine-slot range in the Massey composite numbers, which included data from 92 college football polls.

Kentucky has not won since Oct. 3.

Indiana has not celebrated a victory since Sept. 26.

Bye, bye.

The local list of two Top 50 teams has been shaved to two. The Cards are ranked 42nd in Massey’s composite numbers, one spot behind Jeff Brohm’s 8-2 WKU squad. You’ll find Kentucky at 80 in the composite poll, IU at 74.

A four-part question has become a two-part question: Who’s the best local team U of L or WKU?

Some nuggets to chew on:

Louisville actually ranks in the top 40 in three computer polls I often check: Sagarin predictor (39), ESPN power index (39) and RPI (38). WKU’s numbers in those three polls are 54, 46 and 35.

Sagarin ranks U of L’s schedule 39th most difficult, while WKU’s is 108. Advantage, Bobby Petrino.

Louisville has won four straight, but the wins have come against four 3-7 teams. The Cards have beaten one FBS opponent with a winning record (North Carolina State). Western has won eight of 10 games, but the Hilltoppers have also beaten only one FBS opponent (Louisiana Tech) with a winning record.

Louisville doesn’t have an awful loss. Clemson and Houston are both 10-0, Florida State is 8-2. Yes, Auburn is 5-5 but that was also the season opener. WKU’s worst loss was at Indiana, where the Hilltoppers finished two Brandon Doughty interceptions short of celebrating.

Those are the numbers. Make your case. Choose your team.

2. DEMARCUS COUSINS’ ACT OF KINDNESS

Most headlines that former University of Kentucky basketball star DeMarcus Cousins’ stirs are created by technical fouls, confrontations or fussing at his head coach. Cousins has a temper and often shows it.

But the big guy also has a big heart – and he shows that a lot, too.

The latest example came last week when Cousins paid for the funeral of a teenager shot in Sacramento after the young man was killed in a car while riding with friends to pick up food. (The link from Sports Illustrated.)

Last summer Cousins returned home to Mobile, Alabama, where he is paying for the renovation of several outdoor basketball courts. He’s an avid fan of high school football and basketball, and he gave one Sacramento-area school nearly $28,000 for new scoreboards last season.

Bravo, DeMarcus. Bravo.

3. DEAR CHARLIE: CALL MIAMI NOW

Charlie Strong lost another football game Saturday. His Longhorns slipped to 4-6 by stumbling at West Virginia, 38-20.

Texas must win back-to-back games to get to .500. Texas has not won back-to-back games all season. The Longhorns finish with a home game against Texas Tech Nov. 26 and a Dec. 5 trip to Baylor.

Texas beat Tech last season, but lost to Baylor 28-7.

Smells like 5-7 tops to me.

There is always howling about Strong in the Texas media. The latest is this piece that lectures him about building stronger relationships with Texas high school coaches. It's the kind of story they write about a coach when he is 4-6.

I’ve got a lecture for Strong: Take your best shot for the job opening at Miami.

Texas fans are always going to find reasons they don’t want you in the job. In Miami, you’ll be a hero and parked in the middle of your recruiting sweet spot. You'll win in Miami. With less noise.

Thank me later, Charlie.

4. EARLY NBA DRAFT REPORT

We’re four days into the college basketball season which means you’re really tardy if you have not started obsessing about the 2016 NBA Draft.

Sports Illustrated has that covered for you. SI posted its list of the Top 20 candidates for June 2016.

As usual it has a Kentucky flavor, but not as much of a Kentucky flavor as it had last season. Two of John Calipari’s freshmen are ranked in the Top Five – center Skal Labissiere is third, two spots ahead of guard Jamal Murray. 

The Wildcats, for the record, are the only team with two top 20 guys. That's right, just one Duke guy.

5. FAB FOUR

I’ll start sharing my entire Associated Press college basketball ballot next week. For now, here are my Fab Four – in hoops as well as for the college football playoff.

First, football:

1. Clemson, but you can talk me out of it; 2. Alabama, impressive, thunderous win in Starkville; 3. Ohio State, still waiting to see the team I saw down the stretch last season; 4. Notre Dame, the ND loss to Clemson trumps the Oklahoma loss to Texas.

Even Bevo will tell you that.

Basketball: 1. North Carolina; 2. Kentucky; 3. Maryland; 4. Duke. I can be talked out of any of these.

Fuss away.

6. PLEASE REPEAT THOSE SCORES

November and December are Checkbook Months in college basketball. You write a check and teams line up to come into your arena. They’re supposed to leave with $75,000-to-$125,000 and an L. Check the local schedules for confirmation.

Some teams refuse to follow the script. By my count, nine teams from the top six leagues (ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Big East, Pac-12 and SEC) lost home games they weren’t supposed to lose during opening weekend.

Here is your list, topped by a brutal performance by North Carolina State, which stumbled to William and Mary less than 24 hours after Mark Gottfried signed a five-year contract extension. Yes, the Wolfpack have serious depth and injury issues. But they lost by 17 – and the ACC is an unforgiving league.

The other stumblers:

Wisconsin by 2 to Western Illinois; Virginia Tech by 3 to Alabama State; Illinois by 12 to Northern Florida (which visits Louisville Saturday as Rick Pitino will delightfully remind everybody).

Georgia by 2 to Chattanooga; UCLA by 3 to Monmouth; Arizona State 3 to Sacramento State

Georgetown 2 to Radford, and Marquette 3 to Belmont.

We’ve only just begun.

7. WISCONSIN HITS DELETE

It’s Journalism 101 – getting it right is better than getting it first.

Add the Wisconsin athletic Twitter account to the list of social media contributors who have officially learned that lesson. It appears somebody associated with the women’s basketball program had this Tweet ready to roll minutes after the Badgers’ men’s team finished its season opener with Western Illinois:

“After a big win by @BadgerMBB last night, @BadgerWBB looks to tip off its season in style today.” (The link.)

First with the news? You bet. Wrong? Oh, yeah.

Don’t try to find the Tweet today. It’s been deleted. Western Illinois ensured that by defeating Bo Ryan’s Final Four program, 69-67.

No word on the employment status of the Badgers’ social media guru.

8. LOUISVILLE LEGACY REPORT

At least two players who won national championships at Louisville have sons playing Division I college basketball this season – Pervis Ellison and Jerry Eaves.

Ellison’s son, Malik, is a freshman guard at St. John’s. He made his debut with the Red Storm by playing 21 minutes and making 2 of 3 three-point field goals while scoring seven points. You can watch Malik Ellison next week when the St. John’s opens with Vanderbilt in the Maui Invitational.

Eaves has two sons – Frank (Appalachian State) and Anthony (Chicago State) – playing DI ball.

Frank Eaves led Appalachian State in scoring last season, but missed all seven of his shots in the opener, finishing with five free throws as the Mountaineers beat Jacksonville. Anthony is a freshman who played at Ballard last season. He scored 10 points in 14 minutes off the bench.

9. YES, BUTLER DID THIS

I confess. When I saw the first tweet from Indianapolis Saturday night, I was certain this was a halftime score: Butler 71, The Citadel 41.

Citadel allegedly has a first-year coach who is trying to install a style of play that features a frantic, running, pressing, relentless pace.

It also features absolutely zero attention to defense.

Butler made nearly 78 percent of its two-point field goal attempts, while winning, 144-71. School record? What do you think?

10. POLL RESULTS

How many Louisville basketball players would start for Kentucky this season?

None – 56.3 percent

One, Damion Lee – 19.3

Three, Lee, Chinanu Onuaku, Deng Adel, 13.8.

Two, Lee, Onuaku, 10.6.

Copyright 2015 WDRB News. All Rights Reserved.

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