Brian Kelly

Brian Kelly will start his 10th season as the Notre Dame football coach when the Fighting Irish visit Louisville Sept. 2. AP Photo

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Not every program considers opening the season against an in-state rival the scheduling equivalent of embracing the apocalypse.

There is evidence: On Saturday at 7 p.m. the 2019 college football season will open at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla.

The game will match Miami against Florida.

In-state rivals from the Atlantic Coast and Southeastern Conferences.

I wonder what a solid marketing team could do with that one. What I’m going to do with it is use it as one of three points for my weekly College Football Notebook, which also includes this goodie from Notre Dame.

HERE COME THE IRISH — As I’ve mentioned at least 20 1/2 times, the point spread for Notre Dame’s visit to Cardinal Stadium Sept. 2 continues to hold at 20 1/2.

I’ve asked if the number is low because Louisville lost its last four by 31 or more — and because Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly believes his team is capable of returning to the college football playoff, even though the Irish are likely to open in the No. 8-to-12 range in the AP poll.

The flip side: Notre Dame was favored by 20 or more three times last season and failed to cover three times.

They defeated Ball State by 8 as a 34-point favorite. They defeated Pitt by 5 as a 21-point favorite. They handled Navy by 22 as a 24-point favorite. You have been warned.

Kelly told Steve Greenberg of the Chicago Sun-Times that the 30-3 loss the Fighting Irish suffered against Clemson in the playoff semifinals last season merely motivated him to take his team back because “I want to win the darn playoff.”

Here is the part of the story that should interest Louisville players and fans. Kelly told Greenberg that his team needs to develop the mentality of being road warriors because of their challenging away schedule. Said Kelly:

“One of our themes this year for our football team is that we have to be road warriors. We have to have that mindset of going on the road to Michigan. We’ve got to [go to] Georgia. We’ve got to go to Stanford, which we haven’t won at [since 2007].”

Hmmm.

Forgetting anybody?

MURKY SWAMP — There’s a hurricane of hype whipping behind the Florida team that lost to Kentucky in Gainesville last season but went on to win 10 games. People are carrying on like Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer are back in town.

Odds are the Gators will be ranked in the Top 10 in opening Associated Press college football Top 25 that will be released Monday.

Yes, the Gators finished with gusto, winning their last four as well as nine of their last 11.

But a closer look shows only two of those wins came against opponents that finished the season in the Top 25 — LSU and Michigan. Florida lost by nearly three touchdowns to Georgia and Missouri.

There’s more. According to this story at CollegeFootballTalk.com, six members of Dan Mullen’s Top 10 2019 recruiting class have already left the program or failed to quality

I realize Top 10 team rarely depend on freshmen. But it’s not a great vibe for a Florida team, which opens with the neutral site game against Miami and then hosts Tennessee-Martin before visiting Kentucky Sept. 14.

Florida is favored by 7 against the Hurricanes, a program that appears on Louisville’s schedule Nov. 9 in Miami.

Rock Bottom at Virginia Tech — Virginia Tech used to be somebody in college football. Went to major bowl games. Competed in the Top 10. Won league titles.

Now the ACC is all Clemson, all the time. The ACC needs Miami, North Carolina and Virginia Tech to rise up and put juice in the Coastal Division.

An anecdote like this one from Sports Illustrated can’t help coach Justin Fuentes build momentum in Blacksburg. The word is some Virginia Tech players were OK with losing the team’s regular-season finale against Marshall Dec. 1 so they would not have to practice another month for a bowl.

Didn’t happen.

Tech beat the Cavaliers in overtime to finish 6-6 but lost the Military Bowl to Cincinnati for a losing season.

Phil Steele picked Tech to finish second in the Coastal this season. They’ll need a better attitude than that.

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