Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Put me in, Coach! I'm ready to play!

Next week dawns the start of a fresh new season in Major League Baseball. The college game is already under way and both the Cards and Cats seem to be faring well thus far, with the Cards still ranked 8th at the moment at a very impressive 20-3. The Cats started off very hot as well and have seen some tough competition as of late, I feel they will end up with a good season as well. Baseball season brings about a few emotions. People are wondering just how their teams will do in the long 162 game season. Personally I always wonder how far my Reds will take me before I come to the stark realization that I will probably never see them win another title.

The best part about baseball season though, is that FOOTBALL IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER! Still, it's a ways off, but the NFL draft is coming shortly, and NCAA Spring practice is already under way! Thank God! I can only take so much boring freaking baseball before I start to get all antsy in my pantsy thinking about football.

I haven't made it out to a U of L Spring Practice just yet but have heard many many good things about the way Coach Strong and his staff operate so far. It seems to be a TOTAL change from what has gone on the last 3 years under the regime of 'He Who Shall Not Be Named.' The players are required to RUN to everywhere the go during practice, from drill to drill. If the coaches feel they don't run hard enough, they go back and do it again--this just getting in and out of huddles. I almost believe the former coach had players holding hands and skipping down the sidelines at practice from the way they played on the field.

No matter if you are a Card or a Cat fan, both coaches have assembled respectable recruiting classes in the Bluegrass State. Both Rivals and Scout have each school ranked very close to one another, one having the Cards with the 46th class and UK at 47, the other have UK with 47 I believe and UL at 51. Neither one of those are SUPER impressive if you're a Notre Dame follower or Miami or Texas, but around here, that's a very solid class.

The more important part of having a recruiting class is what a coach DOES with the recruits. Some UK fans are already on the fence with their new man in charge, and Cardinal fans all seem on board with Strong. Many felt he should have been hired 3 years ago, and now their dreams have come true--hopefully things work out much better this time around. Either way you go don't expect a HUGE improvement with either school. I really feel like Joker is essentially the same coach as Brooks, as do many UK fans I know. Not that he was a "bad hire" per se, but just that he wasn't a big step up. I think Joker will do just fine at the helm and lead the Cats to a few more bowl games.

Let's be honest, Jurich could have hired a 4th Grader and the kid could have improved over what has been done over the last 3 years in Louisville. I saw way too many times coming out of timeouts with either 12 or 10 players on the field (again, OUT OF TIME-OUTS!) and just mass confusion on BOTH sides of the ball. The offense got progressively worse each year (Brohm actually put up good numbers his Senior year) and the Defense almost always looked clueless. Hell, even Ron English couldn't fix things here!

I realize it is still over 5 months away until opening kickoff but the Spring Game at U of L is April 16th and I for one am already scheduled off of work and tailgating for that one! Hopefully we can all suffer through Baseball for a while until the Football Gods come to save us.


  1. Let's skip baseball and get down to some football

  2. As to your Joker comment:I agree somewhat. Joker is younger and hopefully has more desire than Brooks did. I'm not saying Brooks didn't want to win, just that Joker has a lot more to prove and hopefully his hunger will rubb off on the Cats.

    As for Strong: Anything would have been an upgrade but you guys got a really big upgrade. Will that trasnlate to wins right away? Only time will tell. I see the Cards finishing one or two games over .500. Strong has some building to do and it will take some time. Changing a football team's culture is more difficult than it is changing a basketball team's culture.

  3. I totally agree. I think Joker is going to do a fine job, a lot of Cat fans I know aren't sure yet though. I think he is more than capable. As for Strong, he has shown so far that he was the right choice. Id be ecstatic with a finish over .500 this season. Exactly like you said, its not nearly as difficult to change the culture of a bball team than a fball team. It took the past coach 3 years to totally destroy and demoralize a team AND a fanbase. Hopefully it doesn't take that long to right the course. I'm definitely not expecting miracles, a .500 season should make just about everyone happy, but I think the possibilities are there to be a game or 2 above as you said.

  4. UofL' 2010 Schedule is:
    Sept. 4 vs. Kentucky
    Sept. 11 vs. Eastern Kentucky
    Sept. 18 at Oregon State
    Oct. 2 at Arkansas State
    Oct. 9 vs. Memphis
    Oct. 15 (Fri.) vs. Cincinnati)
    Oct. 23 vs. Connecticut
    Oct. 30 at Pittsburgh
    Nov. 6 at Syracuse
    Nov. 13 vs. South Florida
    Nov. 20 vs. West Virginia
    Nov. 26 (Fri.) at Rutgers

    Based on what I saw last year,I think 5-7 would be acceptable. 7-5 is not realistic.

  5. Last years team was led by one of the most inept coaching staffs I've ever seen. Based on player interviews I've read and heard, they basically agree. Everyone has said that this coaching staff already has them more prepared and that they understand what to do. I see victories against eku, arkansas state, memphis, syracuse almost guaranteed. Uk is always a toss up but I feel like coaching has lost us more games in the past 3 years. Add in that factor and I see wins vs uk, uconn, and at rutgers as possibilities. Cincy won't be as tough either. Pitt was played very close until the half last season. I can see 6-6 or 7-5 as a realistic possibility.

  6. South florida should also expect a less than stellar season with leavitt's firing. I mean, this is the big east we are playing in, not the sec. A decent team can do well in this conference. I'm not EXPECTING 7 or more wins, but it is well within the realm of possibility. By the same token, I think a 6-6 record is something that should be celebrated after what this team and fanbase has seen over the last 3 years.

  7. For UK, anything less than perfection is a let down. If Joker doesn't win the SEC this year, I say fire him and bring in Kragthorpe.

  8. That's rigth PAMB. You tell 'em.