There was a time not so long ago when this had a chance to be the college football game of the season. UH-Louisville was circled on a lot of calendars. Tickets have been sold out for months.
But then the Cardinals lost a tough one to Clemson. The Cougars’ invincibility suddenly disappeared with losses to Navy and then inexplicably to SMU. And it became just another interesting matchup.
It still means a lot for Louisville, who remains on the cusp of playoff contention. The Cardinals will be motivated after being left out of the top four. The Cougars do not have much to play for, as the New Year’s Six date and conference championship are long gone. An Armed Forces bowl or some such thing is all that awaits.
Tom Herman has been money in games like this, but this Cougars team simply is not the same. The juggernaut that housed Oklahoma has been beset with injuries and shaky play. Even their recent wins have not been impressive. They are much closer to the Tony Levine-era Cougars than last year’s talented group. And that’s really the difference; they simply do not have the same caliber players as last year’s team. Gone is Kenneth Farrow, the bruising running back who is now playing for the Chargers. Elandon Roberts, the instinctive linebacker who has become a perfect fit for the Patriots. And William Jackson, a cover corner with so much skill he went in the first round of the NFL draft. Throw in Demarcus Ayers, their top WR last year, and the simple truth is those players were never replaced. THREE NFL players and a solid No. 1 wideout. That’s a massive loss for a school like UH.
And the biggest issue — as it was last year even in a 13-1 season — is an offensive line that has been shuffled and struggling throughout the year. Oh, and did we mention quarterback Greg Ward, Jr. has been beaten up and was hurt again on Saturday?
The season started with so much promise. A Heisman contender. A Top 10 ranking. Dreams of the Big 12. Now, the motivation for Houston is this is the big bowl game they will not get at the end of the season. This is their last shot at the spotlight for 2016. Tom Herman’s last chance to pad the resume for the inevitable postseason offers.
The Heisman winner will be on the field tonight in Louisville’s Lamar Jackson. The Cardinals have become everything UH wanted to be. A former C-USA team in a big conference. A playoff contender. A legitimate national power. All that is left for the Cougars is to try and play spoiler.
And think about the game that might have been.
Misc: A lot of people have asked about the scene i am writing for the movie at the poker table and how they can be a part of it. The bottom line is that will be reserved for investors who put at least $1 million in the project. (It’s actually a GREAT investment opportunity). Regardless, if you have venture capital and want to be in a movie, that’s the price tag and you know the email address…Man, that Toledo over was not really close last night. The computer had that as a prime play. These midweek games have befuddled me all year. Speaking of gambling, my gut and fandom tell me UH covers tonight, but my brain tells me Louisville is going to stomp their faces like Ed Norton did to that dude on the curb in American History X. I definitely think we will hit a ticket on the under 68.5, however…Also on the site today we have a nice piece on the fight of the year from Tim Burgess , the Delta Jackpot day betting guide and A.J. Hoffman’s fantasy rankings.
Are people really this stupid? Do I have to ask? Fake news outperformed real news on Facebook.
It’s funny because he’s fat: China has banned a particular internet search for North Korea’s leader.
Want to add a day to your life? How about a day and a half? Easy. Just watch NFL Red Zone.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“So I guess this is where I tell you what I learned – my conclusion, right? Well, my conclusion is: Hate is baggage. Life’s too short to be pissed off all the time. It’s just not worth it. Derek says it’s always good to end a paper with a quote. He says someone else has already said it best. So if you can’t top it, steal from them and go out strong. So I picked a guy I thought you’d like. ‘We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.'”
— Danny Vineyard, American History X