Could it be…

November 21, 2007

Ok, first and foremost, it’s probably way too early to be celebrating. But, the University of Louisville has called a 3:00PM press conference with Special K.

Chances are, he’s simply going to reaffirm his “commitment” to Louisville (committed to driving the car into a solid brick wall, no doubt). But for many of us that bleed red and black, there is a slim hope that he’s gone.

The saddest part of this, is it’s the first glimmer of “hope” in this horrible season.

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Rumor mill…Special K to SMU?

November 20, 2007

Pat Forde of ESPN.com is reporting on rumors swirling that Special K could be one and done in Louisville. He’s actually being a bit more specific than that…

SMU is interested in Kragthorpe and quoted a U of L source “close to the program” that it’s “50-50” that Kragthorpe would leave if the job were offered.

I can’t tell you how exciting this information is. Without a doubt, I’d be on cloud nine. And it isn’t just Louisville that wins in this case…

Advantages abound all the way around!

  1. Special K gets a team at a school appropriate for his level, another turn around job, and another chance for success (SMU would be happy with the “success” he engineered at Tulsa, which isn’t ever going to be the case in Louisville)
  2. Special K is gone!
  3. Turtleneck doesn’t have to slice his friend’s throat.
  4. Special K is gone!
  5. We get to grab Chris Peterson of Boise State (my first choice) or Brian Kelly of Cincinnati (my second choice).
  6. Special K is gone!

Everyone wins! Well, everyone except Boise State and/or Cincinnati. Oh well…everyone doesn’t get to be happy.


Is it too soon to fire Special K?

November 20, 2007

A day after posting an article that laid out the damage Special K has brought to Louisville’s football program, including the apt description of Special K as a “lemon”, Eric Crawford of the Louisville Courier Journal has posted a new one, arguing that Special K needs more time.

A small part of it…

Forget chestnuts roasting on an open fire. It may well be the University of Louisville football coach feeling the flames this holiday season.

Cardinals fans are that hot. There are no fewer than three “Fire Steve Kragthorpe” Web sites*.

With so much smoke flying, it’s hard to take a cold, hard look at the situation. But that’s exactly what is required as Kragthorpe heads into the last game of his first season as coach.

And here’s some cold, hard truth: No matter how much you think U of L football has crashed and burned this season, to remove Kragthorpe now would be to drop napalm on the whole thing.

Click here to read the entire article…

So…in the span of two days and two articles, Eric has really got the flames flying on CJ message boards. Predictably, those calling for Special K’s head to those calling for more time sit at a 95% to 5% ratio. Fans are upset, fans are sick, fans want explanations. And after being right with the first article, Eric is wrong, wrong, wrong with the second.

The Turtleneck does nothing except talk about how Special K is his man. Special K does nothing except spew as many clichés as he can think of. The team looks to be in complete disarray, the players have rejected this “player’s coach”, and there is no indication that things will get better with more time.

Ever since the Turtleneck came to town to slit Denny’s throat, he’s done an excellent job. All of his hires have been excellent (until Special K), all of his fundrasing is off the chart, and he’s generally gotten the University of Louisville to the top of the college athletics world.

I know, it’s probably difficult, when you’ve been so successful for so long, to admit you’ve screwed up. It’s probably difficult to realize you’ve made a horrible mistake. But no amount of telling us Special K is your “man” is addressing these issues. No amount of hiding is addressing the issues.

There are many examples of coaches being fired after one season. It isn’t unheard of. Anyone that follows Louisville football knows how the Pipe fared at Oklahoma. There are also many examples of coaches being allowed to coach when they aren’t getting the job done season after season. Be the former, not the latter, Turtleneck.

Demonstrate the decision-making prowess we’ve seen in the past. Demonstrate the ability to act fast as we’ve seen from you before. Cut this loser, cut this cancer from our football program, and do it now.

At the very least, the Turtleneck and Special K could lay out, in writing and vocally, how exactly Special K is going to “right this ship.”

At the very least, they could offer a postmortem on this lost season, admit what Special K has done wrong, what Special K has not done, and the exact steps that are going to be made to ensure this isn’t the norm for Louisville football.

But they remain (mostly) silent. The Turtleneck talks of how Special K is his man. Special K spins his clichés. Nothing gets accomplished, nothing gets done. And the football program falls further and further into disarray with each passing day.

Their failures to take these steps are compelling evidence that there is no plan. There is no chance of Special K righting the ship. Are they just milking their seven figure salaries while providing nothing in return? What other explanation is there?

So, in response to the question that serves as the title of this post. NO. It is NOT too soon to FIRE SPECIAL K! Please Turtleneck…Fire Steve Kragthorpe!

*A Google search for “fire Steve Kragthorpe” shows my blog as the #2 site, and we’re going for #1. I am hoping to come to an agreement with some of the other websites to perhaps combine our efforts.


Cardinals sit at 5-6…and this season is just the first step in the Special K era

November 18, 2007

Ahem…uh, eh, ah…I guess I’m in a state of shock at how quickly, how hard and how far the Louisville Cardinals have fallen. Frequent readers will note that I’m not a Special K supporter. That I want Special K gone. But watching the game against USF last night was simply stunning. Heartbreaking. Wool gathering. Folks, this was Ron Cooper bad.

When you consider the talent we have on the offense, how Special K can simply call a continual slathering of ineffective, repetitive, ignorant plays…it just defies all logic.

Eric Crawford, of the Louisville Courier Journal had this to say about Special K’s play calling last night –

U of L’s offense consisted of Brohm to Douglas. You’d expect that of a guy playing with the Cards on his PlayStation at home, but not from the actual team. That big laminated card that coach Steve Kragthorpe holds? I wondered at times if it wasn’t a big Waffle House menu, because the Cards looked scattered, smothered and covered for most of the night.

Special K is not Bobby Petrino. We know that. But when someone who covers the Cards for a living can see that there is absolutely NO logic or thought process, heck, not even a script, with our offense, it’s time to wonder if Special K can work either side of the field. We already knew Special K isn’t a defensive genius. But this game blows the wraps on any possibility Special K might have some talent on the other side of the ball.

I knew it was bad. I’ve been calling for the head of Special K since the Syracuse game. But I didn’t think it would get so bad this quick. I figured it would take Special K a couple of years to decimate the program. Now I realize that if Special K is given a couple of years, we’re looking at coming back from NCAA death penalty proportions. Nuclear winter. A 20 megaton nuclear weapon with Papa John’s as ground zero.

Folks, this is bad. Really bad. More to come…but even the morning after, I’m still not recovered enough to analyse this game the way it needs to be done.

It’s a hangover, sure…but there wasn’t any fun in getting to this point. A news conference announcing Special K’s resignation would be a welcome aid to this recovery. A news conference to announce Special K will not be retained after this season would be a welcome aid. A news conference in which the Turtleneck says “hey, I screwed up” and Special K is GONE NOW would be the best medicine.

Notes to the Turtleneck. If this is your guy…immediately trash any and all plans of stadium expansion. If this is your guy…immediately lower the price of season tickets, because filling seats is going to be a problem. If this is your guy…buy him a book of clichés, because he’s going to need it to keep us entertained in lieu of actual performance on the field. If this is your guy…force him to hire stellar coordinators who can do the job absent the presence of a head coach. If this is your guy…perhaps it is time for you to seek the greener pastures of Florida State so you can fire Bobby Bowden and take the next step in your throat slicing career.


Special K Clichés of the Week

November 12, 2007

Never one to disappoint in terms of dropping never-ending spates of clichés, Special K comes through yet again.

“They played their tails off.”

“We fought and fought and fought until the bitter end, but it just didn’t happen for us.”

“We kept slinging mud, but gosh dang, we came up short.”

“It was like an Ali-Frazier fight.  We kept slugging and coming off the ropes…”

Join us next week for another round of clichés from the mouth of Special K!


Big East bowl Eligibility in Eleventh Week of Football Season

November 10, 2007

I thought it’d be nice to take a look at the teams from the Big East that are now bowl eligible in the eleventh week of the college football season while I watch the Illinois-Ohio State game. Pretty good game (as far as Big Ten football goes) thus far, score sitting at 21-14 at the half.

I’d love to see the POS that is Ron Zook beat Ohio State…because I shudder to think of another National Championship game featuring the Buckeyes…heck, I’d even take the Zooker over Special K! Nah, not really…but then again…

They are: Connecticut, West Virginia, Cincinnati, Rutgers, and South Florida. Five teams have bowl eligibility currently. Notable absences from the list? Just one…the University of Louisville. I mean, who expects Syracuse or Pitt to be bowl eligible ever?

But I guess Syracuse (sitting at 2-7 currently) can take some satisfaction that they not only beat Louisville…they did so in Louisville, snapping the Cardinal’s 20 game home win streak.

So no matter how disappointing their season has been, they know they schooled Louisville hard @ Louisville…dominated them. When you consider Louisville entered this game as a 37 point favorite…omg… surely we’re not point shaving? Nah…it’s just that our “coach” is Special K.  He’s not smart enough to shave points…

How bad was the Syracuse loss? Consider what Pat Forde of ESPN said

Believe it or not, the biggest underachiever of 2007 is not the Wolverines, or even the Fighting Irish. The Dash says it’s the Cardinals, who have plummeted from the top 10 after consecutive losses — including a shocker Saturday that, by point spread, ranks as the biggest upset on the books. Ever. Before this game the Orange were in strong contention for worst team from a BCS league.

That’s bad…really bad. And it’s the perfect example of the multitude of reasons the Turtleneck needs to cut his losses and fire Steve Kragthorpe. It’s worse than App State knocking of Michigan. It’s worse than UK getting schooled in Rupp Arena by a team no one ever heard of. It is, without a doubt, proof positive that Special K is NOT the man for the job.

As for Pitt…they’re the best example in the Big East of being coached worse than Louisville. Truthfully, they’re the only example of being coached worse than Louisville in the Big East. But in Pitt’s defense, they have been wracked with injuries, and like I said…who expects Pitt to be going bowling anyway?

I know, I know…some of the Special K apologists out there are going to insist that Special K is in his first year. There is no way a first year coach can come in and have an immediate impact. Ha! Please…just look at the northern point of the Golden Triangle and justify that. Sure…you’re going to argue that Special K beat Cincinnati…is that another “moral victory”?

You’re also going to come up with the “but we almost beat West Virginia!” argument too…and while West Virginia did nearly everything to hand us the game, Special K couldn’t close the deal! Our end series was a perfect example of how NOT to run a two minute drill.

And how about the whole “it’s a rebuilding year.” We all knew it would be! Ahem…NOBODY thought that. Check out the preseason rankings. Check out the rankings until the Syracuse disaster. Check out the rankings until the Kentucky disaster. NOBODY, not even the Turtleneck, expected this to be a rebuilding year.

Louisville sits at 5-5…and with two games to go (USF and Rutgers), I don’t see Special K getting two more, even one more win this season. And considering ten (10) SEC teams are bowl eligible, are you going to tell me that anyone other than a fool is going to select a 6-6 Louisville team over an SEC team? I don’t think so…

In essence, that means our bowl appearance streak is over, our winning season streak is over…and the biggest reason lies firmly at the feet of Special K. And therefore, it lies firmly at the feet of the Turtleneck, who is standing by “his man” no matter what. He’ll give “his man” as much time as it takes to prove he was the right man for the job.

No…I’m not calling for the head of the Turtleneck. He’s proven himself too many times as being the man for the job at Louisville. However, I think he miscalculated on this one…his coaching “search” tainted by the idea that he had to find someone who considered Louisville their final destination, first and foremost. While I do want to see a coach that is going to stay long term…I wouldn’t have selected a “coach” who’s claim to fame was a sub-Louisville season at Tulsa and a Liberty Bowl win.

Besides…we’re all human, and we all make mistakes. But how long is it going to take the Turtleneck to realize and correct his mistake. But I’ll promise you this…with each loss, with each lie about how we knew this was a rebuilding year, with each failure to (publicly) recognize and fix the mistake, we creep closer and closer to not caring if Jurich moves on to Florida State as he’s expected to.

As bad as the Ron Cooper era was…the Special K era is going to be even worse. Most ‘Ville fans will recall what the Pipe told us many years ago. “We are on a collision course with the National Championship. The only variable is time.”

Let’s just say that the loss of Petrino and the addition (and trust me, it’s difficult to think of anything Special K “adds” to the University of Louisville with the exception of being a horrible “coach”) of Special K greatly extends the variable that the Pipe mentioned. And I’d like to make another such statement. “With Special K at the wheel, we are on a collision course with a brick wall. The only variable is how much damage is done to the car!”

But luckily, Special K is holding his breath and waiting, no he’s hoping, for that elusive sixth win!  Meanwhile, Cardinal fans have to hold their breath and hope that Special K doesn’t total the car.


Louisville sues Duke…Special K is holding his breath…and UK Loses to an Unknown

November 9, 2007

Three topics in this post, which I don’t normally do. But this is a special situation, I think.

First, I have to mention Louisville suing Duke over Duke backing out of a football contract with the ‘Ville. Weak. Couldn’t this have been solved without resorting to this sort of action? It makes us look desperate to throw W’s on the schedule, and it also makes us look petty.

I suppose considering the major damage Special K has inflicted on the ‘Ville in his short (but yet way too long) tenure as our “head coach”, it makes sense to be desperate for a guaranteed W on the schedule. But, based on the “coaching”, I think it just as likely that the ‘Ville could end up getting beaten by a team as pitiful as Duke.

When you consider how Syracuse absolutely dominated the ‘Ville at Papa John’s, it’s even possible Duke could have rung up a couple of wins against us. After all, our offense has already been exposed as being quite Duke-like, and it’s steadily grown worse through the season.

Again…this is a weak, weak lawsuit…and we’re so much better than resorting to tactics like this. I guess my issue is the thought that somehow, Louisville claims it can’t find an opponent of Duke “quality.” Wha-wha-wha-wha-what?

Just come out and admit it…it’s that the Turtleneck believes that Duke represents a guaranteed (ahem, you might want to rethink that with Special K at the helm) win against a BCS conference opponent? It certainly can’t be based on the long history Duke has on the gridiron? HA!

I’ve got to think there are a number of quality, non-BCS opponents to be had…Boise State, anyone? How about an opponent like Hawaii?  Oh, those wont work, because they aren’t a guaranteed “W”. Truth be told, they would probably be a guaranteed “L” with Special K.

Hey Turtleneck…as long as Special K is the “right man” for the job, I don’t think we can consider ANY school on our schedule as a “W”. Just go ahead and schedule a team like Temple…Special K can probably go .500 against a team like that.

Please, please…fire Steve Kragthorpe.

Now on to our loss at West Virginia. Again, the Cards have shown a bit of spark in terms of defense, but we’re still not really good. According to ESPN, Louisville coach Steve Kragthorpe said he held his breath on White’s final run, hoping for a tackle that never came.

Wow…we’re down to holding our breath and hoping. That’s major league coaching, Special K! If you’re two years old, that is.

Kudos to Brohm…he managed to bring us back into a game we trailed 31-14 in. Nice to see Brohm doing everything he could, but that’s kind of what we expect from such a special player. I just hope he doesn’t fall too far in the draft based on the horrible pox Special K has inflicted upon him and the team. We still rank high offensively, but nowhere near last year, and nowhere near even though the start of the season.

West Virginia is a quality, quality football program.  But, as good as West Virginia is, they tried their absolute best to give us the game. The penalties, the turnovers, the overall lackluster effort…not what one expects from West Virginia. They still probably will end up finishing second in the Big East, but I’m guessing they’ll take this game as a wake up call.

So…Special K has failed to win out. As you’ll recall, I had already promised to take back my demands for his firing if he could do so. We now sit at 5-5 for the season, and still are not eligible for a bowl.  Think about that…ten games into the season, and we’re still not eligible for a bowl.

Special K has nine days to hold his breath and hope for getting the team ready to lose at Raymond James stadium at the hands of the USF Bulls (something I’ve witnessed in person, much to my chagrin, on a family vacation). And then we get to move on to get beaten at home by Rutgers…ending our impressive one game home winning streak!

As bad as I hate to pour salt into the wound, I simply must close out with a short PS. UK fans, take heart. One game in basketball does not a season make (there are already folks calling for the head of Billy G in the bluegrass state). Yes, it was a shocking win by an unknown. Yes, it’s even more significant that App State knocking off Michigan (App State, after all, is the defending I-AA champion). Yes, Billy G looked shell shocked throughout the entire game. And yes, Louisville will be spanking you hard this year. But please…keep Billy G!

Seriously though…I’m not a UK hater.  But please…keep Billy G!