Football’s Dust Settles in Louisville for WKU, Louisville Cards and UK

Maybe this is the year I should have started betting on football.

That was a near-perfect football weekend. First, I went to Bowling Green and saw one of the country’s best offenses demolish a 9-2 Marshall team that came in expecting to be competitive. The final was 49-28, but it could have been a lot more if not for a few Topper miscues and Jeff Brohm’s decision to take his foot off the gas in the 4th quarter.

Western, 8-0 in Conference USA, earned the right to host Southern Miss (yes, Card fans, THAT Southern Miss) in the league title game at home at 11 on Saturday. We should all go.

At 10-2, Western is now ranked 27th in the land and likely headed to Dallas for a bowl game the day after Christmas. That game would kick off at 2:20.

Of course, I should have gone to Lexington on Saturday. It was an up-and-down affair, and I was among those worried about the outcome as Kentucky built a shocking 24-7 lead over U of L on the strength on one good opening drive and 2 interceptions that resulted in scores.

But then, Lamar Jackson happened to the Cats. The Louisville freshman QB led a monumental comeback that left UK defenders swinging at air and missing tackles, while UK’s not-ready-for-prime time offense struggled mightily.

The 7-5 finish for U of L is still slightly disappointing, but good enough to punch a likely ticket for the Sun Bowl in El Paso on the say after Christmas, the same day as WKU’s bowl game and the same day at the UK –  U of L basketball game, set for Noon in Lexington. U of L could play UCLA, or another Pac-10 team, in El Paso, with the game starting at 2.

As a U of L fan, it was hard not to take some joy in the demise of the UK football program under Mark Stoops. The U of L game may have been a microcosm of the Wildcat season — off to a great start, but not having the talent to keep up when it counts. UK was once 4-1 and fans were talking about which bowl they would be going to. Not so fast, as Lee Corso would say.

Worse for UK is that the schedule in 2015 was as favorable as it’s gonna get for UK to win 6 games in a season. On Sunday, quarterback Patrick Towles announced he is transferring, and it would be a surprise if he’s the only one who does so.  Stoops, in his third year, appears to be the latest guy who is not going to get it done in Lexington. Though he won’t get fired this post-season, he’ll be in a do-or-die position next year. Louisville will be going for its with straight win over UK at home next November.

And oh I really wish I’d gone to Nashville Sunday for a visit by my favorites, the Oakland Raiders. The Sliver-and-Black beat the Titans 24-21, scoring a TD with 1:21 left to seal the win. For the first time in a while, Oakland has a shot at the playoffs, a QB with a bright future in Derrick Carr and maybe even the right coach in Jack Del Rio.

In conclusion, is you have to have ankle surgery and stay home in late November watching TV, it’s really nice when your favorite teams do well. Now it’s back to the latest on Netflix and Amazon.