TeddyBridgewaterSugarBowlTrophy2013
Louisville 1st Team to Win BCS Game with ZERO Players Drafted

In 2012, the Louisville Cardinal Football team had 12 Seniors on Roster, 5 of which began their career on scholarship.  Normal attrition of college football classes due to transfers, early entrants, injuries, & academics  will typically see a class of freshman diminished in number by the time Senior Ceremonies occur.  BUT FIVE?  The result of which created an extremely small pool of players for the NFL to consider in last April’s draft.  Several Cardinals will have an opportunity as undrafted Free Agents (UDFAs) in NFL camps this summer, but the 2013 Sugar Bowl Champions did not have a single player drafted.

It got me thinking……Has their ever been a BCS team to win, or even appear and fail to have a single player drafted the following April?

There have been 67 Games, featuring 134 programs and before the 2013 BCS season there had NEVER been a team to play in a BCS game without having a player drafted. As it turns out, in 2013 there WERE TWO teams to appear and not have a player go in the NFL Draft, Louisville & Northern Illinois.  NIU lost the Orange Bowl, leaving Louisville as the ONLY TEAM IN BCS HISTORY TO WIN A BCS GAME AND NOT HAVE A PLAYER DRAFTED.

We’ll get to the charts here in a minute, but while I was pulling data I also discovered that being in a BCS game is actually bad for your winning percentage the following year. 89 of 134 teams (72%) actually had a lower winning % after appearing in a BCS game winning 21.42 percentage points fewer than the previous season.  Only 35 of 134 teams (28%) maintained or increased their winning percentage the following season of their BCS appearance. Overall, teams appearing in a BCS game decreased their winning percentages 13.68 points following their BCS appearance.

BCS Teams (since starting in 1998) averaged 4.99 NFL Draft Selections, and there was no direct correlation between losing 10 players or 3 that negated a significant drop off in winning percentage.  But of 27 teams that DID increase their winning percentage 6 went undefeated, and 16 won 90%+ of their games.

Louisville Football is going to start 2013 somewhere in the Top 10, ESPN recently released a poll that had them at #4 Preseason.  With a unilateral avoidance of the Cardinals in Out Of Conference Scheduling from ‘traditional powers’ (we call them myths), and a lame duck year in the AAC (American Athletic Conference) there is sure to be plenty of criticism about Louisville’s success on the gridiron in 2013-14.  But don’t let folks forget that the Cardinals did not have a SINGLE player drafted and still managed to beat an 11-1 Florida team who was a game away from playing in the National Championship, and also had 8 players drafted.  Oh and they did it easily, taking a knee in scoring position, allowing two TDs while in celebration mode in the final 8 minutes, and having the strangest Chop Block penalty ever on a field goal try…….and still won by 10.

That Louisville team returns almost entirely intact, and avoiding them in non-conference scheduling & criticizing them throughout the season isn’t going to help the unfortunate program that will eventually have to face them come bowl season.  At that point the Cardinals’ performance will be discounted and after the game announcers and administrators can make whatever excuses they want for the ‘Myth’, but it won’t change the scoreboard come January 2014.

Year Bowl Winning Team Record Players Drafted Next Season Record Next Season Result Losing Team Record Players Drafted Next Season Record Next Season Result
1998-99 Rose Wisconsin 11-1 3 10-2 Big Ten Champs, Won Rose Bowl UCLA 10-2 3 4-7 9th PAC, No Bowl
Sugar Ohio State 11-1 8 6-6 8th BIG, No Bowl Texas A&M 11-3 6 8-4 2nd Big XII South, Lost Alamo
Orange Florida 10-2 8 9-4 1st SEC East, Lost Citrus Syracuse 8-4 3 7-5 4th Big East, Won Music City
Fiesta Tennessee* 13-0 6 9-3 2nd SEC East, Lost Fiesta Florida St. 11-2 4 12-0 National Champs

1999-2000 Rose Wisconsin 10-2 4 9-4 5th BIG, Won Sun Bowl Stanford 8-4 2 5-6 4th PAC, No Bowl
Sugar Florida St* 12-0 7 11-2 ACC Champs, Lost Orange Bowl VT 11-1 5 11-1 2nd Big East, Won Gator Bowl
Orange Michigan 10-2 6 9-3 BIG Champs, Won Citrus Alabama 10-3 3 3-8 Last SEC West, No Bowl
Fiesta Nebraska 12-1 3 10-2 1st Big XII North, Won Alamo Tennessee 9-3 9 8-4 4th SEC East, Lost Cotton

2000-01 Rose Washington 11-1 5 8-4 4th PAC, L in Holiday Bowl Purdue 8-4 5 6-6 5th BIG, Lost Sun Bowl
Sugar Miami (FL) 11-1 7 12-0 National Champions Florida 10-3 4 10-2 2nd SEC East, Won Orange
Orange Oklahoma* 13-0 2 11-2 2nd Big XII South, Won Cotton Florida St. 11-2 9 8-4 2nd ACC, Won Gator
Fiesta Oregon St 11-1 4 5-6 7th in PAC, No Bowl ND 9-3 6 5-6 No Bowl

2001-02 Rose Miami (FL)* 12-0 11 12-1 1st Big East, Lost Fiesta (Title) Nebraska 11-2 4 7-7 4th Big XII North, Lost Independence
Sugar LSU 10-3 5 8-5 4th SEC West, Lost Cotton Illinois 10-2 1 5-7 5th BIG, No Bowl
Orange Florida 10-2 8 8-5 2nd SEC East, Lost Outback Maryland 10-2 3 11-3 2nd ACC, Won Peach
Fiesta Oregon 11-1 6 7-6 8th PAC, Lost Seattle Bowl Colorado 10-3 5 9-5 1st Big XII North, Lost Alamo

2002-03 Rose Oklahoma 12-2 4 12-2 1st Big XII South, Lost Sugar (Title) Washington St 10-3 2 10-3 2nd PAC, Won Holiday Bowl
Sugar Georgia 13-1 7 11-3 1st SEC East, Won Capital One Florida St. 9-5 6 10-3 ACC Champions, Lost Orange
Orange USC 11-2 5 12-1 PAC Champs, Won Rose Bowl Iowa 11-2 5 10-3 4th BIG, Won Outback
Fiesta Ohio State* 14-0 5 11-2 2nd BIG, Won Fiesta Miami 12-1 8 11-2 Big East Champs, Won Orange

2003-04 Rose USC 12-1 4 13-0 National Champions (Vacated) Michigan 10-3 5 9-3 BIG Champs, Lost Rose
Sugar LSU* 13-1 7 9-3 2nd SEC West, Lost Capital One Oklahoma 12-2 3 12-1 Big XII Champs, Lost Orange (Title)
Orange Miami (FL) 11-2 9 9-3 3rd ACC, Won Peach Bowl Florida St. 10-3 5 9-3 2nd ACC, Won Gator
Fiesta Ohio State 11-2 14 8-4 5th BIG, Won Alamo K-State 11-4 2 4-7 Last Big XII North, No Bowl

2004-05 Rose Texas 11-1 3 13-0 National Champions Michigan 9-3 3 7-5 4th BIG, Lost Alamo
Sugar Auburn 13-0 5 9-3 1st SEC West, Lost Capital One VT 10-3 3 11-2 1st ACC Coastal, Won Gator
Orange USC* 13-0 (Vacated) 5 12-1 PAC Champs, Lost Rose (all Ws & Titles vacated) Oklahoma 12-1 11 8-4 2nd Big XII South, Won Holiday
Fiesta Utah 12-0 5 7-5 4th in MWC, Won Emerald Pitt 8-4 1 5-6 5th Big East, No Bowl

2005-06 Rose Texas* 13-0 6 10-3 2nd Big XII South, Won Alamo USC 12-1 (vacated) 11 11-2 1st PAC, Won Rose Bowl
Sugar WVU 11-1 1 11-2 2nd Big East, Won Gator Georgia 10-3 7 9-4 3rd SEC East, Won Chick-fil-A
Orange Penn St 11-1 (Vacated) 6 9-4 4th BIG, Won Outback (All Ws & Titles Vacated) Florida St. 8-5 8 7-6 (vacated) 5th ACC Coastal, Won Emerald (vacated)
Fiesta Ohio State 10-2 9 12-1 BIG Champs, Lost BCS Title Game ND 9-3 3 10-3 Lost Sugar

2006-07 Rose USC 11-2 5 11-2 PAC Champs, Won Rose Bowl Michigan 11-2 7 9-4 2nd BIG, Won Capital One
Sugar LSU 11-2 5 12-2 SEC Champs, National Champions ND 10-3 7 3-9 No Bowl
Orange Louisville 12-1 4 6-6 6th Big East, No Bowl Wake Forest 11-3 2 9-4 2nd ACC Atlantic, Won Meineke
Fiesta Boise State 13-0 4 10-3 2nd WAC, Lost Hawaii Bowl Oklahoma 11-3 3 11-3 Big XII Champs, Lost Fiesta
BCS Championship Florida 13-1 9 9-4 3rd SEC East, Lost Capital One Ohio State 12-1 8 11-2 Big Ten, Lost BCS Title Game

2007-08 Rose USC 11-2 10 12-1 PAC Champs, Won Rose Bowl Illinois 9-4 1 5-7 6th BIG, No Bowl
Sugar Georgia 11-2 4 10-3 2nd SEC East, Won Outback Hawai’i 12-1 1 7-7 2nd WAC, Lost Hawaii Bowl
Orange Kansas 12-1 4 8-5 3rd Big XII North, Won Insight Virginia Tech 11-3 8 10-4 ACC Champs, Won Orange
Fiesta WVU 11-2 3 9-4 3rd Big East, Won Meineke Oklahoma 11-3 4 12-2 Big XII Champs, Lost BCS Title Game
BCS Championship LSU 12-2 7 8-5 3rd SEC West, Won Chick-fil-A Ohio State 11-2 3 10-3 1st BIG, Lost Fiesta

2008-09 Rose USC 12-1 11 9-4 5th PAC, Won Emerald Bowl Penn St. 11-2 (vacated) 5 11-2 (vacated) 2nd BIG, Won Capital One (vacated)
Sugar Utah 13-0 4 10-3 3rd MWC, Won Poinsettia Alabama 12-2 4 14-0 National Champs
Orange Virginia Tech 10-4 1 10-3 2nd ACC Coastal, Chick-fil-A Bowl Cincinnati 11-3 6 12-1 Big East Champs, Lost Sugar
Fiesta Texas 12-1 4 13-1 Big 12 Champs, Lost BCS Title Game Ohio State 10-3 7 11-2 BIG Champs, Won Rose
BCS Championship Florida 13-1 3 13-1 SEC East Champs, Won Sugar Bowl Oklahoma 12-2 5 8-5 3rd Big XII, Won Sun Bowl

2009-10 Rose Ohio State 11-2 4 12-1 2nd BIG, Won Sugar (All Wins & Titles Vacated) Oregon 10-3 3 12-1 PAC Champs, Lost BCS Title Game
Sugar Florida 13-1 9 8-5 2nd SEC East, Won Outback Cincinnati 12-1 3 4-8 7th Big East, No Bowl
Orange Iowa 11-2 6 8-5 4th BIG, Won Insight Georgia Tech 11-3 (vacated) 4 6-7 3rd ACC Coastal, Lost Independence
Fiesta Boise State 14-0 1 12-1 WAC Champs, Won Las Vegas TCU 12-1 3 13-0 MWC Champs, Won Rose Bowl
BCS Championship Alabama 14-0 7 10-3 4th SEC West, Won Capital One Texas 13-1 6 5-7 Last Big XII South, No Bowl

2010-11 Rose TCU 13-0 5 11-2 MWC Champs, Won Poinsetta Bowl Wisconsin 12-1 5 11-3 BIG Champs, Lost Rose
Sugar Ohio State 12-1 (vacated) 5 6-7 4th BIG Leaders, Lost Gator Bowl Arkansas 10-3 3 11-2 3rd SEC West, Won Cotton
Orange Stanford 12-1 4 11-2 1st PAC North, Lost Fiesta VT 11-3 3 11-3 1st ACC Coastal, Lost Sugar
Fiesta Oklahoma 12-2 4 10-3 4th BIG XII, Won Insight UCONN 8-5 4 5-7 6th Big East, No Bowl
BCS Championship Auburn 14-0 4 8-5 4th SEC West, Won Chick-fil-A Oregon 12-1 1 12-2 PAC Champs, Won Rose

2011-12 Rose Oregon 12-2 4 12-1 1st Pac North, Won Fiesta Wisconsin 11-3 6 8-6 BIG Champs, Lost Rose
Sugar Michigan 11-2 3 8-5 2nd BIG, Lost Outback VT 11-3 3 7-6 4th ACC Coastal, Won Russell Athletic
Orange WVU 10-3 3 7-6 8th Big XII, Lost Pinstripe Clemson 10-4 4 11-2 1st ACC Atlantic, Won Chick-fil-A
Fiesta Oklahoma St. 12-1 3 8-5 4th Big XII, Won Heart of Dallas Bowl Stanford 11-2 4 12-2 PAC Champs, Won Rose
BCS Championship Alabama 12-1 8 13-1 SEC Champs, National Champions LSU 13-1 5 10-3 2nd SEC West, Lost Chick-fil-A

2012-13 Rose Stanford 12-2 3 Wisconsin 8-6 3
Sugar Louisville 11-2 0 Florida 11-2 8
Orange Florida St 12-2 11 Northern Illinois 12-2 0
Fiesta Oregon 12-1 5 K-State 11-2 3
BCS Championship Alabama 13-1 9 ND 12-1 6

Sorted by Draft Selections

Team Players Drafted Winning % Next Year Winning % +/- Winning %
2003 Ohio State 14 84.62% 66.67% -17.95%
84.62% 66.67% -17.95%
2012 Florida State 11 85.71% ? ?
2008 USC 11 92.31% 69.23% -23.08%
2005 USC 11 92.31% 84.62% -7.69%
2004 Oklahoma 11 92.31% 66.67% -25.64%
2001 Miami (FL) 11 100.00% 92.31% -7.69%


94.23% 78.21% -16.03%
2007 USC 10 84.62% 92.31% 7.69%
84.62% 92.31% 7.69%
2012 Alabama 9 92.86% ? ?
2009 Florida 9 92.86% 61.54% -31.32%
2006 Florida 9 92.86% 69.23% -23.63%
2005 Ohio State 9 83.33% 92.31% 8.97%
2003 Miami (FL) 9 84.62% 75.00% -9.62%
2000 Florida State 9 84.62% 66.67% -17.95%
1999 Tennessee 9 75.00% 66.67% -8.33%


85.55% 71.90% -13.64%
2012 Florida 8 84.62% ? ?
2011 Alabama 8 92.31% 92.86% 0.55%
2007 Virginia Tech 8 78.57% 71.43% -7.14%
2006 Ohio State 8 92.31% 84.62% -7.69%
2005 Florida State 8 61.54% 53.85% -7.69%
2002 Miami (FL) 8 92.31% 84.62% -7.69%
2001 Florida 8 84.62% 61.54% -23.08%
1998 Ohio State 8 91.67% 50.00% -41.67%
1998 Florida 8 83.33% 69.23% -14.10%


84.58% 71.02% -13.56%
2009 Alabama 7 100.00% 76.92% -23.08%
2008 Ohio State 7 76.92% 84.62% 7.69%
2007 LSU 7 85.71% 61.54% -24.18%
2006 Notre Dame 7 76.92% 25.00% -51.92%
2006 Michigan 7 84.62% 69.23% -15.38%
2005 Georgia 7 76.92% 69.23% -7.69%
2003 LSU 7 92.86% 75.00% -17.86%
2002 Georgia 7 92.86% 78.57% -14.29%
2000 Miami (FL) 7 91.67% 100.00% 8.33%
1999 Florida State 7 100.00% 84.62% -15.38%
87.85% 72.47% -15.38%
2012 Notre Dame 6 92.31% ? ?
2011 Wisconsin 6 78.57% 57.14% -21.43%
2009 Texas 6 92.86% 41.67% -51.19%
2009 Iowa 6 84.62% 61.54% -23.08%
2008 Cincinnati 6 78.57% 92.31% 13.74%
2005 Texas 6 100.00% 76.92% -23.08%
2004 Penn State 6 91.67% 69.23% -22.44%
2002 Florida St 6 64.29% 76.92% 12.64%
2001 Oregon 6 100.00% 53.85% -46.15%
2000 Notre Dame 6 75.00% 45.45% -29.55%
1999 Michigan 6 83.33% 75.00% -8.33%
1998 Texas A&M 6 66.67% 58.33% -8.33%
1998 Tennessee 6 100.00% 75.00% -25.00%
92.32% 71.22% -21.11%
2012 Oregon 5 92.31% ? ?
2011 LSU 5 92.86% 76.92% -15.93%
2010 Wisconsin 5 92.31% 78.57% -13.74%
2010 TCU 5 100.00% 84.62% -15.38%
2010 Ohio State 5 92.31% 46.15% -46.15%
2008 Penn State 5 84.62% 84.62% 0.00%
2008 Oklahoma 5 85.71% 61.54% -24.18%
2006 USC 5 84.62% 84.62% 0.00%
2006 LSU 5 84.62% 85.71% 1.10%
2004 Utah 5 100.00% 58.33% -41.67%
2004 USC 5 100.00% 92.31% -7.69%
2004 Auburn 5 100.00% 75.00% -25.00%
2003 Michigan 5 76.92% 75.00% -1.92%
2003 Florida State 5 76.92% 75.00% -1.92%
2002 USC 5 84.62% 92.31% 7.69%
2002 Ohio State 5 100.00% 84.62% -15.38%
2002 Iowa 5 84.62% 76.92% -7.69%
2001 LSU 5 92.86% 61.54% -31.32%
2001 Colorado 5 76.92% 64.29% -12.64%
2000 Washington 5 91.67% 66.67% -25.00%
2000 Purdue 5 66.67% 50.00% -16.67%
1999 Virginia Tech 5 91.67% 91.67% 0.00%
88.57% 74.59% -13.98%
2011 Stanford 4 84.62% 85.71% 1.10%
2011 Oregon 4 85.71% 92.31% 6.59%
2011 Clemson 4 71.43% 84.62% 13.19%
2010 UCONN 4 61.54% 41.67% -19.87%
2010 Stanford 4 92.31% 84.62% -7.69%
2010 Oklahoma 4 85.71% 76.92% -8.79%
2010 Auburn 4 100.00% 61.54% -38.46%
2009 Ohio State 4 84.62% 92.31% 7.69%
2009 Georgia Tech 4 78.57% 46.15% -32.42%
2008 Utah 4 100.00% 76.92% -23.08%
2008 Texas 4 92.31% 92.86% 0.55%
2008 Alabama 4 85.71% 100.00% 14.29%
2007 Oklahoma 4 78.57% 85.71% 7.14%
2007 Kansas 4 92.31% 61.54% -30.77%
2007 Georgia 4 84.62% 76.92% -7.69%
2006 Louisville 4 92.31% 50.00% -42.31%
2006 Boise 4 100.00% 76.92% -23.08%
2003 USC 4 92.31% 100.00% 7.69%
2002 Oklahoma 4 85.71% 85.71% 0.00%
2001 Nebraska 4 84.62% 50.00% -34.62%
2000 Oregon State 4 91.67% 45.45% -46.21%
2000 Florida 4 76.92% 83.33% 6.41%
1999 Wisconsin 4 83.33% 69.23% -14.10%
1998 Florida State 4 84.62% 100.00% 15.38%


89.98% 79.15% -10.83%
2012 Wisconsin 3 57.14% ? ?
2012 Stanford 3 85.71% ? ?
2012 Kansas State 3 84.62% ? ?
2011 West Virginia 3 76.92% 53.85% -23.08%
2011 Virginia Tech 3 78.57% 53.85% -24.73%
2011 Oklahoma State 3 92.31% 61.54% -30.77%
2011 Michigan 3 84.62% 61.54% -23.08%
2010 Virginia Tech 3 78.57% 78.57% 0.00%
2010 Arkansas 3 76.92% 84.62% 7.69%
2009 TCU 3 92.31% 100.00% 7.69%
2009 Oregon 3 76.92% 92.31% 15.38%
2009 Cincinnati 3 92.31% 33.33% -58.97%
2008 Florida 3 92.86% 92.86% 0.00%
2007 West Virginia 3 84.62% 69.23% -15.38%
2007 Ohio State 3 84.62% 76.92% -7.69%
2006 Oklahoma 3 78.57% 78.57% 0.00%
2005 Notre Dame 3 75.00% 76.92% 1.92%
2004 Virginia Tech 3 76.92% 84.62% 7.69%
2004 Texas 3 91.67% 100.00% 8.33%
2004 Michigan 3 75.00% 58.33% -16.67%
2003 Oklahoma 3 85.71% 92.31% 6.59%
2001 Maryland 3 83.33% 78.57% -4.76%
1999 Nebraska 3 92.31% 83.33% -8.97%
1999 Alabama 3 76.92% 27.27% -49.65%
1998 Wisconsin 3 91.67% 83.33% -8.33%
1998 UCLA 3 83.33% 36.36% -46.97%
1998 Syracuse 3 66.67% 58.33% -8.33%


82.86% 71.52% -11.34%
2006 Wake Forest 2 78.57% 69.23% -9.34%
2003 Kansas State 2 73.33% 36.36% -36.97%
2002 Washington St 2 76.92% 76.92% 0.00%
2000 Oklahoma 2 100.00% 84.62% -15.38%
1999 Stanford 2 66.67% 45.45% -21.21%
79.10% 62.52% -16.58%
2010 Oregon 1 92.31% 85.71% -6.59%
2009 Boise State 1 100.00% 92.31% -7.69%
2008 Virginia Tech 1 71.43% 76.92% 5.49%
2007 Illinois 1 69.23% 41.67% -27.56%
2007 Hawai’i 1 92.31% 50.00% -42.31%
2005 West Virginia 1 91.67% 84.62% -7.05%
2004 Pitt 1 66.67% 45.45% -21.21%
2001 Illinois 1 83.33% 41.67% -41.67%
83.37% 64.79% -18.57%
2012 Northern Illinois 0 85.71% ? ?
2012 Louisville 0 84.62% ? ?

 

nfl
Four Cardinals Sign as Undrafted Free Agents

Following the conclusion of the 2013 NFL Draft, four former University of Louisville football players signed as undrafted free agents.

Center Mario Benavides agreed to sign with the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, offensive tackle Alex Kupper with the Houston Texans cornerback Adrian Bushell inked a deal with the Oakland Raiders, and Jeremy Wright signed with the New York Giants.

Benavides was one of the most consistent players on the rosters, appearing in 47 games as a starter. He posted his best years in 2013, starting all 13 games and earning first team All-BIG EAST accolades. He helped guide the Cardinals to an 11-2 record and a win over third-ranked Florida in the Sugar Bowl.

With Benavides at center, the Cardinals averaged over 30 points per game and 418.8 yards of total offense.

Kupper started 26 straight games, appearing on all positions on the offensive line. He made starts at tackle, guard and center during his career. He made 13 starts in each of the last two seasons. A product of Louisville, Ky., Kupper started the first three games at center because of an injury to Mario Benavides. Kupper earned second team All-BIG EAST accolades this past season after anchoring down the left tackle position.

Bushell was a two-time All-BIG EAST selection after transferring from Florida. This season, Bushell finished fourth on the team in tackles with 62 and led the team with 13 pass breakups. Bushell recorded one interception and recovered three fumbles in leading the Cardinals’ defense to its third straight top 25 finish in the national statistics.

Wright led the Sugar Bowl Champions in rushing with 824 yards and 10 Touchdowns, and also was Teddy Bridgewater’s 3rd favorite target with 41 catches for 325 yards.  Jeremy left the Cardinals with a year of eligibility remaining and will have a fantastic opportunity with the traditional NFC East power.

NDFOOTBALLSTADIUM
Louisville to Play At Notre Dame in 2014

From UofL SID

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Atlantic Coast Conference has announced football scheduling plans with Louisville and Notre Dame in a matchup that will take place at Notre Dame in 2014.

A date for the game has yet to be determined, and will be announced at a later date.

As part of the agreement to join the Atlantic Coast Conference, Notre Dame will play five ACC teams each year, alternating between three home games and two away and two home games and three away each year. Notre Dame will face every ACC team at least once in the first three-year rotation of games.

“We are excited for the opportunity to play a program with the history like Notre Dame,” Vice-President/Director of Athletics Tom Jurich said. “Notre Dame advanced to the BCS title game last season before falling to Alabama, so it will be a great challenge for our program as we transition into the ACC. More importantly, I’m thrilled for our fans who will have the opportunity to see us play Notre Dame in 2014.”

This will be the first meeting between the two universities on the football field.

The Fighting Irish finished last season at 12-1 before dropping a 42-14 decision to Alabama in the BCS title game.

 

CharlieStrong2013SugarBowl
Louisville Football Presents the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Spring game on Saturday at 1 p.m.

It’s been more than three months since the University of Louisville football team captured one of the biggest victories in school history with a win over the Florida Gators in the Sugar Bowl.

The Cardinals will complete spring practice on Friday before taking the field at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium for the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Spring game on Saturday at 1 p.m.

“It’s been hard,” defensive tackle Brandon Dunn said of spring practice. “Everybody is competing and jobs are not settled. The young guys are learning from the veterans, and there is just a good vibe around the program.”

There is a different feeling around the program because it’s the most veteran team that head coach Charlie Strong has brought back in his four seasons.  Fifty-three letterwinners return for the Cardinals, including 19 starters.

“Practice has gone smoothly,” Dunn said. “The meeting rooms are solid. There aren’t a lot of mistakes being made. It’s just a veteran team. It’s a disciplined team. They know what to do and what not to do. It’s a workplace. Everyone is taped and braced for practice and you don’t have to find players.”

Lofty expectations are being placed on this team based on its 11-2 record from last year and the return of many key veterans and a few transfers who sat out last season.

“Coach Strong has told us we played a good game against Florida,” defensive tackle Roy Philon said. “But that’s behind us. We need to start back over and try to go further this season. When coach Strong tells us something we listen to him because we know it’s in our best interest. “

Spring ball isn’t as much of a grind for the players like fall camp. The Cardinals conducted 14 practices before taking the field on Saturday for the spring finale. While players have the opportunity to work on their individual skill-set without having to focus on their next opponent.

“Spring ball helps you perfect what you have to do in fall camp,” Philon said. “Spring is basically fundamentals and working on yourself. It’s working on yourself so you can be better during the season. The defensive line took a step forward from last season. The defensive line looks good out there.”

For just the third time this spring, the Cardinals will compete in front of their loyal fans at the spring game. The Cardinals are looking for a huge crowd on Saturday to surpass the 25,000 that attended the 2007 spring contest.

“It’s a good thing,” Philon said of the spring game. “I hope we get a big crowd out there to show their support.”

There are lots of activities surrounding the spring game, starting at 9:30 a.m. There will be live music in the Street Fest area with food, $1 beers and carnival rides for both children and adults. Tickets for rides will be sold per ride or an all-day pass can also be purchased.

Once the gates open at noon, $1 beers will be available only on the Norton Terrace, and concession stands will be open throughout the main concourse.

The NCAA champion men’s basketball team and national runner-up women’s basketball team will be honored at the spring game and fans will be able to take their picture with the championship trophy from 10 a.m. -12:30 p.m. in Street Fest.

The women’s basketball team will sign autographs in the main concourse once the gates open at noon.

Stoops has Kentucky fans excited about the future of the football program.
Mark Stoops Era Kicks off Saturday during Blue/White Spring Game

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Here is the latest fan information for the Blue/White Spring Football Game.  Presented by The Townhomes at Newton Crossing, the game is Saturday, April 13 with kickoff set for 7 p.m. ET at Commonwealth Stadium.  For a complete summary, fans may go to www.ukathletics.com/fbgameday to answer all questions regarding parking, traffic, tickets, seating and more.

  • ·         Unlike previous spring games, all fans, regardless of age, must have a ticket to enter Commonwealth Stadium. Tickets are free and available at the stadium beginning at 4:00 p.m. at the Will Call booth outside Gate 4 and at a ticketing tent between Gates 10 & 11.  Stadium gates 1,2,3,4,9,10,11 and 12 will open to fans at 6 p.m. ET.
  • ·         Fans will have the chance to purchase or renew 2013 football season tickets at the main ticket booth outside gate 4 of Commonwealth Stadium beginning at 4 p.m. For detailed information on UK football season tickets, visit http://www.ukathletics.com/tickets/tickets-m-footbl.html.
  • ·         Parking lots will open to the general public at 8 a.m. on game day. Parking surrounding Commonwealth Stadium is free and will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Fans are encouraged to arrive early in order to get a spot near the stadium.
  • ·         When stadium lots are filled, fans are encouraged to park in …

o   Parking Structure #1 (corner of University Drive and Cooper Drive)

o   Parking Structure #2 (by William T. Young Library)

o   Parking Structure #7 (on Sports Center Drive next to tennis courts)

  • ·         RV parking is also first-come, first-serve in the main RV lot off Alumni Drive.
  • ·         Fans will also have multiple shuttle options to get to the game. The UK Football Express downtown shuttle ($2.50 one-way/$5 round-trip) will begin at 4 p.m. and will pick up at the Shops at the Civic Center (430 W. Vine), LexTran Transit Center Garage (200 W. Vine) and Ramsey’s (Woodland Ave.).
  • ·         A shuttle will also run to/from Keeneland beginning at 11:30 a.m. designed for individuals who wish to park at Commonwealth Stadium and receive transportation to Keeneland and then back to Commonwealth Stadium. The shuttle is $1 each way and will pick-up/drop-off in the north Red Lot, directly west of the BCTC campus.
  • ·         Fans are invited to the “Cat Walk” — cheering the team when the Wildcats enter Commonwealth Stadium – at 5:15 p.m. at Gate One.
  • ·         Commemorative posters will be given away and may be picked up at the program stands inside the stadium gates.
  • ·         The Wildcat Refuge, featuring giant inflatable games for children, will be located outside Gate 9 of the stadium (weather permitting).

Here is additional game day procedures.

Directions/Traffic

  • ·         As you approach the Commonwealth Stadium complex, tune in to 1700 AM radio for real-time parking, traffic & lot closure information.
  • ·         Please follow direction of all traffic officers and parking personnel to ensure efficient and effective vehicle ingress, parking and egress.
  • ·         Pre-game traffic flow will be similar to that of a standard home game.  Fans wishing to park in a specific lot will be required to enter the complex from a specified direction, as per the pre-game traffic flow diagram.
  • ·         Post-game traffic flow will be similar to that of a standard home game.  Parking personnel and traffic officers will direct vehicles to exit the complex, as per the post-game traffic flow diagram.
  • ·         Visit www.ukathletics.com/fbgameday/directions.html for more information.

Parking

  • ·         Real-time parking, traffic & lot closure information, follow @UKParking on Twitter and 1700AM as you approach the complex
  • ·         All parking is free.  While a portion of the Green Lot will be designated for reserved parking, all remaining available lots will be first-come first-served, and will open at 8:00am on Saturday, April 13.

o   See attached Spring Game Parking Diagram for available lots

  • ·         Beginning at 6:00 p.m., lots will be filled according to availability.  If your desired lot is full upon arrival, you will be directed to the next available lot.
  • ·         Fans with tow-behind trailers will be directed to park in the nearest available grass lot (Orange or Purple).

Tailgating

  • ·         In order to accommodate the parking demand, please confine your tailgate to behind your vehicle and in one parking stall.  ONE SPACE-ONE VEHICLE.  Please keep all drive lanes clear for efficient vehicle ingress/egress.
  • ·         In the interest of safety, fans’ golf cart use is prohibited on the Commonwealth Stadium complex, to include all parking lots, sidewalks, streets, etc.
  • ·         Large industrial-sized cookers and portable generators must be approved by UK Athletics prior to game day.
  • ·         Cooper Drive & Residential (R-3) lots on the corner of Sportscenter Drive & Cooper Drive will be closed to all vehicle parking/tailgating.

Disability Services

  • ·         A valid state issued hangtag will be required to access free handicapped parking located in the Blue Lot outside Gate 12, Red Lot outside Gate 9 and Tobacco Research Center parking lot, accessible via Farm Rd, west of University Drive.  Once disabled parking lots are full, guests will be directed to the closest available parking lot.
  • ·         Tobacco Research Center (Farm Rd.) handicapped shuttle will begin at 5:00pm, transporting guests to Commonwealth Stadium Gate 9.  Return shuttles begin at the end of the 3rd quarter and will operate until 30 minutes post-game.
  • ·         Two 6-passenger golf carts will operate from Gate 9, transporting guests to requested gates outside the stadium.

Shuttles

  • ·         UK Football Express – Downtown Shuttle ($2.50 one-way/ $5.00 round-trip) will begin at 4:00 p.m.  Tickets are for sale and shuttle will pick up at the Shops at the Civic Center (430 W. Vine), LexTran Transit Center Garage (200 W. Vine) and Ramsey’s (Woodland Ave.)
  • ·         Keeneland/Spring Game Shuttle ($1.00 each way) will begin at 11:30 a.m. and is designed for individuals wishing to park at Commonwealth Stadium and receive transportation to Keeneland and back to Commonwealth Stadium

o   To utilize the Keeneland/Spring Game shuttle, guests should park in the north Red Lot (located directly west of the BCTC campus).  Fans  may board the shuttle at the bus stop located on the far east side of the north Red Lot.

  • ·         Tobacco Research Center (Farm Rd.) handicapped shuttle will begin at 5:00 p.m., transporting guests to Commonwealth Stadium Gate 9.  Return shuttles begin at the end of the 3rd quarter and will operate until 30 minutes post-game.
  • ·         Two 6-passenger golf carts will operate from Gate 9, taking guests to requested gates, outside the stadium.
  • ·         For more information visit www.ukathletics.com/fbgameday/shuttle.html

RV Information

  • ·         RV parking will be free & first-come first served in the Main RV lot off Alumni Drive
  • ·         Additional RV parking will be available in the Ag RV (North off Cooper Drive) & Visitor RV (Virginia/Press Avenue).
  • ·         Tow-behind vehicles will not be permitted in the RV lots, except for trucks pulling a 5th wheel/trailer
  • ·         For more information visit www.ukathletics.com/fbgameday/rv.html

Tickets/Seating

  • ·         All persons, regardless of age, must have a ticket to enter Commonwealth Stadium.
  • ·         Tickets are free and available on game day at the Will Call booth outside Gate 4 or a ticketing tent between Gates 10 & 11.
  • ·         Lower level tickets will be reserved seating
  • ·         Upper level tickets will be general admission seating
  • ·         Pass outs/re-entry is not permitted as per SEC regulations