Louisville fans, the floor is yours. Tell us how you feel about the move into the ACC, and where we should stop in when we make our visits to town.
Take it away ...
Mike in Louisville writes: Just want to let you know that almost all Cards fans are excited to be in the ACC. Though basketball has been Louisville's favorite sport in the past, I can say with total confidence that football is darn right close these days. As a Cards grad, I have seen the the days when you could not give a ticket away, to now when everyone is battling to get tickets. Joining the ACC will allow U of L to see where we actually are in the competitive landscape. Last year was torture when we consider a 12-1 season disappointing; if we did that in the ACC, it would have been a premium year. When you visit Louisville, I recommend you head straight to the Bardstown Road area. This area is several miles of good food, bars, coffee shops, unique stores and a very wide combination of social fashions. You can do the Bambi walk, which is the starting point to a fun day of adventure, working up to the sports bars with sand volleyball courts at the end of the tour. You would visit more than 100 bars and restaurants on this excursion. If you like high class whiskey then the Bourbon Trail is the best. All sports addicts have to visit the Louisville Slugger museum and Churchill Downs Track and Museum. Fourth Street Live in downtown is a social mecca, along with Frankfort Avenue. If you are feeling like doing some physical activity, there are underground ziplines, which are underneath the Louisville Zoo, which is a good time as well.
Mark in Indiana writes: Louisville will soon be a top team in the ACC. We dominated the Big East for the time we were in there. I expect we will do the same in the ACC. We have two of the top coaches for football and basketball and I expect them to flourish pretty quickly. Our other sports will do excellent as well.
Sean Costello in Louisville writes: Hi Andrea; thanks for the call-out to all Louisville fans! I've been a lifelong Cards fan for all of my 55 years!!! To your question about how UL will fare in its inaugural season in ACC football, I am thinking they end up higher mid-pack, playing well with both Clemson as well as Florida State, but only take one of those games. Clemson having a new QB will most likely help out a bit. ... Florida State presents a huge challenge that I am sure Coach (Petrino) has a strategy for, and honestly thinks his team rules the day! I think we have a stable full of very capable, talented players. Transitioning to a new coaching staff and system always presents challenges that could easily result in an early season loss to Miami -- let's not forget that Duke Johnson will be back! But the rest of the schedule seems manageable. ... Even having said that, this season will be a welcome challenge for the Cards! I see very few games, if any, that the team/staff can look at as a "gimme." I am looking forward to the start of the season!
Mathew Thieneman in Louisville writes: On behalf of all Louisville fans, we're STOKED to be back with you, Andrea. We feel pretty good about our move into the ACC. Pictures of the SEC's football stadiums covered in snow aside, we firmly believe we're in the absolute best conference in the country, top to bottom. I believe Louisville will be around the six-win mark in conference this upcoming year. Wins against Clemson and FSU might not be possible, but I could see the Cards sneaking out one against Notre Dame. Louisville is losing some big leaders like Teddy Bridgewater and Preston Brown, but they have plenty of talent returning, too. As far as game-day experiences go, there is plenty of room to tailgate around Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, and if you don't mind the walk, there is even more room at the Fair Grounds a few blocks away from the stadium. You can see our old stadium before they tear it down, or it falls down ... There are so many good places for you all to eat, too -- Louisville is a favorite of all the foodies running around the states. I recommend heading down to Bardstown Road downtown. Some of the best food you guys will find anywhere on that road. The Belle of Louisville Steamboat is celebrating 100 years in service this year as well, so if you guys are down here in October, we're having a big celebration for her. Should be fun.
Travis J in Houston writes: In Houston now, but loved my time in Louisville. My wife and I go back as much as possible. When you find yourself there on game days, etc... Hammerheads -- dive restaurant where everything is yummy; Ramsi's -= yum; Mark's Feed store -- don't be scared to try burgoo drink bourbon (when in Louisville do as Louisvillians do, within reason). Tour athletic department on campus -- field hockey and women's lacrosse have their own fields. See Dr. (Mary) Hums of the sports administration faculty at U of L, she is crazy about baseball and the history of women's sport; Tour -- Bardstown Road and NULU (cultural hubs) 21c -- it's a hotel, restaurant, bar, museum ... Sneak Away -- to the Village Anchor Pub and Roost in Anchorage, Ky., just East of Louisville. Tell them I sent you! (50-50 chance of gaining credibility.)
J Powell in Louisville writes: Louisville Football Gameday Highlights: Card March (two hours and 15 minutes before kickoff); Party Deck (Open area inside PJCS at south end of stadium; hang out with other fans and enjoy a drink before game and at halftime); Flight Deck (second-tier seating provides view of iconic Churchill Downs and Louisville skyline); Sightseeing: Churchill Downs, Derby Museum, Louisville Slugger Museum, Muhammad Ali Center, KFC Yum! Center. Prediction: Some struggles with new QB, replacing seven defensive starters, new defense (3-4) and new coaching staff. Looking at 8-4, but would be thrilled with anything better.
David in Louisville writes: Andrea -- Much has been made about losing Teddy (Bridgewater) and Coach (Strong). I will be the first to admit we won't be the same team as last year, and our defense won't be as overpowering. However, we still have DeVante Parker, a potential breakout star in James Quick, and when the need arises, we will run over the other team with (Dominique) Brown and (Michael) Dyer. Our O-line should also be much improved this year. Petrino will get his quarterback to throw the ball. We might not be the best defense, but we'll outscore ya! As far as local eats? Harvest for local farm to table, BBC for great beer, and you can always take a class in how to distill your own at Moonshine University! Great to be back in the blog!