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The Battle For The Big East Basement

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Two Teams With 0-4 Big East Records Enter.

One Team Leaves With A Big East Victory.

It's Syracuse.  It's Louisville.  It's....The Battle For The Big East Basement. 

That's right, while Cincinnati and West Virginia slug it out to determine critical Big East seedings, the Orange and the Cardinals will spend Saturday determining who in all likelihood will finish last in the Big East. Previous Basement denizens include:

2005: Syracuse (1-10, 0-7)

2006: Syracuse (4-8, 1-6), UConn (4-8, 1-6)

2007: Syracuse (2-10, 1-6)

2008: Syracuse (3-9, 1-6), Louisville (5-7, 1-6)

Illustrious company, for sure.  Louisville also has the ignominious honor of being that lone Syracuse Big East victory in 2007 and 2008 so in a way, they've had a piece of both year's accomplishment.

Before we delve in it's worth discussion one man in particular.  He is a legend already.  He is said to possess Mjǫllnir, otherwise known as Thor's Hammer.  He can tear a phonebook in two with his....mind. He once sneezed and was credited with fourteen tackles...during an Econ class. Some say he is immortal though science has yet to prove or debunk this theory.  

His name is Shamarko.  And he almost played for Louisville.

Actually he and LB Iron Brandon Sharpe both originally decided to attend Louisville before changing their minds and committing to Syracuse.  Neither of them needs more motivation to play well this weekend, but they've got plenty anyway.

"I've got to perform well," said Thomas to laughter with himself and reporters on Tuesday. "I've got to show them the reason I came here is to change this program and we're not losing to Louisville."

"They probably do," said Sharpe when asked if the Cardinals will know who he is. "It's going to be a good game, though. The competition level is going to be high, of course, for me and Shamarko because we were both committed there, and then we decommmitted. It's going to be lots of fun.

From Shamarko's lips to the Football God's ears.

Averin Collier scored his first touchdown last weekend and as a reward he'll be seeing a lot more action.  Just not at the running back spot.

Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone said Monday Collier was in discussion about how to compensate for the loss of Catalina, who was injured in the Orange's 37-10 loss to Pittsburgh on Saturday. In fact, Collier was the first person Marrone mentioned during his press conference Monday,. Additionally, Marrone said tailback Mike Jones and tight ends Carl Cutler and Dalton Phillips are pieces to the puzzle as coaches try and figure out packages and personnel to replace Catalina and Provo.

"Hey, it's football. I got recruited as an athlete. They see I can play multiple positions and do multiple things on the field. That's how I"m going to be used."

In other news, CB Kevyn Scott was dressed a week after missing the Pittsburgh game, as was Randy McKinnon.  Oh, and the suspendees are back!  Mostly.

Tailback Antwon Bailey, offensive guard Andrew Tiller and defensive end Torrey Ball had their suspensions lifted on Monday by head coach Doug Marrone and were participating in practice. Tiller did dress out for practice but appeared limited. He did not practice last week because of some type of injury he sustained in an automobile accident Nov. 1.

Over on the Louisville side, they're bracing for the battle...once they remembered what was going on.  Kraggers is in the same boat Greggers found himself in last year...a wounded duck just trying to make it to end safely before the inevitable. He's basically admitted defeat with the fans and locals but is asking for someone, anyone to come out and support the Cardinals this weekend.  With their best player, RB Victor Anderson, still iffy, don't expect too much. 

We've still got time on this one so in the meantime, let's take this rare opportunity to bask in our recent success with highlights from the two previous encounters (apologies for Greg Robinson sightings).