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Chuck Landon: Home date vs. Louisville not in Cards with Petrino

Jan. 11, 2014 @ 12:20 AM

It was merely a matter of doors.

When Bobby Petrino walked in the door as Louisville's new head football coach, the prospect of the Cardinals ever playing a game at Marshall walked out the door.

And it slammed shut.

The chances of Louisville returning the game in the home-and-home series with Marshall weren't good even with Charlie Strong as head coach.

But with Petrino?

Nil.

The game originally was scheduled to be played in Edwards Stadium during the 2014 season. But since Louisville is joining the ACC in 2014, the Cards asked to postpone the game.

Now, it will be postponed forever.

Sure, Louisville will buy out the contract and Marshall will get a decent payday. But money wasn't the goal. Marshall athletic director Mike Hamrick booked the home-and-home series and agreed to play the first game in Louisville during the 2011 season for one reason.

Namely, to see the Cardinals playing Marshall in Huntington.

That was going to be a proud moment. And that's precisely why it's so disappointing now.

What's worse, that leaves only one marquee opponent on Marshall's foreseeable schedules. Purdue plays the Herd on Sept. 5, 2015, in Edwards Stadium.

But otherwise?

Well, there's only the series with the Naval Academy that got postponed from Sept. 3, 2016 at Marshall and Oct. 13, 2018 at Navy all the way to 2021 and '22.

That's a little far away to get excited about.

So, it's time for Hamrick to go back to the drawing board.

Thanks a lot, Louisville.

HOLLIDAY PACT: Hamrick is being coy about a contract extension and pay raise for Marshall head football coach Doc Holliday.

"We have had discussions," said Hamrick.

And that's all he will say.

LEGG SAYS NO: After visiting Eastern Illinois, Marshall offensive coordinator Bill Legg has removed his name from consideration for the head coaching position.

It wasn't a face-saving gesture based on Legg not getting the job, either.

Instead, Legg simply didn't think it was a good fit for him. And he's probably right.

After all, Eastern Illinois went 12-2 last season with a senior quarterback who is a legitimate NFL prospect. The expectation will be to continue at that level of success.

So, no, Eastern Illinois wasn't a good fit. That doesn't mean Legg is off the market, however. A big-time school needing an offensive coordinator still might come after him.

BOWL RECORDS: Conference USA and the Mountain West were the most successful of the five non-power conferences that participated in five or more bowl games.

C-USA and MWC tied with a 3-3 record.

Following them were the American, 2-3, and the Mid-American Conference at 0-5. Also, the Sun Belt was unbeaten, but participated in only two bowl games.

For C-USA, Marshall beat Maryland, 31-20, in the Military Bowl; North Texas defeated UNLV, 36-14, in the Heart of Dallas; and East Carolina beat Ohio, 37-20, in the Beef 'O' Brady's.

For the Mountain West, Colorado State beat Washington State, 48-45, in the New Mexico Bowl; San Diego State hammered Buffalo, 49-24, in the Potato Bowl; and Utah State defeated Northern Illinois, 21-14, in the Poinsettia Bowl.

As for the American, both wins were marquee victories. UCF stunned Baylor, 52-42, in the Fiesta and Louisville embarrassed Miami (Fla.), 36-9, in the Russell Athletic.

Then, there's the MAC.

Going 0-for-5 says it all.

Chuck Landon is a sports columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at clandon@herald-dispatch.com.

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