University of Louisville

John Clay: Even healthy Louisville not in No. 2 Florida State's class

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, left, and Louisville receiver DeVante Parker
Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, left, and Louisville receiver DeVante Parker

Random notes:

■ Thursday night is set up for an upset. Louisville has a healthy DeVante Parker and Michael Dyer back on offense. Louisville has statistically the nation's No. 1 defense. Florida State will bring a truckload of bad baggage to Papa John's Stadium for the ESPN affair.

And yet, I can't see Louisville beating the nation's No. 2 team, even in the River City. Florida State is the better team with the better athletes and the much better quarterback. I think the Seminoles survive.

As for Kentucky, the Cats have four shots at becoming bowl eligible, and three are on the road. UK has lost 19 straight "true road games." Then again, Mark Stoops' club had lost 17 straight SEC games before beating Vanderbilt and South Carolina on successive Saturdays. It says here UK gets to six, just not sure when it gets to six.

While we're still on the topic of college football, Mitch Barnhart and his former associate athletic directors at Kentucky now head college programs that sport a combined 31-7 record.

Mississippi State is 7-0. Scott Stricklin is the AD in Starkville. Oregon is 7-1. Rob Mullens is the AD in Eugene. Arizona is 6-1. Greg Byrne is the AD in Tucson. Boise State is 6-2. Mark Coyle is the AD in Boise. And Kentucky is 5-3.

  For a game between two division rivals at the top of the division standings, Cincinnati-Baltimore sure drew a lot of empty seats to Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday. Announced crowd: 55,711.

Speaking of the Bengals, head coach Marvin Lewis imparted this bit of wisdom Sunday, via former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel: "If your possession ends in a kick, then you're OK."

  Patrick Towles' 390-yard passing game against Mississippi State was the fifth-best in the SEC this season. Towles owns three of the SEC's top 10 passing games in 2014.

  No jinx intended, but Towles has gone four straight games without throwing an interception.

  Vanderbilt has had twice as many starting quarterbacks (4) this season as wins (2).

  Only Rajon Rondo could say there's an "83 percent possibility" he will be able to play in the Celtics' opener after breaking his hand.

  I'm not expecting much from California Chrome in the Breeders' Cup Classic on Saturday.

  In case you missed it, Kentucky women's soccer has climbed back up to 24th in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll.

  Ex-Clemson coach Tommy Bowden says Condoleezza Rice isn't qualified to be on the College Football Playoff Selection Committee. And yet Bowden's former brethren, college football coaches, have Michigan State ranked No. 5 and Oregon No. 6. Oregon beat Michigan State 46-27 in September.

  If the NFL is crowded with geniuses, why did the Arizona Cardinals' Bruce Arians, now 6-1 this year and 16-7 over the last two years, have to wait until age 60 to become a head coach?

  If you remember, Arians was Tim Couch's quarterbacks coach with the Cleveland Browns and once said Couch was "the toughest SOB I ever coached."

  Though the game was played at AT&T Stadium, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones apparently couldn't find a phone to call Coach Jason Garrett about Tony Romo's back injury, so Jones had to come to the sideline and deliver the message personally.

  If I were the Indianapolis Colts and were forced to play against the Pittsburgh Steelers in those "prison-stripe/bumblebee" uniforms, I might give up 51 points, too.

  Florida Coach Will Muschamp thinks that Georgia's suspended running back Todd Gurley will be reinstated for Saturday's game against the Bulldogs, because that's how Muschamp's year has been going.

  This from Missouri Coach Gary Pinkel in Monday's preview of Saturday's game against visiting Kentucky: "Those who win in November will be remembered."