Bobby Petrino came to the podium last weekend to preview the University of Louisville’s spring practices, and without seeing starting quarterback candidates even take a repetition, the questions began.

Who will replace Teddy Bridgewater?

The Cardinals have a number of options — for now, Will Gardner, Kyle Bolin and Brett Nelson. They'll also add Trinity's Reggie Bonnafon for fall camp.

No matter which option Petrino takes, however, one college football expert will back the choice.

In a reader mail article published Wednesday, The Sporting News' Matt Hayes responded to a question of how Petrino will impact U of L's offense immediately by writing, whoever wins the job will “play well. When your quarterback plays well, you can win any game.”

Petrino’s signal callers have always been calculated and efficient within his system, much because their coach has confidence certain routes will work. He scripts a number of plays before games, and Petrino’s extensive preparations are well-documented.

“Teddy Bridgewater would have been everyone’s All-American and the clear No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft had Petrino been coaching him the last three years,” Hayes continued. “That’s not saying former Louisville coach Charlie Strong hindered Bridgewater; that’s saying there are few — if any — who can coach quarterbacks like Petrino.”

Hayes’ evidence? There’s perhaps none better than to note Petrino had lowly Arkansas in contention for a national title while competing in the nation’s toughest conference division, the SEC West.

“So I’m not buying the idea that the second time around at Louisville won’t be as easy because the Cardinals are now in the ACC, not the old Big East,” Hayes wrote.

IN THE C-J

• With Florida the prohibitive national title favorite, Kentucky beat writer Kyle Tucker suggested Wednesday the Gators need a loss. Florida has won 23 straight games, though the longest streak for an eventual national champion since 1976 is the 13 by UCLA in 1995. (http://cjky.it/1fyWd5L)

• See odds and probabilities for U of L, UK and Indiana in their respective conference tournaments as the Cardinals open American Athletic Conference play this afternoon against Rutgers. (http://cjky.it/N9KD5l)

• U of L signee Shaqquan Aaron's Seattle Rainier Beach team is officially a part of an ESPN-televised national tournament to be played April 3-5 in New York. Recruiting reporter Steve Jones has the details. (http://cjky.it/1kOzaHh)

AROUND THE WEB

• Indiana starts its Big Ten Tournament run today looking to avoid missing the NCAA Tournament not just for the Hoosiers but the entire state. The state is running out of chances to send one of its 10 Division I teams to the tournament, something that's happened just once since 1975. (http://indy.st/KC04C6)

• Former U of L player Earl Clark signed on with the New York Knicks at the right time. The Knicks are on a five-game winning streak — their longest of the season — and signed Clark to a second 10-day contract on Monday, extending his stay there. (http://es.pn/1nmKFHX)