Hello my fellow Louisville and college sports fans. The state of Card Nation can be described in one word, hopeful. Besides scoring enough style points this Cardinal football team has done all that they can do. They are 5-0 and currently ranked 8th in the country. All of this is pretty incredible considering that just four years ago they were struggling just to make a bowl game. It’s been a rapid climb back to the top, thanks to coach Strong. Cards fans came into this season with a shot at the national championship dancing in their heads, so where do they stand after week six?
We knew the Cards were along shot for a title shot and that their destiny wasn’t solely in their own hands. That they would need help from their scheduled teams, from their conference and that they would need teams ahead of them to lose. So far none of this has happened. The American Conference (AAC) has been worse than expected, who knew that was possible. The two best teams the Cards have played are Kentucky and Ohio. It’s understandable to wonder what if Ohio State had balls and chose to play the Cards instead of San Diego St? Or what if ESPN could have swooped Virginia Tech for the Cards in the opener against Alabama? What if the Big East didn’t fall apart and West Virginia and TCU was still on the schedule? There’s a lot of ifs and buts about the schedule but it is what it is.
So why do I describe Card Nation as hopeful? There are some positives to look forward to. Besides joining the ACC next season and having teams such as Florida St, Clemson, Miami and Notre Dame on the schedule and opening the 2015 season against Auburn, there are some positives for this season as well. The Cards have the best conference teams ahead of them yet so the schedule will get more difficult, starting this Thursday night against Rutgers (4-1 1-0) at home. On 10-18 Central Florida (4-1 1-0) visits Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. On 11-16 Houston (4-0 1-0) comes to town before the Cards finish the season at Cincinnati (3-2 0-1).
A shot at the national championship may be out of their reach but a second straight BCS Bowl bid, third overall, is well within their grasp. Current projections include Florida State in the Orange, Baylor in the Fiesta and South Carolina in the Sugar. One can’t discount the Rose just yet either. Since the Cards defeated Alabama in the Fiesta back in the 90’s, pre BCS era, the Rose remains the only BCS caliber bowl that they haven’t won.
If the Cards can’t play for the championship then we still have a couple of ACC teams to pull for. The current BCS projections has two ACC teams ranked in the top six. Alabama has a solid lock on the top spot but what happens when/if they lose? Here are the BCS projected top ten according to BCSGuru.com.
1 Alabama 0.9980, 2 Oregon 0.9107, 3 Clemson 0.8750, 4 Stanford 0.8661, 5 Ohio State 0.7804, 6 Florida St 0.7704, 7 Georgia 0.7671, 8 Oklahoma 0.6502, 9 Louisville 0.6191, 10 LSU 0.6111
The actual BCS rankings will be released after week 7.
Here are the current AAC standings
1 Louisville 5-0 1-0
2 Houston 4-0 1-0
3 Rutgers 4-1 1-0 (beat Arkansas)
4 Central Fla 4-1 1-0 (beat Penn St, lost to South Carolina)
5 USF 1-4 1-0
6 UConn 0-4 0-0
7 Cincinnati 3-2 0-1
8 Memphis 1-3 0-1
9 SMU 1-4 0-1 (Louisville does not play this year, 8 game schedule)
10 Temple 0-5 0-2