Now that we have reached the halfway point of our football season, I feel like it is a good time to write this. I have been wanting to do it for a couple of weeks now, but this seems like the right time. As is the case with most of my opinionated posts, I have a general idea of where I want to go with this. But for the most part I am just going to say what comes to mind, and we will see what happens. Hopefully by the end of it, I have gotten some kind of point across. So let’s go…
When we began this season, the Cards were ranked 9th in the polls. After last season’s dominant Sugar Bowl performance against Florida, and knowing that the majority of that team would be back, there were National Championship hopes for us Louisville fans. We knew how good this team could be, but would the rest of the nation ever really get to see it? We also knew that because of the schedule we would have, that teams in front of us would have to lose, and probably lose twice, in order for us to climb all the way up to one of those coveted top 2 BCS spots.
So here we are, 7 weeks down, 6-0 record, and now we find the Cards ranked 6th in the USA Today/Coaches Poll, which factors into the BCS rankings. The only teams in front of us are undefeated teams, but we also have 3 teams right behind us with 1 loss, all from the SEC (Texas A&M, LSU, South Carolina).
|USA Today Poll|
If you have kept up with the top teams in college football this season, you know a few things:
1) Oregon has been dominant and may not lose
2) Ohio State has an easy schedule, and may have already escaped their toughest game of the season
3) Alabama is still really, really good
4) Even if Alabama does lose, it would likely be to LSU, who would then pass us
5) Oh, and the pollsters are going to make it nearly impossible for the Cards to get one of those two BCS spots. Consider us Boise State.
When it is all said and done this season, I do not think that the Louisville Cardinals will be playing in the BCS National Championship Game. And you know what? THAT IS OK! Louisville can still run the table and make it to a BCS Bowl. Are you telling me that it would not be awesome to face Clemson or Florida State in the Orange Bowl and kickstart a rivalry for our future in the ACC? Not to mention see Teddy Bridgewater face off against Jameis Winston or Tahj Boyd. Or you would not want to take another trip down to New Orleans and see the Cards take on, let’s say, Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M? Or Jadeveon Clowney and South Carolina? Or even LSU? You don’t think those would still be HUGE games for Louisville and the future of the program?
That Sugar Bowl win against Florida caught the eye of a LOT of big-time recruits. Getting another big win like that would do the same, and probably even more because it would be back-to-back and would show that this program is here to stay.
Would it be disappointing for this Louisville team to not get a chance to play for the National Championship? Sure, I get that. And not ALL media people feel like we don’t belong. David Pollack even said that on any given night that Louisville could beat anyone in the country. He just says what everyone else already knows, that our schedule will likely be the thing that keeps us from getting that chance. As unfortunate as that is, that’s college football for you. Only 2 teams in the entire country get that chance, and it is very, very difficult to be one of those two. But that doesn’t mean that this still can not be a great season for the Cards.
What I don’t want fans to do is actually what I am also guilty of doing sometimes, and that is get so caught up in the rankings, the other top teams, the schedules, that we miss out on what is right in front of us: quite possibly the best team that the University of Louisville has EVER put on the field. Don’t take Teddy Bridgewater for granted. This kid could be the best that we ever see suit up for Louisville. Don’t worry so much about our ranking that we miss out on enjoying just seeing him play football for our team. He is special, and one that everyone should be appreciative of and enjoy while we can.
Charlie Strong and his staff have put together a great defense. Don’t worry about who the top teams are playing this week and who may or may not jump us. Go out and just enjoy us shutting down opposing offenses week after week…after week. The voters on the polls take style points into account in these rankings. They don’t often realize how a dominant defense can be stylish too, and that’s what we have, so enjoy it.
So is there a chance that we make it to the National Championship game this year? Of course there is a chance. There is still time left, and big games to be played for the teams in front of us, so anything can happen. All I am saying, and again I am reminding myself of this too, is don’t spend so much time worrying about the rankings and the other teams, that we forget to enjoy what is right there in front of us, our beloved Louisville Cardinals.
Don’t forget to enjoy this season!