We are officially halfway through the season, and Louisville has surpassed all expectations and become a legitimate College Football Playoff contender. However, Louisville may – or may not – need some help down the road to complete its first ever playoff bid. And with only four teams entering the playoff, the air is going to get incredibly thin at the mountaintop, so it’ll be of interest to see how the nation plays out for Louisville’s CFP campaign.
Here are some teams to watch in the coming weeks that could challenge Louisville’s run to its first ever CFP bid.
(Click on More below for the breakdown)
It’s only been a week since my last post, but for me it seemed like there were 15 things that happened that I want to touch on with fans but kept getting swallowed by something new. Seriously y’all, I don’t know how Justin does it. Most of the news posts out of CSZ are from him after his 9-5 job & after he teaches little kids how to ball (hmm, maybe I could use a lesson. Have you seen my shot, J? Never mind, it’s scary). So I’m going to once again list (lol) the new news that rounded out the year 2015 into 2016 for Louisville football.
-🔸Louisville invades Nashville for the Music City Bowl
We’ve now had a few days to let the win against Texas A&M really sink in. The more I think about it, the more excited it makes me. That team went out and gave one of its best performances of the season. That’s expected when a team gets time to prepare and game plan; however, it is not expected when James Burgess, three time starting senior linebacker gets ejected for a horribly called and even more horrendously upheld targeting call on the first play from scrimmage. You can’t game plan for losing one of your best edge rushers shortly after that either. Not to mention, Shaq Wiggins missed most of the first half on the play that sent Burgess to the locker room. This very young team overcame every obstacle thrown at them in Nashville, and did it with style.
How do we get rid of those back-to-work blues after the holidays? Well, here is an option. Enjoy the full Music City Bowl right here on youtube!
The Cards took down the Aggies 27-21 in the Music City Bowl on Wednesday night. Lamar Jackson put on quite a show as he rushed for 226 yards and accounted for all four UofL touchdowns.
Transcript below (also includes Garrick McGee and Todd Grantham)
BOBBY PETRINO AND KEVIN SUMLIN
COACH SUMLIN: Great to be here. Just got through with the luncheon. I know that our guys, our team, our travel party, the administration, has had a fabulous time here in Nashville.
The city has been wonderful hosts. Franklin American Mortgage has done nothing but provide us with first-class events. Our guys are really, really appreciative of it, practice overing at Vanderbilt. Want to thank them, too, being able to utilize their facility and stadium and locker rooms, practice facility, it’s been great for us, too. Everything has been very, very convenient from that standpoint.
The Cards got off to a great start against Texas A&M on Monday night. No, this isn’t about the actual game (although maybe it will be). The teams participated in two competitions: song writing and hot chicken eating contest. Louisville ended the night 2-0. Well done.
I know it is UofL-UK week in basketball, but don’t forget about this football team! Just watching this Bobby Petrino press conference got me right back into the swing of things for the football Cards. Petrino talks about bowl preparation, what they have done differently than last year’s bowl prep, guys that have filed paperwork with the NFL, and much more.
Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin met with the media following Wednesday’s practice and the hot topic was the quarterback situation. Starter Kyle Allen already announced he was transferring, and yesterday the rumor was that Kyler Murray (new starter) would be transferring. Sumlin talks about that and more in the video below.
The best question may be the last one, when he is asked if he has lost confidence. Sumlin quickly shoots that one down, and rightfully so. What coach is going to say “Ya know what Jim, I have lost confidence. I am not ready for this bowl game. Can you find my confidence somewhere?”
I have no idea what is going on in College Station, but it doesn’t appear to be good if you are a quarterback with the letters “K-Y-L-E” in your name. Just a week ago, it was announced that starting QB Kyle Allen would be leaving and not playing in the Music City Bowl. That meant that the next man up was freshman Kyler Murray, right?
Well this certainly changes things. On Thursday evening, Texas A&M Quarterback Kyle Allen announced that he would be leaving the program and he will not play in the Music City Bowl.
Texas A&M vs Louisville Stats
Here are the team stats for each team headed to the Music City Bowl. We used the website cfbstats.com. We used their FBS Power 5 filter. This filter will only give stats that all teams have had versus Power 5 teams. We believe that you don’t get a true picture if you just use the stats from all games. For example, Texas A&M played games against Ball State, Western Carolina, and Nevada. Louisville played against Samford. Those lopsided wins falsely inflate most stats. Since both Louisville and Texas A&M are both Power schools, let’s look at their stats against like programs.
Mark Schlabach of ESPN.com ranked all of the bowls from 1-40 in terms of entertainment value. That’s right, there are FORTY bowl games. If your team didn’t make it, will they ever?
Anyway, the Music City Bowl comes in at #17 on the list. Here is what he says about the game…
I am almost positive that many of you, myself included, jumped for joy and pure excitement when we found out that Louisville would be making the trip down south to play in the Music City Bowl against another SEC opponent, the Aggies of Texas A&M. Granted, I think we all would of preferred a spot in the playoffs, but I don’t think the nation is ready for a 7-5 team in the playoffs, I’m afraid.
The Louisville Cardinals will take on the Texas A&M Aggies in the Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tennesse. The game will be on December 30. Today is only December 7, so there will be PLENTY of bowl content between now and then. This is just a quick glance at the 2015 schedule for Texas A&M as well as a few stats, not too many. This is just to get the ball rolling for us and now throw everything out there right away.
If you didn’t already know, Louisville has been hosting a couple of SEC transfers in the last couple of days. Shaq Wiggins from the University of Georgia and JaQuay Williams from Texas A&M were teammates in high school, and both could end up at UofL. On Wednesday night, Williams tweeted this picture out.
Looks good to me!
There are some exciting games this week in college football. The great thing about Louisville playing a weeknight game (to me) is getting to enjoy watching other games all day Saturday. Teams in the Top 10 have some tough match-ups, highlighted by a pair of Top 5 teams squaring off. That surely gives Louisville the chance to make a move in the polls, but will a team jump ahead of the Cards? Here are the games to keep an eye on this weekend! (Once again, this is using the USA Today/Coaches Poll)
Here is the latest Coaches poll released by USA Today:
(3) Ohio State
(5) Florida State
(7) Texas A&M
(9) South Carolina
(11) Miami (Fla.)
(15) Texas Tech
(17) Oklahoma State
(19) Fresno State
(20) Va. Tech
(23) Northern Illinois