October 26, 2012; Louisville, KY USA; Louisville Cardinals kicker John Wallace (45) celebrates on the shoulders of his teammates after kicking the game winning field goal during overtime against Cincinnati Bearcats at Papa John

Four Wins Away From New Orleans

October 26, 2012; Louisville, KY USA; Louisville Cardinals head coach Charlie Strong watches from the sidelines during the first half of play against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Papa John

The Louisville Cardinals (8-0) still have work to do on the gridiron. If the No. 12 Cards can take care of business down the stretch, big things are in store.

Bowl predictions currently show UofL playing in the Sugar Bowl which has a tie-in with the SEC. Right now, that could either be No. 7 Georgia or No. 11 South Carolina. If this happens, you will hear Charlie Strong’s name mentioned more in a week than you’ve ever heard your own in your lifetime. This would be Strong’s chance to prove himself to all the SEC schools who passed on him in the past.

Of course for this to happen, Louisville can’t look ahead and must focus on each opponent. Temple (3-4) will enter Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium this Saturday for a Noon game which will be nationally televised on ABC. The Owls lost in a big way to Pittsburgh 47-17 this past weekend. Temple’s three victories have come against Villanova, South Florida, and Connecticut. Temple will likely test Louisville’s run defense with a heavy dose of the rush. They average almost 162 yards per game on the ground; which is more than UofL’s 155.

On November 10, the Cards will head east to take on a dangerous Syracuse squad. The Orange (4-4) are the best .500 team in the country in my opinion. All four of their losses have come to high quality opponents. The Orange lost to Northwestern (7-2), No. 2 USC (6-2), Minnesota (5-3), and No. 20 Rutgers. Also, they currently sit at 3-1 in Big East Conference play. The Orange Dome will be loud as they look to upset Louisville. This game is going on my upset alert watch list.

After a week off, Louisville will return home Thanksgiving week to host Connecticut (3-5). The Huskies are struggling and lost their last 40-10 to Syracuse and still haven’t won a conference game this season. About the only thing that could make this game interesting would be snow in the forecast.

Just five days later, Louisville will hit the road for the season finale against Rutgers. If Rutgers (7-1) can bounce back from their 35-23 loss to Kent State (7-1) it could be a battle for the Big East Championship. The game will be a Thursday night showdown on ESPN.

With eight down and four to go, this is the season many Cardinal fans expected. While not all of the wins have been impressive, the key is to keep the goose egg in the loss column. If that can happen, Bourbon Street will be filled with Cardinal red on January 2, 2013.

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