Oct 18, 2013; Louisville, KY, USA; Louisville Cardinals head coach Charlie Strong watches from the sideline during the second half of play against the UCF Knights at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Central Florida defeated Louisville 38-35. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Louisville's BCS Hopes

Charlie Strong’s face says it all during the second half against the UCF Knights.  We’ve seen this same stoic look from Strong before, during the losses to Syracuse and Uconn last year.  No emotion and no fight.  As a fan and football expert I look for more from coaches when they are down and behind.  You saw it from UCF head coach George O’leary.  The team looked to their leader for inspiration and got it.   I’m a huge fan of Coach Strong and staff but I’m not afraid to accept the fact the he was out coached by UCF’s O’Leary.

With the loss the Louisville Cardinals took a huge hit in the polls falling to 18 in the AP and 16 in the Coaches Poll.   A more important poll was also published on Sunday, the BCS poll in which the Cardinals rank 20th.  The implications of the loss are huge and now Louisville’s season is looking very similar to last with one exception, they are going to need even more help to get to a BCS bowl.  It’s a big mess that will only be sorted out as the season is played out.

Louisville is a game behind UCF, Houston and South Florida in the AAC.  Should the Cardinals tie with Central Florida for a share of the AAC title,  the Knights would receive the league’s automatic BCS bid by virtue of Friday’s win. Look back at #25 Rutgers who ended up in the non-BCS Russell’s Athletic Bowl (Thanks to second half heroics by an injured Teddy Bridgewater), losing to Virginia Tech.  Any hope of a  BCS appearance ride on Louisville  winning out, then help from Houston to defeat UCF, creating a three-way tie AAC tie.   IF and only if this scenario plays out,  the highest-ranked team in the final BCS standings gets the BCS bowl bid. Louisville, the only team from the AAC ranked entering this week, would be granted the BCS appearance.

What this means, there is still a lot of football to be played and there is still hope.  The scenario with the greatest odd however is one most of you wont like.  My bowl projection for Louisville puts them in the Russell’s Athletic Bowl vs. either Miami or Virginia Tech.  It’s a little ironic and bittersweet.  It is a respectable bowl but far from the expectations most had for this season.  Expectations and a true evaluation of this teams capabilities may be their worst enemy.

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Tags: Bcs BCS Prediction BCS Projections Bowl Charlie Strong George O'leary Louisvile Cardinals Louisville Louisville Cardinals Louisville Cardinals Football Louisville Football National Championship Poll Teddy Bridgewater UCF University Of Louisville UofL

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