Stock up: Optimism for the future
Even after a loss, you have to see this game overall as a positive step forward.
Again, there’s no such thing as moral victories, but one-third of the way through the season, we are seeing exactly what kind of dire straits Louisville was in regarding talent, depth, and cohesiveness as a team.
The Cards’ two starters in their first four games are questionable for game five against Boston College, and their third-stringer, Evan Conley, is a true freshman. Louisville handed out scholarships in the offseason to two players who are now starters and another who plays significant time. As the season wears on, depth issues persist.
With that said, the progress that the Cards continue to make in all three phases of the game is visible, and at this juncture that’s all you can ask for.
As a Louisville fan, you should look forward to the latter two-thirds of this season. The Cards play host to back-to-back top-25 teams in No.1 Clemson and No. 21 Virginia, travel to Miami, NC State, and Kentucky, and face some of the better players in the conference when they go head-to-head against BC’s AJ Dillon and Wake Forest’s Sage Surratt.
Louisville has a ton of chances to see what they are made of against some of the nation’s best teams, and they are playing with house money. The expectations for this team nationally are low, but we know they can compete at a high level.
The future is bright for the Cards.
Stock down: Cards’ chances of making a bowl game
For all of the reasons mentioned above, Louisville’s chances of making it to the postseason might have been squandered with a loss on Saturday.
Obviously there’s still a shot at getting to six wins, but they will have to snag four against a back half of the schedule that will get increasingly tougher over the next month.
I think Louisville can play right with anyone left on its schedule- save, maybe, Clemson- but it takes a lot more fresh bodies that they can currently rely on playing to finish off a game against a quality power-five opponent.
Louisville football’s next opponent, Boston College, becomes a must-win if the Cards are going to get to six. BC was crushed at home two weeks ago by Kansas (yes, Kansas) and made it look way too tough to beat Rutgers a week later.
After that, Wake Forest, Clemson, Virginia, and Miami are about as tough of a stretch of four games as you are going to get.
Louisville has to win some games in which they aren’t favored if they are going to have any chance of going bowling.
It’s possible, but the road just became a bit more challenging.