Coaches poll snubs Louisville football, but it may just be a good thing

Scott Satterfield the head coach of the Louisville Cardinals (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Scott Satterfield the head coach of the Louisville Cardinals (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Louisville football left out off USA Today coaches top 25 rankings.

*WE GET NO RESPECT (Rodney Dangerfield voice).* On the same day the ACC released its football season schedule, Scott Satterfield’s Louisville football program have been left out of the USA Today coaches preseason top 25 for the second year in a row.

Louisville finished last season on a solid note, dashing Mississippi State 38-28 in the Music City Bowl. Prior to that game, outside of the 45-13 drubbing washout at Kentucky, they looked impressive, beating two ranked (at the time) opponents, one being on the road.

Satterfield’s squad found itself in the top 25 in total offense at the end of the year, and with almost all of its offensive playmakers returning, one had to think the Cards were primed for a top 15 finish, at minimum, in that category. Hence, one would only assume that kind of returning production would yield a spot in the top 25.

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Louisville football unranked? “Nobody cares. Work harder.”

From an outside perspective, it seems indubitably obvious for a team that achieved what Satterfield and staff achieved last season to land on every top 25 voter’s blinking national radar. A team that emerged from the fog-laden Power 5 sewers at the beginning of 2019. A team that boasts the reigning ACC Coach of the Year.

Preseason rankings are about as meaningless as a Michael Scott meeting, and they more time than not mean absolutely nothing when the season gets underway. However, for a team that’s gotten a ton of hype from those around college football, you really would have thought that they could’ve been included in the top 25.

There’s reason to doubt Louisville if you’re not someone who watched them avidly in 2019. The defense ranked near the bottom of nearly ever major statistical category. The offensive line struggled mightily at times in pass protection. The offense could just be a one year fluke. Whatever the criticism or doubts are, I get it. There’s no way to really tell if Louisville will be able to continue to put the points up that we saw last season while simultaneously taking a big enough leap defensively to rely on that side of the ball to win games; not to mention just two years ago they went 2-10.

Leaving the Cards out of the top 25 is a mistake in my opinion, especially when you start to think about the team being able to compete for one of the top two spots in the ACC. But in order to insert Louisville into the top 25, you would have to remove some other teams hogging up the coveted spots. In my eyes, two teams jump right off the page. UNC and UCF.

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North Carolina, though chocked full of young talent, merely waddled its way to a 7-6 record last season. Perhaps the voters have a little more faith than I do in Coach Mack Brown and his ultra-experienced staff to eclipse that performance and then some in this season ahead. Head-to-head, I feel that the Cardinals are a better team from top to bottom, but many of the voters may still be on the wait-and-see committee with this year’s Louisville defense.

UCF had another strong season, posting a 10-3 record. I’m still scratching my head on this one. Of their three losses, one came to an abysmal Tulsa team that stumbled from start to finish, ending with a 4-8 record. You won’t find a loss on Louisville’s schedule that comes close to that bruise. Say FSU and catch an three-second eye roll.

Being left out of the top 25 doesn’t mean that Louisville won’t have a great season – in fact it really doesn’t mean anything.

If anything, it is actually a positive if you ask me.

This group of players know they were doubted before, right now, and will be doubted going forward. Being left out means the chip on their shoulder gets a little bit bigger, which will only lead to more effort and harder work.

Last year this team was picked to finish dead last in the Atlantic division of the ACC and we saw what happened. Week after week people picked against Louisville and we saw what happened.

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Being on the come-up is a familiar feeling for Louisville football. Something tells me this poll won’t exclude the Cards for very long, and some role reversals will be in order.