Despite a schedule that includes no games against a preseason top 25 team, the Louisville Cardinals are still ranked as the seventh best team in the nation, according to Sports Illustrated. Despite the lackluster schedule of games, the Cardinals have a talented offensive and defensive unit that should run through the new American Athletic Conference. What did the 2012 season look like for the Cardinals and what games will pose the most intrigue in 2013?
In their final season in the Big East Conference, the Cardinals had an 11-2 record including 5-2 in the Big East to finish in a four-way tie for the conference championship. Since they had the highest seed of the four teams with that record, they earned the Big East’s spot in the Sugar Bowl. Not only did they beat the Florida Gators in that game, they did so with relative ease. It was actually the only win (and only game against) a team ranked in the top 25 in 2012.
Key 2013 Games
This may be one of the toughest teams in college football this season to find the most important games. The AAC Conference is one of the weakest in the sport and the Cardinals don’t have the toughest out of conference schedule, but what games do you need to keep an eye on?
- Thursday, October 10 – vs. Rutgers
Rutgers was one of the three other teams to tie with Louisville for first place in the Big East a year ago. What made it worse for the Scarlet Knights was that it was a 20-17 loss in the last game of the regular season against the Cardinals that dashed their BCS bowl game hopes.
- Thursday, December 5 – @ Cincinnati
One of the top rivalries in college football that you don’t know about is held between these two teams. In what is called the Battle for the Keg of Nails, these two teams have played every season since 1966. Overall, they have played each other 52 times with Cincinnati holding the series lead, 30-21-1. Last season, Louisville won 34-31 in overtime to snap the four-year winning streak of the Bearcats.