There has been enough written about the Louisville Football Schedule. Quite frankly, it’s the worst schedule Louisville Football has had in the last five seasons. Unfortunately, it comes at a time when Louisville is putting their most talented football team on the field in those same five years. There is a glimmer of a hope, Louisville’s opponents have several chances to make waves on the National Stage, which would improve the Cards’ schedule, or at least the perception of it. Here are five of those games that can do that, I ordered them from least to most likely to occur:

Connecticut vs Michigan (Least Likely)

September 21st, 2013

It’s not in Ann Arbor, but it doesn’t really matter.

Connecticut does return a talented defense. One that ranked in the Top 20 of College Football last year. Michigan? Well I don’t exactly expect them to be the Michigan of old this year. Even still, the Wolverines should win this one pretty comfortably. The Huskies lack any real viable offensive weapons and don’t have a top-level QB.

Its quite obvious that a Connecticut win would make the AAC look much better. A mid-pack AAC, school defeating a Top-Tier Big 10 team would surely turn heads across the Country. Even better? A win here and the Huskies would have a good shot at being 4-0 into Conference Play, along with a home win against Maryland.

Having a team with a Top 15 on your schedule is never a bad thing, but don’t expect this one to be close.

Florida at Kentucky

September 28th, 2013 

If recruiting rankings could determine a winner on the field Mark Stoops and company would have a great chance. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, reality tells us otherwise. Maybe the weather calls for Florida ‘disinterest’. I hear Florida has had that happen before.

Dou you think after 27 years the Wildcats are tired of losing to the Gators?

Probably so. It won’t matter.

That being said, a win for Kentucky would sure help out the team 80 miles to the West. Perception wise? Not so much. At seasons end, a win over Kentucky will probably still look like a win over Kentucky; even if they pull the massive upset of the Gators. However, giving a top tier SEC squad a loss this early in the season could do wonders for the BCS Title hopes of the Cardinals.

(Other candidates include any SEC Team that UK can beat.  Seriously Wildcats can you at least win ONE game in your league in 2013?)

South Carolina at Central Florida

September 28th, 2013

As I type this, I fully expect Jadeveon Clowney to jump out of my computer and tackle me. I love you, Clowney. But, I think Central Florida has a ‘chance’ here.

I say chance meaning I expect the Knights to be competitive. South Carolina could be looking ahead, as they find this game neatly place within the middle of the Conference grind. The Gamecocks will roll into Orlando with a crowd in a frenzy, as SC eyes their first undefeated season in School History. Is it possible the Gamecocks could simply overlook the Knights?

UCF also has enough talent to compete.

After a 10-4 season last year, UCF is ranked 49th by USA Today, receiving one vote for the Top 25.  The schedule sets up nicely for them headed to a match-up against South Carolina, especially if the Knights can get past Penn State. UCF opens the Conference Schedule against a poor Memphis team and then meet the Cards. It’s quite possible – if UCF pulls off the gigantic task of defeating South Carolina- that they could be 5-0 heading into Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. This would be a wonderful scenario for Louisville, as they would face off against an undefeated, ranked UCF team on National Television, Friday night.

Clowney would probably tell me ‘I’m Crazy’. He’d probably be right. But hey, It’s College Football. Obviously ticket brokers seem to think I am, as there are tickets available for Louisville-UCF, at a remarkable price of $15.

Miami (FL) at South Florida (Most Likely)

September 28th, 2013

I believe First Year Coach Willie Taggart is building something down in Tampa. You won’t see the benefits this season. But by 2014? Success will happen. South Florida loses several offensive starters from last season, including QB BJ Daniels. This is happening to a team, that wasn’t exactly impressive last season and that doesn’t bode well from 2013. But this one game, I like the Bulls chances.

The one bright spot for USF could be Senior RB Marcus Shaw. Shaw averaged 4.9 yards per carry last season but had to split carries with standout Demetri Murray. With Murray now departed, Shaw gets his opportunity.  Taggart has given the Arcadia, FL product nothing but praise during the Summer Camp, most recently calling it ‘outstanding’.

On September 28th, Shaw will go up against a Cane defense that was lackluster in 2012. A defense that will no doubt be better, but also one that I think we still be searching for an identity when these two meet.

With a win here the AAC conference and a Louisville opponent gets a win over a ‘name’ and a team that will be on the cusp of the Top 25 all season. More importantly, it will put USF potentially at 4-2 when Louisville meets them a month later. This game will also give the Bulls a great chance of becoming bowl eligible. It’s certainly in the Cardinals’ best interest to have as many opponents as possible become bowl eligible. It’s a talking point, a nice one.

Honorable Mention:

Arkansas vs Rutgers- A Rutgers win would most certainly give the Scarlet Knights an undefeated record when they travel to Papa Johns Cardinal Stadium. It would give the Cardinals a win over an undefeated and likely Top 25 team. That’s massive.

Cincinnati at Rutgers- Perhaps this is the biggest hurdle for the Bearcats before a season finale against Louisville. A Cincinnati win here and both the Cardinals and Bearcats could be undefeated, when they meet at the end of the season. Thats a National Showcase and a dream scenario for Louisville. A Louisville win? It could vault them to a BCS National Championship Berth.

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Chris Hatfield

Residing in Louisville, KY (via Bardstown, KY). I write things about Louisville Sports. Sometimes you'll like them. Follow me @_ChrisHatfield Email me at chatfield60@gmail.com

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