Tonight, Louisville Football beat a Top 40 Houston team in mid-November 20-13 to improve to 9-1 become just the 12th 9+ win team in school history.

As Louisville Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater put it after the game: “The Best is Yet to Come”.

The Cards are a 9-win team with two games to play + a bowl and normally that would be an incredible outlook for Louisville Football.  Couple that with the fact that this team is mostly healthy and should be favored in the last two contests and the outlook would be unprecedented.

But right now the Cards are still on the outside looking in and they’ve put themselves in that position by losing a 3 Touchdown lead in the 2nd half to the incomprehensible luck of the Central Florida Knights.  As the weeks go by the likelihood of Central Florida dropping two of its remaining games becomes less & less, coupled with the fact that the BCS is very unlikely to take two schools from the American Conference.

Cards everywhere are getting used to the idea of playing in Orlando on December 28th at 6:30 against a future conference member.  Is there hope of a BCS bowl? I wouldn’t bet on it, but the road map still exists…..it’s just further away.  The computer polls will like the win over Houston, voters might not. But rather than poll watching for the next week let’s do something valuable with our time:

Let’s Support the Seniors of the University of Louisville (and some Juniors we may not see again)

Next week, the Cards will host their final game of the season.  It will be senior night.  It is a rivalry game (Memphis) and it will be the last time we see the following players on the field at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium:

Preston Brown, Damian Copeland, Brandon Dunn, Marcus Smith, Hakeem Smith, Senorise Perry, Roy Philon, Kamran Joyer, BJ Butler, George Durant, Ryan Hubbell, Jarrett Davis, Deon Rogers, Champ Lee, Chris Walker, Anthony Branch,  and Alex Witcpalek.

It might be the last time we see several juniors.  Teddy Bridgewater is a virtual lock to go into the NFL Draft, but guys like Calvin Pryor & DeVante Parker also figure to take hard looks into their NFL Draft positions.

These guys have given a lot to this school. These guys are Sugar Bowl Champions.  The life of a College Football player, while glamorous from the outside, is anything but.  There are early workouts, later workouts, late nights studying.  There is A LOT of sacrifice that goes into being a College Athlete that regular students do not have to endure.  College Football is HARD.

Undefeated is HARD & it also shouldn’t be the expectation. I picked this Louisville team to go 11-1 because of how difficult this game is and also how unpredictable losses can be.  Should Louisville have beaten UCF and be in line to play in a BCS Bowl?  YES!  But since they didn’t fans shouldn’t mail the season in…….especially with the kids that Louisville is saying goodbye to next week.

Enjoy this group.  Celebrate them.  Crazy things happen in November, but if they don’t and Louisville does find themselves in Orlando in late December then celebrate that too.

Remember how far you have come Louisville.  3 seasons ago the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl was celebrated as a turning point, 2 seasons ago a Belk Bowl berth was a miracle after starting 2-4.  Even last year’s 11-2 record and Sugar Bowl victory had head scratching losses to Syracuse & UCONN.  This could be the 3rd time in a decade that Louisville finishes just a game away from undefeated, in 2004 the Cards were a Kerry Rhodes drop away, in 2006 UofL was a William Gay offsides from accomplishing the feat.

Don’t take anything for granted Cards fans.  This is a special group that can do some special things while setting up what is going to be a cornerstone moment when Louisville joins the ACC.  Until then enjoy this group of seniors, enjoy this team. You never know how things are going to continue.

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@UofLSheriff50. Louisville native, University of Louisville Business School Grad c/o 2004. Co-Founder of TheCrunchZone.com

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