On July 1, 2014, the Louisville Cardinals will officially join the ACC. At the same time Maryland will pack up and head to the Big 10. It seems for the most part Big 10 fans are lukewarm to the idea of Maryland and Rutgers joining their conference. In contrast ACC fans appear to be really looking forward to Louisville becoming a member of the conference.
I’m also looking forward to Louisville coming aboard, and I’m going to give you my 10 reason’s why in no particular order.
Since 1998 Louisville’s Football program has went 133-66 for a 67% winning percentage during that time. We’ve documented the great strides ACC football has made the last two years, led by Florida State and Clemson. The 9-8 bowl record is also a positive to along with impressive showings at the NFL draft. Louisville immediately got ACC and in particular FSU fans excited with their dominating 2013 Sugar Bowl win over Florida. As long as Bobby Petrino is a changed man off the field, the Cardinal football program will be solid, and that’s good for the ACC as they keep enhancing their football product.
We love our basketball in the ACC, and Louisville is a perfect fit here. The Cardinals led by Hall of Famer Rick Pitino are one of the country’s elite basketball programs. Future matchups with Syracuse, Duke, North Carolina, and a surging Virginia program are going to be alot of fun.
The Cardinals are coming off back to back CWS appearances. The ACC has been one of the top baseball conferences for years, and Louisville gives the conference another strong baseball program. By the way Good Luck to Virginia as they attempt to be the first ACC team to win a baseball national title since 1955.
Louisville wants to be in the ACC
Maybe Louisville fans are just happy they made it into a Power 5 conference, before the realignment era ended, but I don’t remember seeing anything like, we’re happy to be in the ACC, but this or that conference would have been better. They were chanting “ACC” as early as that Florida Sugar Bowl win.
Speaking of the Louisville fans, let’s talk about them for a second. Fans always show to big events, but something stuck with me from years ago. I don’t even remember what year it was, but I was watching a Georgia Tech November Basketball tournament being held in Puerto Rico. It was sparsely attended, but when Louisville played those stands were full of red. That really impressed me. They average 20,000+ per basketball, and average over 90% capacity in their 55,000 seat football stadium.
Louisville Kentucky rivalry
No two conference are more historically aligned than the ACC and SEC. Whenever teams from those conferences hookup people are always counting the results. The Cardinals have won 10 of their last 15 football games with Wildcats, and the Louisville Kentucky basketball rivalry speaks for itself.
Louisville’s Southern Flavor
I’ve got nothing against our Northern ACC members, and I’m glad they joined. The conference is growing and new markets needed to be explored and added. It’s an Eastern more than Southern conference now, and that’s OK, but you don’t want to completely stray from your roots. A UCONN over Louisville selection would have made for some really unhappy southern football fans.
I’ve said this before the basketball coaching talent will be unparalled in the ACC. Rick Pitino, Jim Boeheim, Roy Williams and Mike Krzyzewski are you kidding me? Pitino is a legend matching wits other legends, matching wits rising stars like Tony Bennett, and other established successful coaches.
Louisville’s connection to former Big East members
As I pointed out, I like Louisville’s southern flavor, but I also like their connection to the more northern ACC members Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and Notre Dame because of their years in the Big East. I’ve seen Louisville play football and basketball games against Syracuse and Pittsburgh. I’ve seen basketball games against Notre Dame. There’s at least some sense of continuity rather than just a pure partnership with no historical connection.
Some ACC athletic departments, have simply turned it up a notch the last few years. Florida State, Duke, and Virginia are having across the board success. We’ve discussed some of Louisville’s successful athletic programs football, basketball, and baseball but they’ve also had success at women’s basketball, softball, men’s soccer among other. Jurich is a wizard when it comes to raisining money for Louisville. There were times the last few years some ACC athletic departments stagnated, or made laughable financial decisions. Louisville’s athletic programs will be good and their finances won’t be mis-managed. Tom Jurich will see to it.