Louisville loses to UGA in the Belk bowl, but they are not far from being a top-end program.

Louisville v Purdue

Louisville has been a welcome addition to the ACC. They added quality depth to ACC football. This year they went 9-4, that included a road win at 8-5 Notre Dame. They beat Kentucky helping the ACC to a 4-0 rivalry day record against the SEC.

The season ended on a down note though after a 37-14 loss to Georgia in the Belk Bowl.

The ACC  has been a significant step up in competition for the Cardinals, and for the most part the Cardinals did fine. There was close loss at Virginia, and a close loss at Clemson. Both of those games were without All-World WR DeVante Parker, but Clemson was also without their top QB DeShaun Watson as well so I’d consider that a wash.

With the loss to Georgia, Louisville was beat by the 3 best teams on their schedule – Florida State, Clemson, and Georgia. That’s 3 of the 10-12 best programs in country and Louisville is just outside of that. I’m not forgetting Louisville’s great Sugar Bowl win over Florida in 2012 or the 32 wins over the last three seasons. Louisville is a solid solid football program, but they aren’t at the top food chain yet. The good news is they aren’t all that far away. Bobby Petrino is an elite football mind at head coach, and there is a commitment and investment to becoming a top end football program at Louisville.

I think Louisville has everything in place to get there, what they need to do is RECRUIT RECRUIT RECRUIT. Louisville can eventually challenge Clemson and Florida State in the ACC, but right now those schools have top to bottom better talent than Louisville. The Cardinals haven’t recruited a top 25 class in the last 4 years, and that’s where the Cardinals need to step things up in future years.

It should improve as well.

Louisville now is in a stable conference. As I’ve said there is a university commitment to succeed. There is also a strong fan support. Everything is right in front of this program. If they can maintain the momentum of the last 3 years and elevate their recruiting, they will get there. It won’t be easy. Florida State and Clemson show no signs of backing up in the ACC Atlantic, but there’s a lot of feel good about if you are Louisville fan, even with the bowl game loss.

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  1. Joe Jarboe says:

    I hope the ACC is still planning to vote on changing the alignment of the two divisions. There is no way Florida State, Clemson and Louisville should be in the same division!

  2. Jfann says:

    I really doubt that happens. Even less so now with Georgia Tech’s season where they were clearly the 2nd best team in the ACC in 2014. The powers that be will say the system worked.

    That said…

    Keep an eye on the NCAA ruling about how decide to Conference CHampionship games. I could the see ACC doing away with divisions all together, and rotating the schedules more. Then they would match the top 2 ACC teams in the Championship game.

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