Good afternoon, Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) fans. We’re dropping a special post here about Louisville today - a two-fer, if you will, on Cardinals football and mens basketball.
Today, the Cardinals got absolutely smacked around by LSU in the Florida Citrus Bowl – final score was 29-9. The Cardinals had 35 yards of rushing on the ground and had their offensive line destroyed by LSU (and that’s being kind). Bobby Petrino and his staff have been at Louisville for a while, has had ample time to fix that offensive line, and it hasn’t worked out too well. While it’s terrific that Petrino has a Heisman quarterback on his team and had monster win at home vs. Florida State, we can’t say much about his coaching job after the Cardinals loss to Clemson.
Petrino’s Cardinals never had the right mindset and played closer games than they should have vs. Duke and Virginia, got smashed vs. Houston (when Louisville was believing in their own press), and took an L in the rivalry game to Kentucky (a game they never should have lost, which kept the Cardinals out of the Orange Bowl). So, while there were some notable positives for the Cardinals, the negatives put a damper on what would be a really good nine win season for some teams.
However, let’s look at the opposite side of the coin – Louisville men’s basketball under Rick Pitino is balling right now: Big out-of-conference wins vs. today vs. Indiana, Kentucky, and Purdue, Wichita State – and even Old Dominion have the Cardinals at 12-2 overall (we can’t criticize Louisville for taking a loss to either Baylor, who is much better than most thought, and Virginia, who is a thorn in many roses out there).
I’ve said recently that Louisville is probably one of four teams that can outright win the ACC – and I haven’t changed my thoughts there. The Cardinals do it with defense – and that’s going to be a staple all season long.
Will be interesting to see what Petrino works on in the off-season – and how far Pitino’s team can go in March.