Stats are funny and sometimes misleading things. Whenever a stat is thrown out saying “Team X is 0-34 all-time against”, I always find myself chuckling. Because really, how many players were a part of those previous 34 losses? It is not like a freshman for some team played a part of a game in 1966, so the stat has very little relevancy other than telling us one team is more dominant than the other historically.
That brings us to the fact that the Louisville Cardinals have yet to play a Big 10 opponent this season. Some “experts” are wondering if that is a good or bad thing. Really, it will have very little impact on the outcome of the game. Sure, the two conferences of the two teams are played in different fashions, but the better team tonight is going to win — not necessarily the better conference.
It would help, I suppose, in the minimal amount of ways if the Cards have played a similar Big 10 foe. However, they would have been a greater benefactor if they had already played the Michigan Wolverines directly or at least a team similar to them (not one that had to come from the same conference).
Louisville is going to be themselves when they play tonight as Michigan will also. Having not played a Big 10 opponent all year, while expecting it to have an impact on tonight’s game, is simply misguided; while similar, it just isn’t the same as the actual thing — in this case, actually playing Michigan.