Louisville Cardinals‘ ( 9-1, 4-1 Big East) head coach Charlie Strong emphasized playing with a chip on their shoulder the rest of the season, which was a great message, but the Syracuse Orange (5-5, 3-3 Big East) had other plans. The Orange defense really wasn’t a match for Teddy Bridgewater as he threw for 426 yards, along with three touchdowns. To the surprise of Cardinal fans, they witnessed their team go down 31-13 at halftime and by the time the UL offense started to trade points with Syracuse, they had already dug too deep of a hole
The Orange offense racked up 339 yards of total offense in the first half and Ryan Nassib looked like he could do no wrong. Nassib ended the game with three TD passes and no interceptions. The big story, well maybe not outside of Louisville fans, is how the Cardinals fell right intro the trap of what many critics were saying about this team.
UL was in a fight for respect. Despite coming into today as an undefeated top ten BCS team, no one really looked twice to them in terms of the national title discussion. In fact, two one loss and a couple two loss teams from the SEC ranked higher than Louisville in the BCS standings. The Big East hasn’t been taken seriously the last couple years and while it’s justifiable, the Cardinals were trying to break through the national perception and take the conference over. That could still happen, however, this loss doesn’t keep them from the BCS yet, but it does nothing to improve the brand of the conference.
The Big East has remained on the outside of all the AQ, or the politically correct term tie-in, bids in the new up coming playoff system and Louisville just showed why that is once again. This loss doesn’t mean Bridgewater isn’t a remarkable quarterback, which he is, it doesn’t mean the Cardinals can’t still be in the BCS, but now when the nation sees the Cardinals the thought won’t be they deserve respect, it will be, but they lost to Syracuse.
The Louisville loss does set up the game with the Rutgers Scarlet Knights as the conference championship game. So, at-least from a viewer standpoint, the nation may see the game as holding some significance.
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