Charlie Strong had a big job ahead of him when he took over the Louisville Cardinals in 2010. Strong has returned the Cardinals to respectability after getting the team to the Sugar Bowl this season and adding an upset win over the Florida Gators, and now now has the challenge of trying to get the team back to that same place again in 2013.
If Louisville is going to make a return to the final year of BCS games, it will depend on how well Strong can keep Teddy Bridgewater under control. I’m sure Bridgewater would have loved to have kept the season going after the big win at the Sugar Bowl especially being just a sophomore. The success of Bridgewater is what will make or break Louisville in 2013 and Strong can’t allow Bridgewater to get a big head. There is only so much that Strong can do from the sidelines but the talent of Bridgewater makes Strong’s job much easier to do.
I figure that Louisville will be ranked in the top 20 when the 2013 preseason rankings come out late this summer, but the job that Strong and Bridgewater did in 2012 has brought back a program that has had three straight rough years. The only questions now come down to if Strong and/or Bridgewater decide to leave Louisville after next season. If both of them come back, Louisville can make a very serious run towards a national championship during the first year of the new playoff system. There is just that much talent in Bridgewater as a quarterback and Strong as a coach.