Louisville Cardinals Will Be National Title Contenders in 2013

Crystal LoGiudice, USA TODAY SPORTS

Coming off of an 11-2 season and a win in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, the Louisville Cardinals hope to take the next step in their ascent in 2013.

Louisville returns its starting quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, who is being mentioned as a Heisman trophy contender. Bridgewater leads an offense that should be very potent this season, with the return of running back Senorise Perry. The Cardinals will also have a stable of talented receivers, including DeVante Parker, Damian Copeland, Eli Rogers and true freshman James Quick, who was Kentucky’s Mr. Football in 2012.

From a national perspective, the question is: can Louisville compete for the 2013 BCS National Championship?

When looking at the 2013 Louisville schedule, there would seem to be few, if any, roadblocks in their path to an unbeaten season. The Cardinals face the Ohio University Bobcats and the Eastern Kentucky Colonels to start the season before a short road trip to Lexington to face the Kentucky Wildcats. Kentucky will be rebuilding, and under a new coach, so the Wildcats probably won’t be an issue for Louisville.

The Cardinals also face the Florida Atlantic Golden Panthers before facing what should be a fairly weak Big East schedule.

What appears to be a blessing may actually turn out to be the problem for the Cardinals. If two programs from power conferences were to go undefeated, Louisville’s computer rankings would likely keep them out of the BCS Title Game. Even a one-loss team from the SEC or the Pac-12 might get the nod ahead of the Cardinals, depending on the particular loss and when it happens during the season.

The Cardinals need to handle their business and let the chips fall where they may. Louisville remains a formidable team in 2013, and if circumstances present themselves, this could be a team playing for a national title in January.

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