Did the SEC Miss the Boat on Not Adding the Louisville Cardinals?

By M. Shannon Smallwood
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Is there a hotter school than the University of Louisville right now in all of college sports?

The answer is simply no and the second hottest trending school in the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles just lost its coach to the glamor of the USC Trojans and doesn’t even have a College Football team.

Clearly, the Louisville Cardinals are winning the game in all aspects right now. It started with a solid football season, a huge Sugar Bowl win over the Florida Gators and continued with a NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Title and Women’s NCAA Basketball Runner-Up trophy.

So with all of this greatness now unveiled and the fact the university has had the largest increase of any school in donations to its foundation, it is time to ask the question why was it only the ACC who came courting six months ago during the mad musical chairs of programs and conferences? And an even bigger question to ask is why the SEC, in all of its power and might, decided not to pursue the Cardinals?

Say what you want as fans of the Kentucky Wildcats and all of its glory in basketball, but was it right of the SEC to believe the conference was only big enough for one proud school from the Bluegrass State? You also can’t be rational if you try to state the significance of the Wildcats or even the Missouri Tigers as being more viable football options than even the Louisville of a few years ago.

One thing history has taught us over and over again is that all dynasties, at some point, come to an end. And with the end of the BCS less than a year away, one has to ask oneself if the SEC has made the right moves to continue its rule over all that is college football in 2014. The answer is probably yes, but the field will forever be changed with the new Plus One Playoff.

When you add what Louisville has done with its football on and off the field, the ACC, who unlike the rest of the world of college football does not shy away from playing the SEC as much as it can each season, is poised to steal a little thunder from its big brother on the gridiron over the next few seasons. Even in basketball, the Cardinals are going to enter the ACC with the crown jewel of any hoops cathedral on Tobacco Road.

But if the SEC determined that Louisville was just a basketball school that couldn’t bring enough to the table in football, it is going to be a tough pill to swallow watching the Cardinal dominate Kentucky and a long list of other SEC foes as well over the next decade.


M Shannon Smallwood is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the US Basketball Writers Association.

Follow him @woodysmalls.

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