One game remains for the 9-3 Louisville Cardinals and it is forked into two likely possibilities. Given their three losses and current standing in the ACC, the Cardinals are likely constrained to either the Hyundai Sun Bowl on Dec. 27 against a comparable Pac-12 opponent or the TaxSlayer Bowl on Jan. 2 against an equitable Big Ten/SEC foe.
With Clemson‘s regular season record remaining static, the Tigers having achieved a better conference standing, and the Cardinals’ current AP ranking of 21, don’t expect Louisville to alter their destiny by remaining idle. With Florida State clinching a better conference record and Georgia Tech earning a berth to the ACC championship, the only ripples in these scenarios will be created by the Pac-12, Big Ten and/or SEC.
There is some pleasant news to complement the Cardinals’ somewhat fixed fate, though; since Notre Dame sits at 7-5 and since the Cardinals won head-to-head, don’t expect the Irish to oust Louisville from a better bowl. Instead, expect Louisville to earn a stronger opponent and nicer bowl game than their pseudo-ACC representative.
If Georgia Tech pulls off a highly-probable upset against Florida State in the ACC title game, the ACC could flood the top-tier of bowls, and this would do even more to ensure that Louisville would be going up against the LSU Tigers in the TaxSlayer Bowl on Friday, Jan. 2.
I expect this outcome to unfold, and if you’re a diehard Cardinals fan, I hope Jacksonville, Fla. treats you well.