By Mo Johnson
For the last seven seasons, the BCS Championship has gone to a team in the SEC. Sure, plenty of teams around the country have tried their best in the last game of the season, but the league has been too strong in recent memory. Apparently, no one has told the Louisville Cardinals that, as their football team prepares for a possible title run in 2013.
The hype for a possible national championship started last season when the Cardinals were able to knock off the Florida Gators 33-23. Florida might not have been the best team in the SEC in 2012, but they did enter the game ranked #3 in the BCS poll. Thanks to a breakout game from MVP Teddy Bridgewater, the Cardinals pulled off the upset, and then set themselves up for a truly special 2013.
While the team still has to go out there and run the table in the regular season just to be considered, they have to be pleased with their schedule. They kick the season off with the Ohio Bobcats, who will more than likely be their biggest non-conference test. After that, games against in-state foes Eastern Kentucky and Kentucky, plus a visit from Florida International, makes out the weak slate outside of the American Athletic Conference. Fantasy football players should take note of the potential for some big scores from the Cardinals.
Speaking of the American Athletic Conference, it might be as weak as ever. The conference is at a crossroads, as Louisville itself prepares for the ACC. One of Louisville's best teams ever will benefit from a soft schedule, with road games at Connecticut and Cincinnati being perhaps the biggest challenges.
The only way Louisville is in the BCS Championship discussion is if they run the table. Even if they do run the table, there is still a chance that other undefeated or even one-loss teams jump them in the rankings. A lot will depend on where they stand in the rankings during the middle of the season. The team is talented, and they have shown that they can beat a premier SEC team, but there is still a lot of work to do before they even get that potential shot to snap that streak.