Every Google Alert on Louisville football in my email account the last two days seemed to turn up a story entitled “Louisville not deserving of national title talk,” the article every UofL fan knew was coming long before the season got under way.
Eric Avidon, a columnist for the MetroWest Daily News in Framingham, Mass., is the writer who couldn’t resist going for the jugular. His article, which goes on ad infinitum about a lack of big names on the schedule. The piece has been picked up by a number of newspapers with similar non-familiar names across the country, such as the Middletown Transcript in Delaware.
He contradicts the headline and much of his thesis by simply writing the story, putting UofL football in the national title discussion, drawing attention to the program and creating more debate, as he writes:
Its schedule is pathetic. It’s one thing to play patsies early in the season before getting into the meat of the conference season, easy games to pad the win total knowing the battles that lie ahead. It’s another thing to play in a conference that’s BCS in name only but more resembles the MAC than the SEC and still schedule nothing but gimmes.
While Avidon does expend a brief paragraph acknowledging that UofL attempted to schedule better out-of-conference opponents, he doesn’t mention that, even some assistance from ESPN, that such schools as Alabama, Texas A&M and Virginia Tech wouldn’t accommodate UofL. No one from among the traditional powers wanted to face Louisville this season.
Louisville doesn’t belong in Pasadena playing for the national title.It may not even matter if no other team from an AQ conference has fewer than two losses; that’s how pathetic Louisville’s schedule is compared to theirs. No. There’s no reward without risk.
The unfortunate part is that Louisville might actually be as good as some of the teams it’s playing like in the early season. And the weakness of the AAC, decimated by conference realignment, isn’t Louisville’s fault.
But you reap what you sow.
The closing sentence, the reaping what you sow part, not surprisingly reflects a lack of understanding about what Louisville has managed to accomplish with a total collapse of the Big East Conference, a win over Florida in the BCS Sugar Bowl, and being invited to join the Atlantic Coast Conference. Avidon just happens to be one of the voters in the weekly Associated Press football poll. His views are similar to many college football fans and analysts who are unfamiliar with UofL’s scheduling challenges. He ranked UofL 10th this week while the Cardinals are ranked seventh overall. We knew the lack of respect was coming. It was part of the transition year, being a good guy school, lingering in the American Athletic Conference for another year. A weak schedule, no, a horrendous schedule. undoubtedly harming UofL’s chances for a shot at a national title game. But there wasn’t much Tom Jurich could do after being turned down by schools ranked ahead of Charlie Strong’s program. Undeserving? A bit harsh but it comes as no surprise. We knew Eric Avidon was out there somewhere.