The script just keeps getting revised for Charlie Strong’s future.
His University of Louisville football team was beckoned to the Atlantic Coast Conference this week, starting in 2014, dramatically changing the outlook for his program’s future.
If he were talking to other schools about possible jobs, he had to be having second and third thoughts. Money is no object. If he wants a shot at the national championship, he has it at UofL, along with all money Tom Jurich will ante up for him to stay.
Now he has the opportunity to take his team to the Sugar Bowl New Orleans for a Jan. 2 showdown against Florida, where he was defensive coordinator before taking the Louisville job in 2009.
That’s got to be a challenge he relishes.
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Tom Jurich couldn’t be happier for Strong.
“We are extremely excited for the opportunity to play an outstanding Florida team in the Sugar Bowl,” he said. “This is a great match-up of two top-20 teams and is going to be a great test for our football team. This is a great reward for an outstanding season. Charlie Strong and his staff did a remarkable job with this young team to get to a BCS game, and New Orleans is a great destination. We know from being in the Final Four last year that New Orleans is an outstanding city.
“New Orleans is a manageable drive for our fans after the holiday. Our fans have always made their presence known in every post-season game we have ever played in. The last time we played in the Orange Bowl, we brought over 30,000 fans, and with the excitement of this team, I hope we can reach that again.”
This will be Louisville’s second appearance in a BCS bowl game. The Cardinals won their only BCS bowl contest, with a 24-13 victory in the 2007 Orange Bowl over Wake Forest.
The Gators finished the regular season second in the Southeastern Conference’s East Division behind Georgia. Florida, ranked fourth in both the USA Today Coaches poll and Associated Press media poll.