A chip on the shoulder will help Saturday.

The University of Louisville football program will be in the national spotlight when it collides with North Carolina with much on the line.

  • A No. 19 rating in the Associated Press poll that even diehard UofL fans believe may have come too quickly for a team overloaded with freshmen and sophomores. Charlie Strong came close to admitting as much during his last press conference.
  • A chance to play a quality out-of-conference opponent, made possible only because ESPN arranged a home-and-away series to make up for scrubbing UofL in favor of Georgia last season.
  • An undefeated record, with a chance to go 3-0 for the first time since 2006, the second time since 2004, the third time since 2001, and the fourth since 1993. It hasn’t happened often in 94 years of Louisville football.
  • An opportunity to jam Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium to capacity with 55,000-plus fans. That has happened only three times since the stadium was expanded in 2010.
  • A regional ABC Network telecast with many viewers tuning in to see if Big East football is as bad as ESPN keeps telling them it is.
  • Decision makers from the Big 12 and ACC conferences will be watching as well, just in case they are obliged/compelled/forced to expand again. Conference realignment is always on someone’s agenda.
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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

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