Tuesday Question, Should Louisville be No. 3?

Posted Nov 7, 2006

Does Louisville deserve the number 3 spot in the BCS?

Past TQs
- The nat'l title game will be ...
- The best one-loss team
- Rule changes to help the flow
- The Midseason Stuff
- The real top five ranking
- The early coach of the year is ...?
- These three teams are for real, these three aren't
- After 2 weeks, who's better, who's worse?
- 10 Greatest Quarterbacks of All-Time
- 10 Greatest Defensive Players of All-Time
- 10 Greatest Regular Season Games of All-Time
- 10 Greatest Playmakers of All-Time
- 10 Worst Heisman Winners
- 10 Greatest Bowl Games
- All-Time Offensive Team
- All-Time Defensive Team

Pete Fiutak       
Q: Does Louisville deserve the No. 3 spot?

A: I want one more week before I believe. Don't get me wrong, Louisville is strong enough on offense and at home to beat anyone in America, but I'm still not 100% sold that this is the third best team in America. On a neutral field at the moment and with everything on the line, out of Ohio State, Michigan, Texas, Florida, LSU, Arkansas, Auburn, USC, Wisconsin, and yeah, on a neutral field, West Virginia, I think the Cards would win, maybe, three of those games. But that's not the point right now. Is it the number three team? It's very, very possible; I just want to see the Rutgers game.

My beef with West Virginia rings true with Louisville; while UofL is a good team, I don't believe it would get through any of the other BCS conferences unbeaten. The best road with is at Kansas State? That's a regular October afternoon for most Big 12 teams. One win over West Virginia is certainly nice, and now the offense has to show it can keep the fireworks going in hostile environments against Rutgers and Pitt. While I think Louisville will win the Big East and go to the BCS, I don't think it'll get through the next three games unbeaten before playing Connecticut. I'm not 100% certain this is a top ten team, but if it gets through the year 12-0, yeah, it should probably get the shot to play for the national title. Like I said, I could quickly change my tune in a few days.

Richard Cirminiello  
Q: Does Louisville deserve the No. 3 spot?

A: Sure.  Considering how hot this topic has become since last Thursday, you’d think Louisville played in the Sun Belt rather than the Big East.  No, the Big East isn’t as deep as the SEC or the Big Ten, but the league has come a long way over the past two years, shedding the Big Least tag.  Plus, the Cardinals’ perfect record has included wins over Miami and West Virginia to go along with victories against Kentucky, Kansas State and Cincinnati, which look pretty good now that all three are over .500 and in the hunt for a postseason game.  The prominent one-loss schools, such as Texas, Florida, Auburn and USC, are quality programs to be sure, but hardly dominant enough in their wins to jump an unbeaten team from a BCS conference.  The Horns, Gators, Tigers and Trojans have each been tested by unranked teams over the past few weeks, so why exactly are so many people up in arms that 8-0 Louisville is ranked ahead of these schools? The clincher for me comes courtesy of the six computers used in the BCS rankings.  You know, those unbiased entities that strip away personal biases and factor in those little details that many voters fail to consider.  Guess where they have the Cardinals?  You betcha.  No. 3.  If you want to gripe about where Louisville is ranked these days, you’d have a better case contending it should be higher, not lower.  Have you seen No. 2 Michigan play lately?    

John Harris     
Q: Does Louisville deserve the No. 3 spot?

A. After this weekend, taking the full weekend into account, along with the body of work that is the 2006 season, I’m not convinced that there is a team that should be ahead of Louisville.  That assessment is more negative assurance than positive, but I think it’s a combination of factors that imply that Louisville is my choice for that spot. 

First of all, Louisville is undefeated in a BCS conference.  That’s not easy.  I don’t care what conference it is, especially a BCS conference, that’s a feat that doesn’t and shouldn’t go unrecognized.  Would that mean more in another conference?  Maybe.  But the fact of the matter is that there are only four teams in the nation that are undefeated (three at the most after this weekend and two at the most after next weekend).  What does that say?  Sure, Louisville struggled with Syracuse and Cincinnati, but Texas struggled with Oklahoma State last year in its national championship year.  USC needed all four quarters to beat Stanford in 2004 in its national championship year.  Ohio State – Purdue 2002?  Shoot, how about Ohio State-Cincinnati in 2002?  The point is that even undefeated national champions have a couple of hiccups throughout the season, but still win.  Louisville hasn’t been a traditional power and it’s hard for most people to break through that barrier of believing that the Cardinals are good.  Very good.  And, maybe it’s because the success is so recent that it’s hard to understand (case in point, the Cardinals had ten guys drafted into the NFL the last two years – from 1997 to 2004, they had a total of eight).

The second part is that no other team is proving to be truly worthy of that spot.  Texas played exceptionally well against Oklahoma State, but is one Terrence Nunn fumble away from being a two loss Texas team.  Florida survived its tricky middle of the season SEC stretch, but how good do wins over Alabama and Georgia appear now?  Furthermore, they didn’t play well at Vandy this weekend (shoot, Duke scored more points against Vandy).  Who else could you make an argument for at #3?  My next vote would go to Texas for that spot, I suppose, but a team with a loss (no matter where that loss emanates still has a loss) has to be dominant each week to take that spot away from an undefeated BCS conference team.  Texas was good last week, but the last three weeks?  Not like I would’ve wanted to move them ahead of Louisville. 

So, Louisville at #3?  As good as anyone else in that spot.

Matthew Zemek    
Q: Does Louisville deserve the No. 3 spot?

A:The real question is, does Louisville deserve the No. 2 spot?

Louisville, unlike Michigan and Florida but like Texas (who, by the way, also has a strong claim for No. 2--that is, if we're going to determine the best teams in the nation at this point in time, instead of using the faulty "who deserves the ranking slot based on record until they lose on November

18 in Columbus?" standard), actually has an elite quarterback. This means just a touch in big games, dunnit? Louisville would be Michigan's equal on a neutral field, and the two teams would likely split a home-and-home. Texas would likely beat either team, but at the end of the day, it would be entirely reasonable to split a vote between UL and Michigan for No. 2.

Not that this matters, though... if Michigan beats the Buckeyes, this whole conversation becomes a moot point. (At least if UM doesn't look ahead yet again... unlike Ball State, Indiana could make the Wolverines pay.) Michigan didn't cover itself in dust and glory against Ball State, but if Lloyd Carr's team wins two more regular-season games, they're in Glendale, case closed.