For everyone complaining about the weak strength of schedule Louisville will have in its final year in the soon-to-be renamed Big East, take a gander at what awaits in Year 1 in the ACC in 2014.
Just to name four.
Talk about a strength of schedule upgrade. The Cardinals swap out Cincinnati, Rutgers, Houston and Memphis for four teams that have the potential to start 2014 as Top 25 teams.
There is no question athletic director Tom Jurich was looking for a schedule upgrade given what awaits Louisville this season, particularly in nonconference with games against FIU, Ohio, Eastern Kentucky and Kentucky. The Cardinals embraced getting Notre Dame on the slate in Year 1 of the Irish's scheduling partnership with the ACC. Florida State and Clemson are givens because they are all in the Atlantic Division.
But then news came out that Miami would be the first rotating crossover opponent on the slate for 2014. Ouch.
Now consider Louisville may be dealing with this tougher schedule without Teddy Bridgewater, who will be eligible to leave school early for the NFL draft following this season.
Good luck with all that.
Sarcasm aside, Louisville obviously is in a much better spot, and will have a much better opportunity to gain more national respect with a quality schedule like this one. Is it hard right out of the gate? Yes. But at this point, the Cardinals need the tougher tests, to get a good gauge for where they are and where they need to go to remain a competitive team year in and year out.
Let's see how they respond.