As part of the coaching series we are doing all week on ESPN.com, national columnist Mark Schlabach weighed in Tuesday with his list of the most underrated coaching jobs in college football.
His Big East team on the list: Louisville.
With West Virginia leaving for the Big 12, and Pittsburgh and Syracuse about to bolt for the ACC, there's no reason the Cardinals shouldn't become a dominant program in the Big East. Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich is committed to winning, and the school's fan base seems to care about football a little bit more than Kentucky fans.
Everything certainly is in place for Louisville to continue its recent rise under coach Charlie Strong. The financial commitment is there; facilities are getting a major upgrade; there is a nice on-campus stadium; and Strong has heavily recruited into the South Florida area. Plus, Louisville could be in good position to move on if another conference decides to expand again.
Schlabach also includes one future Big East member in his piece: Houston. Schlabach writes:
Located in the heart of talent-rich Texas, the Cougars have little reason not to become a major factor in the Big East starting in 2013. Former Houston coach Kevin Sumlin, who guided the Cougars to a 12-0 record in the 2011 regular season before leaving for Texas A&M, laid the groundwork for success. New Houston coach Tony Levine inherits a program with a lot of momentum and improving facilities.
Houston is in a prime location, there is no question about that. And that is a big reason why I had USF as the No. 1 coaching job in the Big East. When you take a look at the recruiting talent surrounding the Bulls, there is no reason why they shouldn't compete year in and year out for Big East championships. This program is primed to take the next step, and I think many would agree with that assessment.