Cardinal Football

Examining Louisville’s Bowl Game Possibilities

Chris Humphrey

For the eighth consecutive season the Louisville Cardinal football program is bowl eligible. With an 8-4 regular season record, the Cards will likely qualify for one of the ACC’s tier 1 bowl games. On Sunday we’ll find out exactly where the Cards will be going bowling, but as of right now there are a few destinations that make the most sense.

As most of you know, Notre Dame being a member of the ACC in every sport other than football complicates the conference’s bowl scenarios.

Starting with the 2014 season, Notre Dame agreed to play an average of five ACC football games per year. In return, they get to participate in the ACC’s bowl tie-ins. In the first three years of the agreement, Notre Dame has been in the ACC bowl order only once.

Headed into this past weekend, Notre Dame was no longer in the mix for a spot in the four team playoff, but had a good chance to still qualify for a spot in one of the “New Year’s Six” bowl games. Unfortunately for the Irish, they were defeated by Stanford, which means Notre Dame is more than likely to end up in an ACC spot in Orlando. That will move Virginia Tech (9-3), Louisville (8-4) and N.C. State (8-4) down a peg in the ACC order.

Notre Dame will likely end up in the Camping World Bowl in Orlando, which ranks ahead of the tier one bowls that ACC teams are slotted in.

ACC Bowl Games in Tier 1: Belk (Charlotte), Sun (El Paso, Texas), Pinstripe (New York) and either the Taxslayer (Jacksonville, Fla.) or the Music City (Nashville).

ACC teams in line for Tier 1 Bowl Games (minus Notre Dame): Virginia Tech (9-3), N.C. State (8-4), Louisville (8-4), Wake Forest (7-5) and Boston College (7-5).

On Sunday we’ll find out where every bowl eligible team will be headed for bowl season, but as of right now it seems obvious that Wake Forest will play in the Belk Bowl in Charlotte.

Boston College playing in the Pinstripe bowl in NYC makes sense, but I could see the Eagles being on the outside looking in for a tier 1 bowl.  Over the past two weeks there have been rumblings that the Pinstripe Bowl wants Lamar Jackson and Louisville. Virginia Tech is a potential option for NYC as well.

Louisville, Virginia Tech and N.C. State are the three candidates for the Taxslayer Bowl in Jacksonville, which will have the first selection over the Sun Bowl.

I’m biased, but I’d say the Taxslayer would choose Louisville over Virginia Tech or N.C. State based on the Lamar Jackson factor. If they do not choose Louisville, I expect the Cards to end up in El Paso for the Sun Bowl.

As of right now, I’d say it’s most likely Louisville ends up in the Taxslayer Bowl with the Sun Bowl being the second most likely. If it’s not the Taxslayer or Sun, the only other option would be the Pinstripe.

Are you confused yet?

Nick Coffey

Nick Coffey is the creator and lead publisher for TheCardinalConnect.com. Along with covering Louisville basketball, football and recruiting, Nick also hosts The Red Zone weekdays from noon – 3:00 PM on Cards Radio 790 KRD.

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