Good news: the Louisville Cardinals won't lose a game this week. Bad news: They won't win one either. The Cards are on a bye week this week, and will return to Papa John's Cardinal Stadium next Saturday, to host the Syracuse Orange; hoping to obtain the highly-elusive sixth game, and stamp their ticket to play in December. Which game it will be is unclear. Every loss lowers the quality of bowl Louisville will participate in. But, if the Cards fix the secondary, and win out, they may make a decent game.
Best Case Scenario: Music City Bowl, Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN Friday, December 29th Vs. SEC
If Louisville wins out, the Music City Bowl is a possibility. It’s not what most fans expected, but it’s the best available with four losses. This was the bowl Louisville made in 2015. The Cards travelled well, and almost filled Nissan Stadium, making it feel like Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Since Nashville is just a couple hours from Louisville, many Cards fans will make the short journey down I-65 south.
The dream scenario will be if the opponent is arch-rival Kentucky.
From a business perspective, it’s a dream come true. Nissan Stadium would be packed. Bars would be full. Lots would be filled. Kentucky-Louisville is one of the most heated rivalries in both basketball and football, and fans that couldn’t get to Rupp arena will flock to Nashville in droves to see their football team in the Music City Bowl, bringing an almost record-breaking revenue stream into Nissan Stadium.
And with both teams having the same record if Louisville wins out, it’s a real possibility.
Most likely to happen: Sun Bowl, Sun Bowl Stadium, El Paso, TX Friday, December 29th Vs. Pac-12
Most media outlets are putting Louisville in El Paso for Bowl Season. It’s not the best game, and will feel like a road game. El Paso is a 21-hour drive from Louisville, and since the Kentucky-Louisville basketball game falls on the same day, most fans will remain at home.
But some are projecting Stanford to represent the Pac-12, which will be interesting to see. Louisville has never played the Stanford Cardinal, which is 6-2, and 21st in the College Football Playoff rankings this year . It will be a tough game for Louisville to win.
Lowest Bowl game: Quick Lane Bowl, Ford Field, Detroit, MI Tuesday, December 26th Vs. Big Ten
This is one of the 6-6 bowls the ACC is tied with. It’ll be against another 6-6 team most likely, from the Big Ten. One of the only good things about this bowl is that it’s on a Tuesday that doesn’t clash with any other university event. Detroit is also relatively close, and can be a one-day trip for the dedicated fan. If the Cards only have one more win, Detroit is a possibility.
Worst Case Scenario: Remain at Home
With the way the defense has been playing, this possibility feels all-so-real. This season will be a massive failure if Louisville misses out on Bowl Season. It also may lead to a major shakeup in the coaching staff.
But, Louisville’s remaining ACC schedule is easier. It’s at home, and Louisville only needs one more win to make a bowl. I feel the Cards will ultimately get there, and play in a December 29th Bowl.