Russell Athletic Bowl Getting High Marks In Bowl Rankings

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Ranking the bowl games from least-to-most interesting has become quite the trend in recent yeas, and 2013 has proven to be no exception.

With networks across the country dropping their bowl rankings this week, let's see where Louisville's Russell Athletic Bowl tilt with Miami has been checking in.

Sports Illustrated - No. 8

8. Russell Athletic (Dec. 28): Louisville (11-1) vs. Miami (9-3). Teddy Bridgewater will give his final NFL audition. If it goes anything like last year's Sugar Bowl, hello, Houston Texans. Miami won't have injured star tailback Duke Johnson, but keep an eye on standout linebacker Denzel Perryman.

ESPN - No. 12

12. Russell Athletic Bowl, Dec. 28 (ESPN, 6:45 p.m. ET): No. 18 Louisville (11-1) vs. Miami (9-3)

Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater probably will be playing his final college game against his hometown team. Bridgewater, a Miami native, probably didn't receive enough recognition this season because of Louisville's soft schedule. He passed for 3,523 yards with 28 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. The Cardinals' 38-35 loss to Central Florida on Oct. 18 kept them out of a BCS bowl and out of contention for a national championship, and it knocked Bridgewater out of the Heisman Trophy race.

SB Nation - No. 8

CBS - No. 9

No. 9 Russell Athletic Bowl -- 12/28, 6:45 p.m.

Miami 9-3 at No. 18 Louisville 11-1

While this is actually a good matchup as far as the actual football, my favorite thing about this game is Louisville defensive line coach Clint Hurtt facing the team he allegedly helped cause to miss some bowl games of its own the last few years.

NFL.com - No. 5

5. RUSSELL ATHLETIC BOWL

Date: Dec. 28 
Time/TV: 6:45 p.m., ESPN 
Matchup: Louisville (11-1) vs. Miami (9-3)

Note: Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater could be playing his final college game, and it would be against his hometown team. Bridgewater is from Miami and actually committed to the Hurricanes out of high school before reneging and signing with Louisville. There's a feeling that neither of these teams is quite as good as its record. And for another storyline: These teams will meet next season as conference foes after Louisville joins the ACC.

Yahoo - No. 13

13. Russell Athletic (Dec. 28, Orlando, Fla.) Miami (9-3) vs. Louisville (11-1): Let's go ahead and look at this as Louisville's inaugural ACC game. The Cardinals head to the ACC after this season so this will be a good early test. It might also be the final game for quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

Athlon - No. 9

9. Russell Athletic - Miami (9-3) vs. Louisville (11-1) - Dec. 28 at 6:45 p.m. ET
Next season, Miami and Louisville will be ACC foes. But for now, the Cardinals-Hurricanes matchup is just an intriguing bowl game, as there is some familiarity between these two programs and players. Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was committed to Miami during his recruiting process, and the Cardinals pluck a lot of prospects from the state of Florida. Coach Al Golden has Miami on the right track, and a win over Louisville would give the Hurricanes double-digit victories for the first time since 2003. With Bridgewater projected to be one of the top-five picks in the 2014 NFL Draft, this could be the final college game for the junior quarterback.

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