With the college football season a little over a month away, a lot of attention has focused on the University of Louisville football team and how it will perform in the 2013 season. UofL was recently selected as the overwhelming favorite in the American Athletic Conference Media Poll, taking received 28 of a possible 30 first-place vote (UC received the other 2 first place votes). CBS Sports, Athlon Sports, Phil Steele, and several others have also selected Louisville as the conference favorite and expectations for the program are at an all-time high. All of the preseason hype is understandable given that UofL is returning 14 starters from a team that went 11-2 and beat #4 Florida in the Sugar Bowl.
All of the preseason accolades have lead some to question whether expectations are too high and if too much hype is being given to the program. At both the Governor's Cup luncheon and the American Athletic Conference media day, head coach Charlie Strong stated that "unrealistic expectations" have been placed on the program. Comments like those lead one to ask "What are realistic expectations for Louisville football in 2013?".
While I can't see any rational person arguing that Louisville has a tough schedule in 2013, I do sometimes wonder if the media and fans are looking more at the name on the jersey rather than the quality of the opponent. UofL should be favored in all of its games this season and a 12-0 season is certainly possible. However, Ohio, UC, and UCF all had solid teams last year and every team we play will be looking to make a statement against us. Just because a 12-0 season is possible, does that mean it should be expected? The only undefeated UofL team was the 8-0 1925 squad which had 7 shutouts and outscored opponents 133-2.
Even if Louisville does manage to go undefeated, you can be sure that the scheduling argument will be a major topic of conversation. That argument will be particularly loud if there happens to be a few 11-1 BCS teams sitting around at the end of season. Should we expect an undefeated Louisville team to play in the national championship game when it is likely that we'll need help to do so (e.g. no other undefeated teams and only 1 one loss SEC team)?
So what are your expectations for the 2013 team? Is anything less than 12-0 a disappointment?