Apologies for the prolonged absence, but it seems I've caught the flu bug that the rest of the city has.
U of L released its 2007 football schedule today, a schedule that features matchups with seven teams that played in a 2006 bowl game.
Steve Kragthorpe will make his official debut as Cardinal head coach when Murray State comes to Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on Thursday, Aug. 30. Nine days later the Cards will host Middle Tennessee State, and then a week after that they'll travel to Lexington to take on arch-rival Kentucky. Due to the wishes of the UK Athletic Department, the battle for the Governor's Cup will not be Louisville's opener for the first time since the modern series began in 1994.
U of L will begin Big East play earlier than usual in 2007 as Syracuse is coming to the 'Ville on Sept. 22. Games at North Carolina State and at home against Utah will round out the non-con schedule.
Louisville travels to Cincinnati and Connecticut in consecutive weeks before hosting Dave Wannstedt and Pittsburgh on Oct. 27, the Cards then have a week off before a brutal stretch to end the season.
Last November's Thursday night game between Louisville and West Virginia was ESPN's highest rated of the season, with that in mind it should come as no surprise that the two will be meeting once again on Thursday night, this time in Moragntown on Nov. 8. If the Cards can survive their Big East rubber match with the Mountaineers, they won't have much time to celebrate as a date with South Florida in Tampa, where they've never won, looms just nine days later.
The 2007 campaign will come to a close when Louisville hosts Rutgers on Thursday, Nov. 29, in a game that should have a great impact on who takes home the Big East title. The Scarlet Knights went 11-2 in 2006, and their 28-25 win over the Cardinals kept them out of the National Championship Game.
The Big East is once again shoving its chips behind the hope that two or three of its teams will have sparking records and/or rankings near the end of the season, and that matchups between these teams will put all eyes on the conference just as they were in the first two Thursdays of last November. Louisville's schedule is set up in a way where they could very easily start 9-0, and just as easily finish 9-3.
2007 Louisville Football Schedule
Thur. Aug. 30 Murray State Louisville, Ky. TBA
Sat. Sept. 8 Middle Tennessee State Louisville, Ky. TBA
Sat. Sept. 15 at Kentucky Lexington, Ky. TBA
Sat. Sept. 22 Syracuse* Louisville, Ky. TBA
Sat. Sept. 29 at NC State Raleigh, N.C. TBA
Sat. Oct. 6 Utah Louisville, Ky. TBA
Sat. Oct. 13 at Cincinnati* Cincinnati, Ohio TBA
Sat. Oct. 20 at Connecticut* E. Hartford, Ct. TBA
Sat. Oct. 27 Pittsburgh* Louisville, Ky. TBA
Sat. Nov. 3 OPEN
Thurs. Nov. 8 at West Virginia* (ESPN) Morgantown, W. Va. 7:30 p.m.
Sat. Nov. 17 at USF* Tampa, Fla. TBA
Sat. Nov. 24 OPEN
Thurs. Nov. 29 Rutgers* (ESPN) Louisville, Ky. 7:30 p.m.