It's official: No. 21 Louisville will be taking on No. 3 Florida in the 2013 Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2.
This is U of L's second trip to the BCS and their first appearance in the Sugar Bowl.
Now I've already seen and heard a lot of concern over Louisville being able to hang with the Gators, which I must admit surprises me. Is Florida really good? Yep. Is Florida better than Florida State? Yeah, I think they are. But this is the type of opportunity that a program like U of L dreams about. A top five SEC opponent, a BCS bowl they've never played in, a day where they're the only game in the country; when you have this type of shot, you take it.
Louisville has opened as a 16.5-point underdog against a team that would be playing in a national semifinal if this were 2014, which to me is a big part of the allure here. U of L's Orange Bowl win over Wake Forest, while huge for the program, was (at that time) the least-watched BCS game ever. The win was also met with a sort of "meh" response nationally. You won't have to worry about a lack of attention going up against one of the biggest programs in college football, and obviously a win over Florida wouldn't be shrugged off by anyone (outside of Lexington).
Win this game and you probably finish right around No. 10, which is also where you'll probably begin the 2013 season. Keep the game competitive and you're still finishing the year with a national ranking and setting yourself up for a solid starting slot next year.
And then there's Teddy Bridgewater, who can position himself as a preseason top five Heisman Trophy candidate with a solid performance against the No. 1 pass defense in the country. Having an individual player with that type of summer buzz would be a tremendous blessing for the program as a whole.
This is the type of opportunity Louisville football fans have been clamoring for since, well, since I've been following Louisville football. They don't come around very often, and it's on our guys to make sure they take full advantage.
Go Louisville, beat Florida.