By Andrew Phelps
The fifth week of fanatical fall arrived with great promise of enjoyable matchups and the possibility of painting a slightly clearer picture of BCS scenarios. It was a relaxing weekend for this Cardinal fan, a prime opportunity to honestly and genuinely focus on any threat to our championship campaign. My head hit the pillow Saturday evening and I was asleep faster than Terrell Floyd pulls gator teeth in New Orleans, resting comfortably with confidence in a 2014 Louisville Cardinal championship higher than ever.
There was once an old adage, a phrase muttered insistently by the elite, hurdled as an insult towards the inferior, "defense wins championships." When I say old, I am clearly referring to every single year prior to this. Four score and actually just seven years ago, I fondly remember Louisville being laughed at because we scored a lot of points and our opponents scored some too. Back then it wasn't popular, it was amateur. Today the same exact games are being called classics, games of the century, and top performances from top teams. Is it fair, of course not, but remember, fair ain't got nothin' to do with it.
If and when the Louisville Cardinals get their shot this season, have no doubt they will take it and return from Pasadena grinning ear to ear. There was one takeaway from weekend five of the 2013/2014 season: the mighty defenses of yesteryear now lay down their resistance easier and faster than the French surrendered Paris in 1940.
I am not against offensive shootouts; I greatly prefer never having to watch a punt. I simply stand in protest against the complete nonexistence of defense, resulting in high scoring games between highly ranked teams, followed by the national media drooling about these "new classics." It is one thing for quarterbacks to make great throws, for receivers to make great catches, for running backs to break multiple tackles, but ladies and gentlemen blown coverage, wide open receivers in the end zone, and holes wide enough for Verne Lundquist and John Madden combined do not imply greatness. Clearly, the national media disagrees.
Raise your hand if you watched LSU v. Georgia. Now, try to count on that same hand how many touchdowns were scored by untouched running backs and wide open receivers due to busted coverage...that's what I thought, you have permission to use your other hand.
Anyone catch Wisconsin v. Ohio State? What about Florida State v. Boston College? Which one of you contestants witnessed last second Hail Mary touchdowns to end the first half due to clueless secondary's and missed tackles? Who observed a white walk on from Wisconsin torch the Fakeyes for 207 receiving yards? Earth to pollsters, Billy from 4c plays better defense. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaKDLm4k58Q).
Naturally, people will thump their chest with Alabama, Oregon or maybe even Clempson. 42 points to Texas A&M? Johnny Manziel running backwards 20 yards and heaving a prayer answered in the form of an eight yard completion? Is Oregon really good? Of course, but have they been tested? Of course not. Clempson keeps talking about how improved their defense is, but last I checked West Virginia just scored again.
Sure, Louisville's schedule is pathetic, even tragic for the greatest Cardinal team to ever take the field. We are all well aware of the level of competition, no need to rub our noses in it. However, so far this season, regardless of the opponent, the Cardinal defense has been more impressive than it's highly touted and award winning offense. The Cardinal's rank first in scoring defense, third in total defense, first in first down defense, second in passing yards allowed, ninth in rushing yards allowed, third in red zone defense, and eighth in tackles for loss.
Teddy Bridgewater is the best quarterback in UofL history, a Heisman contender, a possible number one overall draft pick and the head of an unstoppable monster known as our Cardinal offense. But ladies and gentlemen, defense wins championships, and this Cardinal defense sets us apart, this defense will win this BCS Championship.
All Hail UofL!