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Louisville Begins 2013 Big East Tournament Title Defense On Thursday Night

It legitimately feels like I was writing this two weeks ago.

Last Saturday, we found out that Louisville will enter a football season nationally ranked for the first time in five years. The Cardinals are also the preseason pick to win the Big East and play in a BCS bowl game for the first time since Jan. 2, 2007. A favorable schedule and a budding superstar at quarterback have more than a handful of prognosticators placing double-digit wins next to U of L's name.

This is exciting.

Returning several key cogs from a Final Four squad, the Cardinal basketball team figures to begin the 2012-13 season ranked first, second or third in both of the two major national polls. Anything lower would be borderline shocking. Given the apparent strength of the team and a national landscape which doesn't appear overly daunting, the notion that this is Louisville's best shot at winning a national title since the Cards last achieved the feat in 1986 is difficult to disagree with.

This is also exciting.

With the accuracy of the previous four paragraphs taken into account, the fact remains that it is significantly more likely that the Cardinal football team won't win the Big East and the basketball team will fall short of the national title than it is that both those teams will achieve those stated goals.

But it's possible. It's more possible right now that it has been in any August prior to this one.

Isn't that cool to think about?

In reality, that was almost seven months ago. Since then, the football team has notched the biggest win in program history and solidified itself as a legitimate national title contender in 2013. The basketball team, outside of a three-game stretch in late January, has also held up its end of the one-sided bargain, finishing the regular season ranked No. 4 in the country.

The postseason begins today, which means we're all about to read the opening line of the final chapter of this remarkable 2012-13 storybook. Regardless of what happens, it's already been one hell of a ride.

At some point today, make sure you take a second to enjoy the fact that the dream is alive and well.

Let's get our minds right, people.

Come for the Lachey, stay for the emotional Russ at the end.