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Does Louisville Still Have A Shot At The Orange Bowl?

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The short answer is yes.

If that's all you were looking for, feel free to move on. If you'd like a little bit more, we'll continue.

Now I'm sure some of you are already thinking about commenting: "All we can do is take care of our own business. Beat Notre Dame!!" Chances are you are not a player on the Louisville football team. Since we don't play, I believer we can and should look ahead and fully explore the pipedream that would allow us to spend New Year's in Miami.

Here's what needs to happen.

1. The biggest thing is that Florida State needs to make the four-team playoff. The Orange Bowl will select the second-highest ranked ACC team (according to the new College Football Playoff Rankings) only if the Seminoles are in the playoffs. As dirty as it may make you feel, you need to root for FSU for the next three weeks, because if they lose at any point then everything below becomes meaningless.

2. Louisville has to beat Notre Dame and Kentucky. You should have already known this.

3. Georgia Tech needs to lose to Georgia ... preferably convincingly. The Yellow Jackets are the second highest-ranked ACC team at the moment, and will be again when the new rankings are released this evening. Even if they make the ACC championship game and are soundly defeated by Florida State, it's likely that a win over UGA (which is currently No. 15) would be more than enough to keep GT ranked above Louisville at the end of the regular season and thus send them to Miami.

4. Duke needs to lose again in the regular season or be humiliated in the ACC championship game. If the Blue Devils lose to either North Carolina or Wake Forest, then they're out of the ACC title game and it's likely that Louisville would wind up as the higher-ranked 9-3 team. Even if they beat both the Tar Heels and Demon Deacons (which would give them the Coastal Division title), an embarrassing performance against FSU in Charlotte could force them behind the Cards in the final CFP rankings.

5. Clemson needs to lose to South Carolina (or Georgia State, I guess). Yes, the Tigers finished above Louisville in the Atlantic Division standings and beat the Cards head-to-head, but that has no effect on the CFP Rankings. An 8-4 Clemson team would almost certainly be ranked behind a 9-3 Louisville team.

Is this a longshot? Of course it is, but bowl speculation is always fun around this time of year, and BCS bowl speculation is really fun this time of year.

Just a little bit more of a reason to be fired up about the game in South Bend on Saturday.