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A(CC) Midsummernight's Dream

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Jonathan Daniel

In her latest hit record, rising singer/rapper Becky G offers these words about the love of her life that’s probably just a short-term thing (the technical term) since she’s only 17 years old:

"You’re the reason why I’m dancing in the mirror, and singing in the shower."

The profound complexity of this passage from her song entitled "Shower" – likely based on her admiration of Gorgui Dieng or Teddy Bridgewater – places Miss G’s worldview well beyond her 17 years, but it also offers a simplicity that many of us can relate to these days. (Insider alert: I heard the idea for the song was hatched shortly after the 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball championship game. People say that’s false, but those people don’t have any imagination or real proof, so believe what you want.)

It’s a catchy song, OK?

This whole thing is exciting. The Louisville Cardinals are in the ACC, a conference that can take an already great athletic program to a "next level" that the Cardinal faithful have only really been able to dream about since 2012.

But forget dreams, this is stuff you choose to think about at night instead of sleeping. The defending national champions at home, a trip to see Howard’s Rock in October and a late November showdown with the deplorably independent Fighting Irish in South Bend.

We watched the Seminoles win that gorgeous crystal football (R.I.P. Well, kind of) and thought about how great it will be to welcome them back to Louisville for the first time since 2002. We’ve watched games at Death Valley and wondered how many times Clemson players fall running down that giant hill. Then we’ve YouTubed it and found this video. We’ve seen those chilly fall games at Notre Dame under overcast skies and wondered why their grass was always so damn tall.

Louisville is about to be a part of all of that, and it’s the kind of thing that may actually make you dance in the mirror or sing in the shower if you’re completely and totally alone without anyone around and happen to be thinking about it. If this sounds like you, just remember that Becky G wouldn’t judge.

Now, it’s all getting close. Media days are done, the opener against Miami is nearly a month away, and fall camp is closer than that. The speculation about the roster, the revered depth chart and so on will be fun, but since this all started with a brief discussion about Becky G, it isn’t the time or place to talk about such serious things.

Nay, this is the time and place to talk about three road trips everyone should take at some point during their lives now that Louisville is (sort of) conference mates (you know what, Notre Dame, just go away) with some pretty historic programs.

Notre Dame

Notre Dame has won 13 national championships (zero conference championships), has the best all-time record in college football (.733 win pct.) and the most Heisman winners (7) in history.

They’re special, they know it, and they’re kind of annoying about it. Sure, they’ve fallen on some harder times by their standards in the last decade, but Brian Kelly has the Golden Domers back in the national conversation. He's also gotten them so close to being in a conference that they can practically taste it.

In all seriousness, it’s impossible to really discredit the Fighting Irish, and South Bend could very well be the most exciting trip the Cardinals will take during their time in the ACC, even though visits will be few and far between. They have a great fight song, a real-life dancing leprechaun and more. Louisville has also never played Notre Dame, so that adds a final layer of allure for all of us to ponder.


Howard’s Rock and that unreasonably steep hill were already mentioned above, but Clemson is more than just a rock on a plinth at the top of a hill. They’ve won a national championship, have a pretty impeccable record at home and are in the top 25 as far as all-time wins.

Memorial Stadium is consistently called one of college football’s toughest and loudest places to play. They may not have a tomahawk chop (we’re getting there) or helmets adorned with actual gold (how pretentious), but they’re still rich in tradition and success. The Tigers also share Louisville’s plight of having their biggest rival – South Carolina – in the SEC. Except their SEC rival can actually claim football relevance in the SEC. Finally, like Notre Dame, Louisville has never played Clemson, boosting its must-see value tremendously.

Florida State

Out of respect, the defending champs are the final team on this impromptu list. They’ve been pretty good – 45-10 – since Jimbo Fisher took over the program from the legendary Bobby Bowden in 2010, and Tallahassee is a top road trip for all of the obvious reasons.

The program has three national championships, Chief Osceola is one of the most iconic figures in college football and the famous tomahawk chop is cool no matter what your opinion of Florida State may be. Louisville is also carrying a 12-year unbeaten streak against the ‘Noles, so see if we care about any of that so-called "tradition". We won’t get to make this trip until 2015, but it will be more exciting to have them in our house on Halloween Eve this season anyway.

A 2012 Yahoo! article conveniently supports this short list, which essentially makes it factual. If you got caught up in the excitement at any point in the last seven paragraphs and drifted off, here’s your Reader’s Digest version:

Louisville has Notre Dame, Clemson and Florida State on its football schedule. This makes the upcoming football season more tantalizing than virtually anything, sports or otherwise, on the planet. It’s reason to dance in the mirror and sing in the shower, so long as that shower is in a hotel somewhere in Clemson, South Carolina on the morning of October 11 and is accompanied by your choice of light beer in preparation for a road tailgate of a lifetime.