Okay, with the important stuff out of the way, applesauce to the ACC power brokers for needing just over a week (with Thanksgiving thrown in there) to move fast and decisively to replace Maryland with Louisville.
I know this feels like we're just further annexing the Big East into the ACC, but I think it's important to note that Louisville has been in the Big East for only seven years, as they joined that conference in 2005. So for a lot of us ACC fans over the age of 30, Louisville doesn't feel like just another Big East turd to float in the ACC punch bowl. Okay, maybe it's an Independent / Missouri Valley / Conference USA turd, but I've long believed that Louisville belonged in a true power conference. It's not a great school, but it's improving, and it delivers good football tradition and future potential housed in a 55K-seat stadium that can easily be expanded to 80K. And Louisville Basketball... well, let's just say they are a top-10 program in terms of the Blueblood Rankings. (Maryland: #17) And - oh wow - Rick Pitino is now an ACC coach. Wow.
|This bird has teeth.|
We'll have more on this soon, but ultimately I think we're losing a little bit in terms of media footprint as we trade Maryland for Louisville, but we're gaining a slight uptick in basketball and a major uptick in football. The overall athletic department of Louisville seems to have more momentum than Maryland, since, you know, they haven't been operating in the red and cancelling several athletic programs. But Louisville doesn't have lacrosse. :sadface:
Here's how the Cardinals performed most recently in each of the varsity sports I actually give a crap about...
FOOTBALL -- Currently 9-2 (4-2 Big East) and playing Rutgers on Thursday night for the Big East championship. Ranked #23 in the USA Today poll, and just outside the top-25 in the other polls. They look like a good bet for the BCS as the Big East champs.
BASKETBALL -- Currently 5-1 overall and ranked #5. Last year they went 30-10, advanced to the Final Four as a 4-seed, where they lost to eventual nation champion Kentucky.
BASEBALL -- Went 41-22 (18-9 Big East) and earned a 3-seed for the NCAA tournament (failed to advance from Tucson Regional.)
LACROSSE -- No program. :sadface:
WOMEN'S BASKETBALL -- Currently 7-0 overall and ranked #7. Last year they went 22-9 and earned a 7-seed. They lost to Maryland in the second round. Ugh.
This is a solid athletic program we're adding to the mix, folks. I'm excited.
Screw you, Maryland. Welcome aboard, Louisville!