CBS Sports, which lost a great football reporter yesterday (Brett McMurphy) and its Vice President of sports programming (Mike Aresco), penned an interesting column last night that details 25 of the biggest storylines heading into the 2012 college football season. From who the next national champion will be, to their BCS bowl predictions, to future realignment, all the way to the Heisman Trophy candidates, they explore what to look for as we dive head first into what should be a crazy season. There’s a few key Louisville mentions as well, as the column picks the Cards to win the Big East and face Clemson in the Orange Bowl. They also tab Louisville as one of their five teams on the rise, nationally. There’s also a small tidbit of info regarding the previously mentioned realignment situation. While I’m beginning to think more and more that UofL is sitting pretty for future expansion into the Big 12, the article specifically mentions the fact that the there’s plenty more movement to come. Good news, indeed. Here’s the excerpts that mention / pertain to Louisville.
15. BCS bowls
BCS title game (South Florida): USC* vs. LSU* — A “rematch” of the 2003 split national champs.
Orange Bowl: Clemson* vs. Louisville* — Big East’s second-to-last automatic BCS bid showcases Charlie Strong’s fine rebuilding job with Cardinals.
Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma* vs. Michigan — Fiesta gets first pick after the championship game and goes old-school with the Wolverines, a Big Ten at-large. The only meeting between the schools was the 1976 Orange Bowl. Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. West Virginia — Geno Smith vs. that defense? Appointment viewing.
Rose Bowl: Oregon vs. Wisconsin* — The Granddaddy Of Them All gets a rematch 12 months old.
* — Automatic qualifier (You might notice that for the second straight year, no non-BCS)
24. Rising, falling
Five team on the rise in 2012:
Five teams trending downward:
12. Realign this!
Conference realignment isn’t over, it’s just taking a breather.
At this point a year ago, Texas A&M and Missouri were still in the Big 12. Syracuse and Pittsburgh were still slumming in the Big East. TCU was … somewhere. The rush for TV contracts/networks/BCS bids continues to alter lineups, wreck traditions and, in the case of the WAC, destroy a conference.
In 2012, the SEC gets bigger, the Big 12 stays the same size (with new members) and the home state of the past three national championships (Alabama) gets another member of the club (South Alabama in the Sun Belt).
Stand by, the really hairy stuff comes in 2013 and beyond.