Expectations are sky-high for the Louisville Cardinals this fall — Charlie Strong and co. return with a veteran group of guys, including Heisman candidate QB Teddy Bridgewater. Oh, and the Cards have a pretty easy schedule too, which makes this a whole lot easier.
Charlie Strong knows that his team has to manage high expectations, and he has a pretty interesting bit of motivation for his team. In an interview with Eric Crawford and Rick Bozich of WDRB, Strong said he warns his team “Let’s not become the USC of this season.”
His full quote:
“This season, I think about USC last year. Barkley — Teddy. They had a transfer running back in from Penn State, we just had a running back transfer in. Wide receiver? They had them all. Think about those wide receivers they had. We got the same wide receivers. Defensively? They had a good defense. And look what happened to them. And they started No. 1. And they didn’t even finish in the top 25. That could be us. You look at it, if we allow that to happen, that will be us. Let’s not become the USC of this season.”
As Strong points out, the USC Trojans became the first time since 1964 to begin ranked 1st and end the season unranked — the only teams who had done that before played when the polls only feature 10 total teams, not 25.
It’s a strong warning for the Cardinals players, and a fair one — nobody wants to collapse like the Trojans did last fall.