Upcoming game will be road less traveled

By on September 2, 2008

By Gavin Lapaille

When the University of Louisville football team takes the field Saturday, it will be facing an opponent that it has no business playing.

It’s not because the opponent is from a lower level conference, or because their stadium isn’t even close to beng half the size of Louisville’s. It doesn’t have anything to do with win/loss record, how good the defense is, or who is taking snaps at quarterback.

No, Tennessee Tech will be making the trip to Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium because no one else would.

Duke University won’t be making the trip because even a judge agrees that their program is so bad a school known from what is formerly known as Division I-AA makes for a suitable replacement on the schedule.

Indiana University won’t be making the trip, despite the two campuses being separated by just over a hundred miles.

The University of Notre Dame won’t be making the trip because they’d rather play Louisville’s “home” games in a larger stadium out of state.

For whatever reason, no other school wanted to come to Louisville Saturday to play the Cardinals. Broken contracts and deals falling apart at the last second have become normal, leaving U of L constantly scrambling to find replacements on the schedule.

There’s little good that can come out of the game against the Golden Eagles. Fans and players will probably already be thinking about the next game long before this game even ends. A blowout win is all but expected.

Sure, the players have a chance to build up their stats and feel like they are untouchable for one night. Second and third-stringers may see the field for the first and only time all season. It should be on easy win for a team that may need all the victories they can get in order to get back into the postseason.

As for Tennessee Tech, maybe the gigantic check they should receive for playing here will help buy the team some new uniforms or upgrade facilities in their locker room. Maybe playing a Louisville team that is much more talented on paper will help propel the Golden Eagles to new heights for the rest of their season.

But if the unthinkable happens, and the Cards manage to lose on Saturday, the repercussions will be utterly disastrous. Just ask the University of Michigan what losing to a Division I-AA school can do to a program. It isn’t pretty.

Not that anyone should expect U of L to lose. I certainly don’t. The game however, is essentially a lose-lose for the Cards. Nothing short of a complete domination and injury free game can be considered a success. In the world known as college football, neither is likely to occur.

So while we would learn much more about the Cards if the Irish, the Hoosiers or the Blue Devils where coming to town this weekend, the Golden Eagles will be the opponent come kick off time.

And that’s because they’re the only team that would agree to make the trip to Louisville.

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