It's conference realignment moving day. As of midnight, the Maryland Terrapins are off to the Big Ten while the Louisville Cardinals are ACC-bound. The conference replaces a 'meh' football program and a Juan Dixon-isn't-walking-through-that-door basketball program for a school with nationally ranked football, basketball and baseball programs. Cool.
Louisville is understandably jazzed about the news:
The best basketball league in the country. Thursday night against Florida State. Monday night against Miami. Cardinal red running onto the field inside Notre Dame Stadium in late November. Some of the best soccer and baseball programs in America. Coach K, Roy Williams, Jim Boeheim, Rick Pitino. Death Valley. Fall road trips to gorgeous campuses. Seven of the last 14 national champions in men's basketball. Cameron Indoor, the Dean Dome, the Carrier Dome. Old rivals, new rivals. The nation's attention every time the red and black steps on the court, field or gridiron.
Less than two decades ago, U of L was on the brink of being kicked out of Conference USA. Today, the Cardinals enter into what I truly believe is the absolute ideal resting place for this athletic program. The politicking, the back-channeling and the worries about national perception are all a thing of the past. From this day forward, we can all focus solely on what we've been wanting to focus on for as long as we can remember: winning games and championships by beating the premier programs in the country.
The ACC just got that much more difficult with the addition of the Cards. Louisville basketball is one of the elite outfits in the country, while the football team will prove a tough out for Addazio and the Eagles in the ACC Atlantic. Cardinal baseball is no slouch either, having advanced to the NCAA Tournament in each of the last four seasons -- including back-to-back College World Series appearances.
Here are a few facts about our newest ACC member.
Football Facts and History
First season: 1912
All-time record: 478-441-17 (.520)
Bowl record: 9-8-1 (.528)
Major bowls: 3 -- 1990 Fiesta, 2006 Orange and 2012 Sugar
Past conferences: I-A Independent (1912-1963), MVC (1963-1974), I-A Independent (1975-1995), Conference USA (1996-2004), Big East / American Athletic Conference (2005-2013)
Conference titles: 8 -- 2 Missouri Valley Conference, 3 Conference USA, 3 Big East
Football Stadium: Papa John's Cardinal Stadium
Capacity: 55,000, or 1.24 Alumni Stadium
Head Coach: Bobby Petrino - 83-40 overall, 41-9 at UL
Boston College Record vs. Louisville: 3-3
Boston College and Louisville have met six times in the past, with a majority of those meetings occurring when both were I-A Independents. The last BC-Louisville game was an unpleasant one for the Eagles, as Louisville trounced Boston College 52-28 in Louisville during the 1998 season. Both schools are 2-1 at home in the all-time series.
BC and Louisville will play annually starting this season. The Cardinals visit Alumni Stadium on Saturay, November 8.
Basketball Facts and History
First season: 1911
All-time record: 1697-869 (.661) in 99 seasons, 12th overall
NCAA Titles: 3 -- 1980, 1986, 2013
NCAA Final Fours: 10 -- 1959, 1972, 1975, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1986, 2005, 2012, 2013
Home Arena: KFC Yum! Center
Capacity: 22,090, or 2.57 Conte Forums
Head Coach: Rick Pitino - 696-246 overall, 335-116 at UL, two NCAA titles (1996, 2013)
Boston College Record vs Louisville: 3-2
Though Louisville is the most successful of the two basketball programs, It's the Eagles that own a 3-2 lead in the all-time series vs. the Cardinals. The two programs haven't faced one another since the 1996-97 season, a game in which UofL won in 2 OT 89-85, in Louisville. The last victory over the Cards was the previous season, a victory over Louisville on November 30.
Due to the ACC's unbalanced league schedule, the two teams will play just once in Louisville's first season in the league.
Baseball Facts and History
CWS Appearances: - 3 -- 2007, 2013, 2014
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 8 -- 2002, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014
Conference Championships: 7 -- 1983, 1984, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014
Home Stadium: Jim Patterson Stadium
Capacity: 4,000, technically 4 Eddie Pellagrini Diamond at John Shea Fields
Head Coach: Dan McDonnell - 359-159 overall, 8th season
Since BC and Louisville are both in the Atlantic, the two programs will presumably play annually starting next season. The division just got a lot more difficult for baseball.
Hockey Facts and History
So join me in welcoming the Cardinals to the ACC. I, for one, welcome our new Papa Johns overlords.