Posted: 12:48 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, 2013
By Mike Rutherford
There were plenty of rumors in the months following Louisville's Sugar Bowl victory over Florida that Tom Jurich and company were attempting to schedule Alabama or Texas A&M; in 2013, and now those rumors have been confirmed.
ESPN's Brett McMuprhy says U of L was in hot pursuit of a neutral site game with both schools, as well as a home-and-home with Wisconsin.
Texas A&M; and Louisville were in discussions to square off in the season opener at Houston's Reliant Stadium, a showdown that would have featured reigning Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel and Cardinals star quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
Louisville coach Charlie Strong and Texas A&M; coach Kevin Sumlin were in favor of playing the game, Strong told ESPN. Ultimately, however, the game could not be worked out.
"It would have been a great experience to play against last year's Heisman Trophy winner and arguably the best player in college football," Bridgewater said. "He lays it on the line like I do. It would have been a great matchup."
The Cardinals also had an outside shot to open the season against reigning champion Alabama in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta.
Alabama will play Virginia Tech, but the Hokies considered withdrawing from the game if quarterback Logan Thomas left early for the NFL draft. Louisville would have replaced Virginia Tech, but Thomas returned for his senior season.
Everyone's sort of overlooking the schedule right now because of the excitement surrounding Bridgewater and the other returnees, but once the season gets here, reality is going to set in pretty quickly. There's not a worse year for the Cards to have nothing resembling a marquee opponent on the docket.
Kudos to TJ and company for putting in the effort, though. You can't force people to play you.