LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- It was bold. It was direct. At his pre-Rutgers news conference on Monday Charlie Strong made a statement that took everybody off guard, “I tell my guys every day they are the best team in the country.”
When asked why he thinks that way, Strong didn’t blink and immediately started naming the Cards weapons on both sides of the ball. Honestly, he could have started and stopped with Teddy Bridgewater.
Having the best player on the field will always give you a chance to win any game against any team. After practice we asked players this simple question. Are you the best team in the country?
Once again the players didn’t blink and answered confidently, yes.
Center Jake Smith actually said it best, “I truly believe it, and if we don’t believe it there’s no way it can be true.”
This was the beginning of Charlie Strong’s campaign on behalf of his team. Why was such a bold statement needed?
The Cards strength of schedule currently sits 140th in the country. A schedule in the same neighborhood as Portland State (135), Tulane (139), and South Dakota State (142). It’s bad. After every blowout the one topic that’s constantly brought up is the schedule. It’s hard to prove to people how good you are when this is constantly their response, “Yeah but you don’t play anybody.”
The past two weeks both Georgia and Florida State have jumped UofL in the polls after gaining a significant victory.
Do I think Louisville is the nation’s top team? No. But it doesn’t matter what I think, and it doesn’t matter what anybody thinks. It matters what the players think when they step between those lines. If you need proof just put on the game tape from the 2013 Sugar Bowl.
A team who believes always has a chance.
This Thursday night against Rutgers Louisville has a chance to show the doubters that despite their schedule they are one of the best teams in the country. Maybe even, the best.