B12 decision presents challenge for UofL

Tom Jurich has a big job on his hands in the wake of the Big 12's decision Friday to add West Virginia over Louisville.

Follow MikeHughes on Twitter

Tom Jurich has a big job on his hands in the wake of the Big 12's decision to add West Virginia over Louisville.

For one, he's going to have a tough sell with the fans on remaining in a waterdown, and soon-to-be reconfigured Big East.

The key will be adding Boise State, which sounds likely to happen. With the addition of Boise State, the Big East should be able to maintain its AQ status. The problem is that even if Boise State, Louisville or anyone else runs the table, they'll be unlikely to earn a spot in the BCS championship game.

Other challenges could be keeping top-flight football coaches in place, and recruiting could also take a hit, though I imagine Louisville will seek creative ways to attract top-flight football prospects to campus despite disadvantages inherent in the new Big East.

Though the new Big East could in reality be a stronger league than it is at present the perception nationally, and perhaps locally, will be the opposite. Battling that perception will be a constant struggle for Jurich and Charlie Strong.

For now, Louisville will have to make the best of an undesirable situation. The Cardinals aren't exactly in hell, but they are stuck in pergatory. In a few years, the Big 12 may again come calling. That's tough to predict at the moment. The key for Louisville is to continue building the football program. Nothing else matters, except maybe the size of the marching band, which sources say was something Big 12 leaders discussed in conversations with UofL officials. No joke.

Though the Big East will take a basketball hit with the losses of Syracuse, West Virginia and Pittsburgh, the league wll continue to rank among the best in college basketball. Louisville basketball will continue to be nationally relevent in Big East. The Big 12's decision won't greatly impact Rick Pitino's basketball program, but football is another matter entirely.

And while this probably won't resonate with Louisville fans right now on the heels of Friday's stinging announcement from the Big 12, the university likely will emerge as a major power-broker in the new Big East.

But there's no minimizing the impact of the Big 12's decision on UofL football. Today was a definite step-back for a program that has been steadily rising nationally for the past 25 years. It's time for Louisville fans to pull themselves up by the boot straps, unite like they've always done, and rally behind the program.There's still lots of conference shifting ahead in the future and Louisville figures to be at the top of the list when the next shakeup occurs.

Cardinal Authority Top Stories