U of L focused on Bearcats, not rankings

The University of Louisville football team is one of 11 unbeaten teams in the nation entering this weekend. But the Cardinals are focused on an ESPN game against Cincinnati and not what they're ranked at this point.

The University of Louisville football team is ranked No. 16 in the BCS standings and one of just 11 teams nationally left undefeated heading into the weekend.

But don't try and tell the Cardinals anything about that.

"I'm not sure," offensive lineman Jake Smith said when asked if he knew what the team was ranked in the latest BCS standings.

Added defensive end Lorenzo Mauldin: "It doesn't matted now."

Despite the undefeated record, the Cardinals are ranked no higher than No. 14 in any of the national polls. And U of L head coach Charlie Strong is fine with that as long as the team keeps on winning.

"I tell our guys that at the end of the season, let's see where we end up," Strong said on Monday afternoon. "Right now, if we start worrying about the rankings, then all of sudden you go get beat and you're not ranked anymore.

"Let's just continue to get better and worry about our next opponent. I place no value at all on the rankings and we don't even talk about it."

Strong's players back him up on those facts, with more than just Mauldin and Smith saying this team doesn't fret over the rankings each week.

"We just have to worry about ourselves and keep winning games," linebacker Preston Brown said. "Like coach Strong says, it's a one-game season."

And the biggest game right now is Friday night.

The Cardinals will be on a national stage with the ESPN audience as they host Cincinnati (5-1), which has won four in a row in the series.

The winner will get the Keg of Nails.

It's only the third time in school history that U of L has started a year 7-0 and Strong said he wants the team to add to its history.

"I told the team the other day this is only the third time in school history where we have been 7-0," Strong said. "We haven't been undefeated since I've been. We haven't been in the conference race. We just talk about being a one-game season, and let's just continue to play.

"But this is a big game; it's a big game for the program."

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