Orange Bowl or Sugar Bowl for Cards?

The come-from-behind victory over Rutgers put the University of Louisville in position to play in the school's second BCS Bowl game. But now that it's over, what bowl might the Cardinals be headed for? Cardinal Authority takes a look at the options for the Cardinals.

When senior quarterback Will Stein took the final knee in the University of Louisville's 20-17 victory over Rutgers on Thursday night, most U of L fans already had South Beach on their minds.

The U of L players even tossed around some oranges on the field, symbolizing the Discover Orange Bowl on Jan. 1 in Miami.

Yes, the Cardinals earned a BCS Bowl bid with the victory and co-Big East Conference championship (because they'll have the highest BCS rankings). But the Orange Bowl isn't the for sure bowl the Cardinals will be headed for.

There is a possibility Louisville could play in the AllState Sugar Bowl. Representatives from both bowls were at the game on Thursday.

U of L fans will now have to watch Friday's MAC Championship between Kent State and Northern Illinois to see where the Cardinals will end up. It's not the easiest thing to figure out, but if Kent State wins the No. 17 Golden Flashes have a shot at finishing the season in the top 16 of the BCS Standings, when the final version is released on Sunday night. A top-16 ranking would get Kent State an automatic BCS berth.

Boise State, which is right now at No. 20, and No. 21 Northern Illinois both have outside shots to also finish in the top 16 with a victory.

According to the BCS website, any team from a non-automatic qualifying conference gets a berth if that team finishes in the top 16 and ranks higher than an automatic qualifying champion. Kent State would likely be ranked higher than Louisville, which wasn't in the top 25 of last week's BCS.

The Orange Bowl has the last pick and that team will face the ACC champion. If there is a team from a non-automatic qualifying conference, it's likely the Sugar Bowl – which gets the second-to-last pick – would chose the Big East champion over Kent State, Northern Illinois or Boise State.

The opponent in the Sugar Bowl would be Florida.

So, the Cardinals are headed to either South Beach or Bourbon Street. We'll likely know after the MAC Championship but will have a clear picture on Sunday when the new BCS Standings are revealed at 8:30 p.m.

For now, enjoy the win and get ready to plan the trip. You can go to the U of L website at www.gocards.com/bowlcentral to check out the details.


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