Sugar Bowl Notes: Flu bug, schedule and fans

NEW ORLEANS - It's the first day of the New Year and the University of Louisville is one day away from its second BCS Bowl Game. The Cardinals will play Florida on Wednesday night in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. Cardinal Authority has our daily notebook looking at some nuggets from the Louisville camp.


The flu bug that's going around in the city of Louisville has hit the University of Louisville football team during their stay in New Orleans.

U of L head coach Charlie Strong said several players had been under the weather with the flu in recent days.

But Strong said he expects everybody to play against Florida.

"The sickness, it hasn't really affected us all," Strong said. "Guys are getting the bug here or there. But they're all bouncing back in their practices so they'll be prepared to go play a game. "

Offensive guard Jake Smith is one of the players who has been ill. Smith wasn't dressed for the two-hour practice on Monday.


With the news that Boise State won't come into the Big East Conference next season earlier this week, there have been a lot of questions about the schedule.

U of L was scheduled to play at Boise State next season.

Several U of L and Big East sources said it's too early to predict what might happen because the Big East will now likely also lose San Diego State an there has been some chatter about SMU and Houston.

The Cardinals are also slated to play San Diego State.

Several scenarios couple happen, including U of L trying to keep Boise State on the schedule as a non-conference game. The more likely decision is for the Big East is to add one more cross-division league game.

Strong said he would let U of L athletic director Tom Jurich worry about the scheduling and he knows "he's going to do what's best for the program."

U of L will join the ACC Conference in 2014.


Louisville sold nearly all of its lot of 17,500 fans and expects as many as 30,000-plus fans in the Superdome for the game on Wednesday.

U of L expects many of its fans purchased tickets from ticket brokers, a third-party of the bowl itself instead of going through the school.

Some have predicted U of L would have more fans than Florida and that could be true if the streets of NOLA are any indication. There are tons of U of L fans out and about and not a lot of Florida colors seen.

"If you look at University of Florida, I think it's a program that has so much tradition over the last few years," Strong said. "And now what has happened here, the University of Louisville, it's our second BCS Bowl game. So our fans are really excited about getting to a BCS Bowl."


The ceremonial coin toss will include two legends from both schools.

The U of L legends will be Muhammad Ali and Tom Jackson, while Emmitt Smith and Danny Wuerffel will be there for the Gators.

Ali wore a U of L jersey with the number of Michael Bush for the coin toss during the Orange Bowl when the Cardinals beat Wake Forest.

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