U of L football now 'nationally relevant'

The University of Louisville football team has won 23 games combined the past two years and been to four straight bowl games, including consecutive wins over Florida and Miami. One former player said the Cardinals now have “national relevance.”

Roman Oben played football for the University of Louisville from 1992-95 and is still one of the school’s best all-time offensive linemen.

A third-round draft pick by the New York Giants in 1995, Oben knows a little something about winning football games.In town recently for the Governor’s Cup Kickoff Luncheon, Oben said some former U of L players from his era are “a little jealous.”

”They say, ‘We built this program’,” Oben said. “But I tell them it’s more important that we helped set the foundation for all of the goals that Tom Jurich came in here with. I remember all of the Tuesday and Wednesday night games.

”At the time, they didn’t always make sense but now it makes perfect sense. The campus is beautiful and the stadium is great. It’s a great program.”

Oben, who said Bobby Petrino would be “great for the University of Louisville,” said the program is now on par with some of the best in the country.

And he’s proud of it.

”I love it,” he said. “Now we don't lose a recruit because of facilities or campus. I can count about seven or eight guys that I played with or against in NFL that said, ‘I would have gone to U of L if not for that old stadium.’ But now, that’s not the case. Louisville has become a nationally relevant program.”

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