Preseason Hype: "Get Used To It!"

The preseason hype has started and Coach Bobby Petrino says that it is something that everyone should get used.

The preseason hype surrounding the 2004 Cardinal football team has officially started. Earlier this week, Conference USA coaches voted Louisville as the preseason favorite to win the league crown. Additionally, Dennis Dodd of has ranked the Cardinals 15th in his preseason poll.

This type of preseason attention may remind many of the focus given to Louisville prior to the 2002 season, when the Cardinals entered the season ranked among the Top 25, but lost in the season opener to Kentucky 22-17 and quickly dropped from the rankings.

Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino is familiar with the similarities and realizes that it is a challenge to keep everyone focused.

"That's the challenge that we have ahead of us," said Petrino on handling the preseason hype. "Certainly we are aware of the history. That's something that as a coach and as a player that you have to know the history so that you don't repeat it."

However, for a program that is determined to become an annual member of the Top 25 and compete for a spot in a BCS Bowl, Petrino echoed a statement that he made earlier in the year when talking about Prep All-American's committing to the University of Louisville...get used to it!

"I told the players and the coaching staff that it is something that we hope to get used to here," said Petrino. "The expectations are high and that we are ranked."

While Petrino has now landed back-to-back high school all-americans in Michael Bush and Brian Brohm, as well as adding prep all-american transfers in Eric Shelton and Montrell Jones, he hasn't yet made the program a consistent Top 25 program.

Cards won the Governor's Cup back in 2003!
That begins this year, as Louisville is expected to among the programs that make the preseason rankings when they are released during the coming weeks.

Once they are, it's up to the players and coaches to keep them there and it will all begin just as it did in 2002, except this year the Cardinals plan on coming out victorious.

"It will be interesting to see how we handle it," said Petrino.

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