At 8-0, Louisville was the fifth-ranked team in the BCS standings last week before beating the previously unbeaten Mountaineers. Florida, with one loss, was ranked fourth in the BCS last week. But after the Gators struggled to defeat 4-6 Vanderbilt Saturday, could the Cardinals leap-frog Florida into the No. 3 spot this week?
Don't be surprised if they do.
Florida, at .779, had a slim margin - just .017 percentage points - over Louisville (.762) in last week's poll. The Cardinals convincing win over a Top 5 West Virginia team last week should provide them enough of a boost to jump past Florida into the No. 3 spot this week.
And that's important for obvious reasons. Ohio State and Michigan should remain No. 1-2 in the BCS standings. Those two teams face each other in two weeks and the loser will likely drop out of the national title hunt. That means whoever sits in the No. 3 slot will be positioned to move into one of the top two spots in the standings, earning the right to play in the BCS Championship game in Glendale, Arizona, January 8.
While SEC proponents will be vocal that a one-loss Florida would be more deserving than a 12-0 Louisville to play in the national title game, sentiment among reasonable college football observers, such as ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit, don't seem quite as certain.
"Florida is not winning the style points with their wins the last two weeks," said Herbstreit. "I don't think there's any question that Louisville will be the No. 3 choice in the both the Harris and (USA Today) coaches polls this week."
Sentiment among respected analysts around the nation appears to be growing that Louisville, provided they finish the season undefeated, would deserve a chance to play the winner of the Ohio State/Michigan game for the BCS championship.
"If Louisville finishes unbeaten, they will play in the championship game," ESPN's Craig James said during the College Football Final telecast following Saturday's games. Fellow ESPN analyst Doug Flutie also said on the show that he believes an undefeated Louisville team would play for the national championship.
This week's BCS standings will be released Sunday afternoon.