Can Louisville go all the way, or will someone ground the Cards?

Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater (Chris Gaythern/Getty Images)

Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater (Chris Gaythern/Getty Images)

No conference epitomizes conference realignment and its effects on the collegiate landscape more than the American Athletic Conference, formerly known as the Big East.

Off the field, it has been a bit of a nightmare for the former Big East. Syracuse and Pittsburgh are now in the ACC, and Louisville will be joining them next year. Rutgers bolted to the Big 10, and Notre Dame–a non-football member–is taking its other sports to the ACC as well. Boise State and San Diego State had second thoughts and opted to stay in the Mountain West.

Another blow came when the non-football members of the league were fed up with football taking such a priority and split off to form their own conference, taking the Big East name with them.

Luckily, the conference managed to find some success on the field. Half the teams in the conference posted at least eight wins, including two teams with double-digit wins. Cincinnati went 10-3 with a victory over Virginia Tech, but the real highlight of the season came from Louisville. The Cardinals went 11-2 behind quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, a 2013 Heisman favorite, and pummeled mighty Florida 33-23 in the Sugar Bowl.

With the return of Bridgewater and a favorable schedule, Louisville is setting its sights high. Cardinal fans aren’t just hoping for another BCS berth, they want the football team to follow in the steps of the men’s basketball team and bring home a national championship. Papa John’s for everyone!

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