Expectations have remained consistent


Expectations haven't changed for Louisville football.

After a 2-10 season a year ago, the Cardinals weren't expected to contend in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) or reach six wins in coach Scott Satterfield's first year at Louisville. Despite defeating Boston College, Louisville's first conference win since 2017, and a 3-2 record, Satterfield hasn't had to talk to his team about raising expectations.

"We we say expectations, we expected to beat Notre Dame. That's just our mentality," Satterfield said. "That's just a daily expectation of competing every single day. You're competing every single day, really against yourself."

The Cardinals face their toughest stretch against three ranked teams in consecutive weeks. Louisville travels to Wake Forest, then hosts Clemson and Virginia. 

Louisville's race to six wins and a bowl trip might be on the minds of fans, but Satterfield doesn't allow his team to focus long-term goals. 

"We're worrying about right now," Satterfield said. "When you start looking at the big picture and start worrying about all this other stuff, then you lose focus on what really matters. And what really matters is how can I go today."

After missing an opportunity against Florida State, the Cardinals led 24-21 in the fourth quarter before allowing 14 unanswered points in the conference road loss, Louisville has winnable games remaining on the schedule, but little room for error.

S&P ranks Louisville 62nd in its most recent weekly rankings while Wake Forest (51st), Clemson (8th), Virginia (40th) and Miami (32nd) rank higher, but the schedule softens in the final quarter of the season. 

NC State (58th), Syracuse (65th) and Kentucky (63rd) represent Louisville's best chances at wins to reach a bowl eligibility.