Observations from Louisville's Updated 2020 Schedule
The Atlantic Coast Conference didn't keep us waiting very long.
After the league's Board of Directors voted to move to a 10 conference games & one non-conference game scheduling model for the 2020 football season just eight days ago, on Thursday the ACC finally unveiled the full updated week-by-week schedule on the ACC Network's "Packer & Durham".
You can view Louisville's new schedule here, but in this piece we're going to take a bit of a deeper dive into the Cards' draw for the upcoming 2020 season.
As part of the move to the updated model, Louisville went from having four non-conference games to just one. Of course with such a move, next comes the debate as to who will get that spot. While AD Vince Tyra briefly entertained the notion of going after after a Power Five school (prior to the SEC and Big 12 going conference and in-state only respectively), in the end they drew Western Kentucky. This was the game that quite frankly made the most sense, as the Hilltoppers were the most prolific non-conference team that remained on the table and were already previously on the schedule.
After the season-opener against the Hilltoppers, things really start to ratchet up. Between here and the end of October, this is where Louisville will play their three toughest home games and two toughest road games. Week 2 sees them hosting Miami - a team that many publications are high on during this preseason - then Week 3 will have the Cards traveling to play Pitt - who has one of the toughest defenses in the ACC. A Week 4 bye and Week 5 trip to Atlanta to face Georgia Tech give them a slight break, but then it's back to the grind. The nest three weeks see the Cards go to Notre Dame, then host Florida State & Virginia Tech - three teams that are ranked in the Top 26 according to ESPN's FPI.
During the aforementioned period is when Louisville plays their longest stretch of road games for the 2020 season. It starts with a Week 3 trip to Pittsburgh and ends with a Week 6 visit to South Bend, where the Cards will go over a month without playing at Cardinal Stadium. In fact, this is Louisville's first three-game road trip since the 2012 season where Louisville played FIU, Southern Miss. and Pitt. Of note, Louisville went 3-0 during that road trip.
Under the Lights
The Cardinals got themselves a nice little scheduling bonus from the folks over at the ACC. Louisville will play three Friday night games in 2020, the most in the conference. This consists of their home game against Syracuse and their road trips to both Georgia Tech & Boston College. The caveat here however is that all three Friday night games are coming after one of the opponent's bye weeks - giving them more time to prepare for the Cardinals.
The More Things Change...
Of course when you move to a model where your non-conference games are slashed from 4 to 1 and you add two conference games, there's going to be some shake up in the order of some of the games. That being said, there are still some games that were left unscathed from the previous schedule. Louisville's home affairs against Florida State (Saturday, Oct. 24th) & Virginia Tech (Saturday, Oct. 31st) as well as their road trip to Virginia (Saturday, Nov. 7th) are exactly the same as they were when the original schedule was announced back in January.
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