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As unlikely as it seemed six weeks ago, the University of Louisville Football Cardinals will actually be going to a BCS bowl game if the Cincinnati Bearcats lose to Connecticut this Saturday.
Will that happen? Truthfully, it's a long shot. But even if it doesn't, it won't make U of L's accomplishments this season any less impressive.
After they were picked in most pre-season polls to finish seventh in the Big East, not many expected the Cardinals to be a factor in championship discussions during the season's final weekend. And even those who were optimistic in August must have had their doubts after the team began the year with two wins and four losses.
But true competitors don't give up just because they're behind at the halfway point. And head coach Charlie Strong showed what kind of leader he is by successfully getting his players to put their failures behind them and instead concentrate on the things that would translate into success.
The Cardinals certainly aren't one of college football's most dominating teams. But this year they did prove to be one of the most persistent and dedicated. And if Coach Strong can continue to cultivate those qualities on a consistent basis, U of L football fans should be in for a long, fun ride.
So regardless of what happens in Cincinnati Saturday, celebrate. Because these Cardinals have already proven themselves winners.