BOZICH | Purdue game is a win, win, win for Louisville football - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | Purdue game is a win, win, win for Louisville football

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – College football scheduling outside the conference is a delicate dance.

The teams you'd like to play don't want to play you, not if they fear defeat. The teams eager to play you are often the teams you need to avoid.

Scheduling has been difficult for University of Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich. He has been forced to scramble to fill games that Georgia, Vanderbilt and other schools have backed out of against the Cardinals.

The teams most eager to play have their hands out for a guarantee check. They contribute nothing to the strength of schedule component.

Enter Purdue.

The University of Louisville and Purdue will play in 2017, most likely at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, a source at U of L confirmed Wednesday morning. Here are three reasons that game can be a win, win, win for the Louisville football program.

1. It's a likely win against a team from a Power Five league.

Word has trickled down from the college football playoff poobahs that strength of schedule is important if you expect to make the four-team playoff.

Louisville needs to reduce the Murray State, Florida Internationals and Ohio Universities from its schedule and add teams from either the Southeastern, Big Ten, Big 12 or Pac-12 conferences.

Purdue is a Big Ten team that Louisville should beat. The Boilermakers have won four of their last 24 games. As coach Darrell Hazell begins his third season he has upgraded Purdue's talent. By 2017 the gap between the programs could narrow.

But Purdue has lost back-to-back games to Indiana. The Boilermakers have a lot of work to do.

2. Louisville recruits Indianapolis.

Exposure in a major metro area with quality high school football two hours from campus is a good thing. Playing a game in an NFL facility is another plus.

Louisville has focused its recruiting on Florida, Georgia and Alabama in recent years, but Indianapolis is a spot the coaching staff can target for one or two guys per recruiting class. Offensive linemen Lukayus McNeil and Skylar Lacy played high school ball in suburban Indianapolis.

Tight end Jamie Asher played at Warren Central before starring at Louisville two decades ago. Mark Clayton raced from Cathedral High School in Indianapolis to U of L to the Miami Dolphins.

3. Louisville fans could outnumber Purdue fans.

It's too soon to know how tickets will be distributed, but the odds are that Louisville will put as many or more fans in Lucas Oil Stadium than Purdue.

It's a simple two-hour trip that Louisville fans know well from the NCAA Tournament. Downtown Indianapolis offers a vibrant collection of restaurants and hotels. Fans enjoy going there.

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