LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – There shouldn’t be any chirping about the strength of the University of Louisville’s 2016 football schedule. The Cardinals will face three of the top 10 teams in ESPN’s early rankings for 2016.

The Cards announced their 2016 schedule Tuesday afternoon, and Bobby Petrino’s team will play three of its first five games away from Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.

“This another challenging schedule overall,” U of L coach Bobby Petrino said. “We have six teams who played in bowl games last season and three teams that finished the year ranked in the top 25. We have a lot of work to do before we start playing games, but with an experienced team returning, they understand the challenges ahead of them and know what kind of preparation is needed to be a successful football team.”

The Cardinals will open with a Thursday night home game against Charlotte on Sep. 1. Charlotte finished 2-10 last season.

Here is the complete schedule

Sept. 1 – Charlotte -- the 49ers lost to Kentucky 58-10 last season.

Sept. 9 – at Syracuse -- the Orange welcome a new coach, Dino Babers.

Sept. 17 – Florida State -- the Seminoles expect to contend for the national title.

Sept. 24 – at Marshall -- the Thundering Herd finished 10-3 last season, losing at Western Kentucky.

Oct. 1 – at Clemson -- the Tigers are the likely pick for pre-season Number One.

Oct. 14 -- Duke -- the Blue Devils will play U of L for the first time since canceling a football contract with the Cardinals.

Oct. 22 – N.C. State -- Louisville's best regular-season win came at N.C. State in 2015.

Oct. 29 – at Virginia -- the Cardinals lost in Charlottesville in 2014 and the Cavaliers hired Bronco Mendenhall as their coach.

Nov. 5 – at Boston College -- Louisville has won three straight against the Eagles.

Nov.  12 – Wake Forest -- The Demon Deacons are expected to remain one of the weaker teams in the ACC.

Nov. 17/19 – at Houston -- the Cougars have made the Top 10 in several early polls for next season.

Nov.  26 – Kentucky -- the Cardinals will try to stretch their winning streak to six over the Wildcats.

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