The day has finally arrived, in which Louisville officially replaces Maryland and completes conference realignment for the time being.
Out go the Terrapins, who left the conference to join the Big 10. In comes Louisville, a former Big East/AAC member that has become one of the nation’s most well-rounded athletic departments in recent years.
“We are a stronger conference with the addition of this university and its athletic program, which continues to reach new heights and rank among the nation’s most competitive,” ACC commissioner John Swofford said in a release on Tuesday. “We are well-positioned for the future, 15 members strong, with a unique balance of public and private institutions.”
Today, July 1, marks the first day Louisville has been associated with the ACC, so you might not know much about the Cardinals. Here’s a quick rundown of things to know.
•Louisville’s athletic program reached an unprecedented height in 2013. The Cardinals became the first team in history to win a BCS bowl game, play in the men’s and women’s Final Fours and reach the baseball College World Series in the same athletic year.
•Louisville will take Maryland’s place in the Atlantic Division of the ACC.
•The Cardinals’ football team went 23-3 combined in the last two seasons. Now, they have to replace star quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and coach Charlie Strong, who left this offseason for Texas. Bobby Petrino, who previously coached Louisville a decade ago, has returned to the helm once again. The ACC Sports Journal predicts Louisville to finish fourth in the Atlantic Division this year.
•Louisville’s basketball program is one of the nation’s strongest. The Cardinals, under the direction of coach Rick Pitino, have been to three-straight Sweet 16s and won the 2013 national championship. They are a consensus top-10 team in early 2014-15 pools.
•The Cardinals play football in Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium and basketball in the KFC Yum! Center. Louisville is now the only ACC team with corporate sponsors for both stadiums.
•People you should follow on Twitter for Louisville news include: @MarkEnnis, @jeffgreer_cj and @rickbozich.
•Louisville is ranked No. 161 in the U.S. News and World Report ranking of national universities. That makes it the lowest-rated ACC school. The university’s academic profile was one of the main factors that made ACC membership difficult to attain. However, the university has been steadily improving, and school officials were able to sell the ACC on its academic potential.
•In 2012, Louisville ranked 16th in the nation in athletic department revenue. That was higher than any ACC team. Maryland ranked 48th.