The most important aspect of Louisville's move to the ACC has nothing to do with the ACC. It's all about getting away from the Big East.
Long thought of as the worst major conference in college football, the Big East lost its traditional AQ status in the new playoff system, which begins in 2014. That makes sense, because the Big East continually lost its best programs to other conferences, including Miami, Virginia Tech and West Virginia since 2005, plus Syracuse and Pitt beginning in 2013.
Louisville was the remaining program in the conference with a clear, serious commitment to football. But no matter the school's commitment, it was about to face a recruiting disadvantage due to not playing in one of the five power conferences.
It's not as if Louisville will be able to pitch the prestige of the ACC, but getting away from the Big East is a major deal. The ACC offers security and legitimacy for Louisville's program.
One thing about the ACC that Louisville can pitch, however, is the opportunity to play games in Florida against Florida State and Miami. That is a very big sell for Louisville, as Florida is one of its true recruiting hotbeds.
Charlie Strong was one of Urban Meyer's ace recruiters while at Florida. High school coaches in the Sunshine State know of and respect him, and are happy to send their players who don't land offers from Florida, Florida State or Miami up to Louisville, as they trust Strong and Co.
How big is Florida recruiting for Louisville? Try an incredible 34 players on Louisville's roster from the state. That is one of the highest numbers for any out-of-state school.
In the Big East, Louisville was able to sell the opportunity to play a game in Florida every other year, when the Cardinals played at USF in Tampa. Now, the opportunities double with Florida State and Miami -- not to mention those programs are far superior to USF, and recruits are eager to punish esteemed state programs that did not offer scholarships.
The state of Florida produces a lot of talented recruits, and one of the schools against which Louisville fights for those players is West Virginia, formerly of the Big East.
Before Louisville's move to the ACC, West Virginia was able to tell recruits that it left the conference and that the recruits should want to come play for it in the Big XII, a far superior conference to the Big East.
Now, not only can Louisville offer the opportunity to play road games substantially closer to home, but it can offer the opportunity to play in a power conference as well.
Look for Louisville to continue recruiting the state of Florida at a very high level. And once in the ACC, it will have substantially more money to work with for its recruiting budget as the ACC's TV contract, though widely panned, is considerably greater than what Louisville was receiving from the Big East.
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