No. 5 Louisville is probably, but just barely, outside the Playoff field right now. The Cardinals don't control their own destiny, but if they don't lose another game and things break right among their competitors, they've got a shot.
Maintaining that shot requires a flawless run from here on out. That means handling business in Charlottesville against Virginia on Saturday, and that shouldn't be so difficult. The Cavaliers are not a good team this year, and they've gotten to 2-5 with a mix of of hapless offense, punchless defense, and losses to opponents who haven't been anywhere near Louisville's caliber. UVA just lost big to North Carolina. Now Lamar Jackson gets a shot? Goodness.
If Virginia manages to keep the margin respectable, that'll be something of a win. What's likelier is that Jackson and his friends get to do whatever they want, and Louisville waltzes to victory to get to 7-1. The Cardinals just have to keep going.
How to watch, stream, and listen
TV: Noon ET, ABC/ESPN2. The broadcasters are Allen Bestwick, Mike Bellotti, and Kris Budden.
Radio: Louisville and Virginia
Online streaming: WatchESPN
Spread: Louisville is favored by about five touchdowns.
Make friends: Get to SB Nation's team blog chats for this game at Card Chronicle (for UL fans) and Streaking The Lawn (for UVA fans).
Three big things to know
1. Virginia probably can't stop Lamar. The Louisville sophomore has been setting fire to almost every opponent he's faced, all year. Virginia has a weak front, doesn't stop the run, and gives up tons in the passing game. In all likelihood, Jackson will be able to take his pick of how he wants to decimate UVA's defense. If he does anything less than run and throw all over it and score several touchdowns in the process, it'll be a shock.
2. Virginia probably can't score on Louisville. The Cardinals' identity is their offense, but this defense is good, too. It doesn't give up many big plays, doesn't let teams move the ball up the field with ease, and creates plenty of havoc in the linebacking corps and in the secondary. It won't be stunning if Virginia manages to put a few scores together here, but it will be stunning if the Hoos can do it often enough to keep up with the Cards offense.
3. What has to happen for a UVA upset? A whole lot. The best hope, though, is that Louisville's offense shows up unusually sluggish (as it did a few weeks ago against Duke) and also gives the ball away. The Cards have committed 16 turnovers in seven games, and if they're ever going to suffer a huge upset, that'll probably have a lot do with it.