The University of Louisville football team will enter the 2013 season with some lofty expectations, ranked by many in the top 10.
The Cardinals are hoping to make it to a second consecutive BCS Bowl game with perhaps even a shot at making a run at the national championship.
If U of L is to accomplish those goals it will be against a schedule that includes seven homes games, two Thursday night ESPN games, two Friday night ESPN2 games and three bye weeks.
The schedule was released on Wednesday by the Big East Conference with dates and times for all the games to come at a later time.
U of L is slated to play Houston, Central Florida and Memphis – all newcomers to the Big East – at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.
U of L won the Sugar Bowl last season and will open the fourth season under Charlie Strong on Aug. 31 with a matchup at home against Ohio University.
The Cardinals will play Eastern Kentucky at home on Sept. 7 before heading to Lexington on Sept. 14 to face Kentucky. Florida International will visit Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium on Sept. 21 before the first bye week of the season.
U of L’s first Big East game will be Oct. 5 at Temple before hosting Rutgers on Oct. 10 – the first Thursday night game of the season. The Cardinals will remain home and pay Central Florida on Oct. 18.
A trip to South Florida will be Oct. 26 before the second bye week of the season on Nov. 2. U of L travels to Connecticut on Friday, Oct. 8. The Cardinals will then play back-to-back home games on Nov. 16 against Houston and No. 23 against Memphis to close out the home slate of the season.
After a bye week on Nov. 30, the final regular-season game will be played at Cincinnati on Thursday, Dec. 5.
U of L had been slated to play Boise State and San Diego State this season but both teams backed out of coming into the Big East.
Here’s the complete schedule:
Saturday, Aug. 31 vs. Ohio U. at PJCS
Saturday, Sept. 7 vs. EKU at PJCS
Saturday, Sept. 14 at Kentucky
Saturday, Sept. 21 vs. Fla. International at PJCS
Saturday, Sept. 28 bye
Saturday, Oct. 5 at Temple
Thursday, Oct. 10 vs. Rutgers at PJCS
Friday, Oct. 18 vs. Central Florida at PJCS
Saturday, Oct. 26 at South Florida
Saturday, Nov. 2 bye
Friday, Nov. 8 at Connecticut
Saturday, Nov. 16 vs. Houston at PJCS
Saturday, Nov. 23 vs. Memphis at PJCS
Saturday, Nov. 30 bye
Thursday, Dec. 5 at Cincinnati