Louisville's title hopes ended on Friday night

Louisville fans weren't smiling when Friday night's game ended
Louisville fans weren't smiling when Friday night's game ended. (USATSI)

Maybe UCF did everybody a favor on Friday night. By coming back from a 28-7 deficit in the third quarter to knock off Louisville 38-35, the Knights may have saved us all from a debate in which there likely weren't any right answers.

We'll no longer have to try and figure out whether an undefeated Louisville team deserves a BCS Championship appearance over an undefeated Ohio State, or a one-loss SEC champion. With their loss on Friday night, nobody will be making an argument on Louisville's behalf this season.

Now, this Louisville loss will be deemed a major upset because this was a top ten team that was a double-digit favorite playing against an unranked team most people aren't familiar with.

However, that's not really fair to the UCF Knights, who are now 5-1 on the season.

This is the same Knights team that went in to State College and knocked off Penn State a few weeks ago, and it's the same Knights team that nearly knocked off South Carolina in late September, falling 28-25.

Louisville didn't lose to UCF because it wasn't good enough in the first place, Louisville lost to UCF because UCF was good enough to beat Louisville. And it's also good enough to win the American Athletic Conference and find itself in a BCS bowl game come January.

Which is why this loss hurts doubly so for the Cardinals. If an undefeated Louisville team had been held out of the national championship it would have at least had the chance to knock off another heavyweight in a BCS bowl like it did Florida in the Sugar Bowl last season and prove a point to those who doubted it.

Now the Cardinals need to win out and get help from other teams to win the American to have that chance or odds are that Teddy Bridgewater's last game as a Cardinal will come in the Russell Athletic or Belk Bowl.

Louisville may have only suffered one loss in the standings on Friday night, but it feels like so much more.

CBS Sports Writer

Tom Fornelli has been a college football writer at CBS Sports since 2010. During his time at CBS, Tom has proven time and again that he hates your favorite team and thinks your rival is a paragon of football... Full Bio

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