LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Excitement is in the air as the college football season is finally underway and the fans with the biggest expectations belong to the University of Louisville.
The first installment of UofL Head Coach Charlie Strong's radio show this season hit the airwaves Thursday night.
The radio show, broadcast from Tumbleweed on River Road, is sold out for the entire season. Fans said while the football program has seen other big moments through the years, this time they believe there's a major difference.
"We look like we're going to be a very strong team and it's just the anticipation is pretty high," said Cards fan Ray Stout.
Longtime Cardinal play-by-play man Paul Rogers can't remember great expectations like this, "I don't think we've ever seen this much hype, legitimate hype," he said, "I mean people are excited and for a valid reason."
It began with a Sugar Bowl thumping of Florida with a huge enthusiastic Cardinal crowd on hand to see it.
Fan Chuck Horrell remembered, "We were having lunch in New Orleans and some Florida fans came up to us and said is there anybody in Louisville?"
Strong's leadership and recruiting are another win-win.
Rogers said during the show to Strong, "I don't want to get into a lot of comparisons to your days at Florida, but even at Florida did you have as many receivers and running backs as you've got on this team right now? "Strong laughed, "We have a stable full of them, yes."
Although Louisville football has seen other highs including Fiesta and Orange Bowl wins, coaching changes seemed to push the program back into mediocrity. Fans believe Strong is here for the long haul, "You've got a quality man and he wants his kids to be quality men," said fan Carolyn Enos.
Now with a possible Heisman candidate in Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, the move to the ACC in 2014 and Wednesday's announcement - that speaks volumes about the program - the Cards are slated to play Auburn in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in 2015.
Rogers said, "It's just another indication that I think people see them as a legitimate football power, or at least a team that is competing at a very high level and when you get a national headline game like that it just tells you how far we've come and where we are and hopefully where we will stay."