Poll voters, Louisville would not like you to watch the tape of its 24-10 win over Rutgers. Simply look at the final score.
In its only year in the American Athletic Conference, the Cardinals need all the style points it can get to be in the discussion for a BCS Championship berth. And of course, that's provided that Louisville goes undefeated. A single loss would harm those thoughts irreparably.
The visit from Rutgers represented an opportunity to garner some serious style points on national television, not only for the BCS but for quarterback Teddy Bridgewater's Heisman hopes. And it ended up more Wrangler-style than designer denim.
It was functional and it got the job done, but it wasn't of the highest quality.
Bridgewater's stats don't look bad -- 21-31 for 310 yards, two touchdowns and an interception -- but there were a couple of sailed throws in the end zone that he would definitely want back.
He also fumbled in the fourth quarter when the Cardinals were near the goal line and looking to go up 24-7. But that wasn't on Bridgewater. Anthony Cioffi came off Bridgewater's blind side unblocked and stripped him as he was rolling out to the right.
Plus, the Cardinals had special teams mistakes, like a 24-yard field goal that was blocked and a 45-yard field goal that was wide right. Though while Louisville kept the Scarlet Knights within a single possession in the fourth quarter, Rutgers' own mistakes helped keep it there.
Louisville's next, and perhaps final, conference test is Central Florida on October 18. It's another national telecast on Friday night, and it's not hyperbole to think that the Cardinals' (and Bridgewater's) legitimacy in the minds of many hinge on that performance.