ACC Expansion: Why Louisville Is a Great Addition for Basketball and Football

Nicholas GossCorrespondent IDecember 2, 2012

Coach Rick Pitino (left) with his 2011-12 team.
Coach Rick Pitino (left) with his 2011-12 team.Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The addition of Louisville would be a fantastic move for the ACC because of the school's excellence in football and basketball over the last few seasons. Both programs also look to have bright futures.

The Cardinals are reportedly set to move conferences (via ESPN):

According to sources, Louisville will join the Atlantic Coast Conference, becoming the sixth former Big East school to leave for the ACC.

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 28, 2012

After the 1990s brought little football success, Louisville has done very well in the new century to become a top-tier program.

Since 2000 the Cardinals' football team has a record of 107-55 with six Big East conference championships. Louisville has won just four of its nine bowl games since 2000, but the school won its only BCS game in 2006 versus Wake Forest in the Orange Bowl.

With another appearance in a BCS bowl likely this season, head coach Charlie Strong has returned the Cardinals to elite status. As one of the best young coaches in the nation, he will lead the Louisville football program into a promising future.

After watching the lack of quality in the ACC this year on the football field, there's no doubt Louisville will be able to have success against the conference's best schools such as Clemson, Virginia Tech and Florida State.

The addition of another elite basketball program will also be a tremendous boost to the ACC, which should welcome two annual Final Four contenders in Syracuse and Louisville in the near future.

Rick Pitino is one of the top college basketball coaches of his era. In 11 seasons in Louisville, his squad has made the NCAA Tournament eight times, including a Final Four run last season.

Pitino has done well competing with other top schools in the area, including rival Kentucky, both on the court and in recruiting.

The success that his program has achieved in a very competitive Big East conference has been impressive, and the team is off to another good start this season with a 5-1 record and a No. 5 ranking.

Adding a school with recent success in basketball and football will be great for the ACC. Not only that, the conference is also gaining two programs who should have no problem continuing their recent successes well into the future.

The ACC needed to choose its next member wisely, and when you look at some of the other schools that could have been considered, such as UConn, it's clear that the conference has made the right decision.