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Strong: "You still have to play the game"

With the preseason magazines hitting shelves and experts weighing in on conference rankings, Charlie Strong is urging people to keep everything in perspective.

This time last season, many magazines had the Cardinals picked at the bottom of the Big East, and after winning five of their last seven and finishing 7-6 (5-2 in the Big East) last season, many outlets have Louisville as one of the conference favorites.

When Strong was asked about the fan expectations during a recent charity golf event, he responded by saying, "Well you know one thing we need to do, let's tone it down with the fans, No. 1, because expectations are out there. You look at the first two years, we were picked last and this year for some reason people think we're going to have this outstanding football team. It's all about work, it's all about our players understanding that you still have to go play the game."

However, looking at how far the program has come since taking over and the positive changes that the coaching staff has made, Strong believes that they have earned the right to be talked about at the top of the conference.

"They deserve to be picked where they are just because of how hard they've worked and the job the coaching staff has done but we still have to realize who picked it, and we still have to do the work. We can't allow as a coaching staff for us to get full of ourselves."

"We have a ton of youth, but the whole work ethic has changed. The accountability has changed. The responsibility has changed."