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Doc 5: BCS-era number fives -- No. 5 Louisville

Nick Bromberg
Dr. Saturday
Michael Bush Brian Brohm

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LOUISVILLE,KY - OCTOBER 8: Quarterback Brian Brohm #12 of the Louisville Cardinals makes a hand off to Michael Bush #19 during the game against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Papa John's Stadium on October 8, 2005 in Louisville, Kentucky. The Cardinals won 69-14. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Brian Brohm;Michael Bush

This offseason we will count down various topics from Monday through Friday, bringing you the top five of the important and definitely some not so important issues in college football. It's the Doc Five, every week until we will thankfully have actual games to discuss.

Happy Cinco de Mayo week. As we celebrate the fifth day of the fifth month of the year in our weekly Doc 5 feature, why not stick with the five theme?

This week we're going to rank the top five No. 5s from the BCS era. Why would they be significant? Well, with the new four-team Playoff, these teams would have been the first team left out of a tournament if the BCS rankings were used in lieu of the selection committee.

Yes, we've already redone the BCS with a Playoff this offseason, but we didn't give the No. 5s any love. Now it's time to do that. Let's get started.


No. 5: 2006 Louisville

Louisville would have been an interesting case for the College Football Playoff Selection Committee to consider.

The Cardinals, coached by Bobby Petrino, had some of the best talent in college football and were supposed to be anchored by quarterback Brian Brohm and running back Michael Bush, both Louisville natives. However, Bush broke his leg in the first game of the season and was out for the season.

Without Bush, Louisville was undefeated through the first eight games of the season. Two of those wins were over ranked teams, including a 31-7 win over then-No. 15 Miami in the third week of the season and a win over then-No. 3 West Virginia in the eighth game of the season.

The West Virginia game set up a showdown with Rutgers, who was also undefeated. It was set up to be a battle for the Big East. And it was a battle for the Big East that Louisville was winning easily, 25-7.

However, Rutgers, led by Ray Rice, stormed back to tie the game at 25 in the fourth quarter, and thanks to a Jeremy Ito field goal with 13 seconds left, beat Louisville 28-25. It was Louisville's only loss of the season, and the Cardinals won the conference and a berth to the Orange Bowl when Rutgers lost two games.

How would Louisville's case been for the selection committee? Because of Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long's quote about the committee looking for the four "best" teams rather than the four "most deserving"

Brohm was one of the best quarterbacks in the country and the loss of Bush, also regarded as one of the best at his position, would have been heavily factored.

But so too would have been the strength of the Big East. While both West Virginia and Rutgers were regarded as top-15 teams at the end of the season, would an eight-team Big East worked against Louisville? The Cardinals played Kentucky, Miami and Kansas State outside of the conference, so they wouldn't have been punished for a weak non-conference slate.

Bush's absence could have helped Louisville win the "best" argument. If the team was able to go 11-1 with a three-point road loss without Bush, could he have helped turn the tide and get the Cardinals to 12-0? It's a question the committee would have likely considered and help push the Cardinals into any hypothetical Playoff.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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