I think it’s nearly impossible to handicap these things before you’ve even seen a single live-action snap. There’s too many variables involved (injuries, suspensions, depth issues) to accurately predict what will happen. Look at the 2007 season for further proof. I would say that most fans came into that year with lofty expectations. The team returned 17 starters and a Heisman QB hopeful from the same team that won the Orange Bowl and nearly ran the table the prior year. The only problem was that the team got hit with some unforeseen injuries, depth proved to be an issue, a few players decided to transfer before the season started, and a few others were suspended. Factor all that in with the arrival of Hurricane Krags, and a season in which most people predicted 11-1 or 10-2, turned out to be an ongoing nightmare that resulted in a mediocre 6-6 finish. What was even more disturbing was that even in that season opener against Murray, you could tell something wasn’t quite right. The coaches had trouble getting play-calls in to the game, we used unnecessary timeouts, and the special teams were a disaster. Fans booed and there was a strange feeling in the air, even though it was a blowout. It was the old eye test. After that game I think a majority of the fans had a gut feeling that the team wasn’t as good as advertised.
Now, obviously this program is back on track and the future appears to be incredibly bright. But always remember the cautionary tale of 2007……it’s hard to make accurate predictions before seeing things with your own 2 eyes.
But what the hell:
vs Murray State – Cards secondary gets tested early and often, Murray is able to move the ball, but in the end the Cards are too talented. Score: 42-17, Louisville. 1-0
Vs Florida International – the Cards get a big-time scare from a talented group of Florida outcasts who always felt slighted by the Miami’s and Florida State’s of the world. Fans should be on upset alert, but the Cards eek it out. Score: 28-24, Louisville 2-0
@ UK – This one hurts the most. It’s hard to even muster the strength to type these words…..but I think you have two exact mirror image teams, and UK will have the slight edge playing at home. In a devastating loss, the Cards watch a field goal go through the uprights in the final seconds. Score: 21-24, Louisville 2-1
vs Marshall – Another tough home game against a quality opponent. Louisville will not lose two in a row, especially not when coming back home to PJCS. Cards win another close one. Score: 27-21, Louisville 3-1
@ North Carolina – The Cards get that one big road win they desperately need and shock an under-manned and scandal-ridden Tarheel squad. With no true head coach in place and player unrest, this one is ripe for the pickin’. Score: 35-28, Louisville 4-1
@ Cincinnati – It’s funny how things change. Louisville used to abuse Cincy on a regular basis (same can be said for UK), but the Bearcats will surprise people this year and nip the Cards at Paul Brown Stadium. This one will be really tight, and a special teams play here or there could be the difference. Score: 14-17, Louisville 4-2
vs Rutgers – Louisville gets back on track with a big home win against the Scarlet Knights. I foresee another tight one, but the Cards pull away late in the 4th quarter. Score: 27-21, Louisville 5-2
vs Syracuse – I’m wrestling with this one big time. I feel like a lot of people are writing off Doug Marrone and the Orange, but I think they will surprise some people. I see this one coming down to the last quarter and you could flip a coin for who gets the “w”. I say Louisville gets upset at home and Marrone shows again why he’s a bit underrated. Score 14-21, Louisville 5-3 * I reserve the right to flip the Cincy and Cuse outcomes. I say we split, one way or the other. Still not sure which will be the win.
@West Virginia – Loss, Plain and simple. Next year the tables begin to turn for good. Enjoy it while it lasts, couch burners. Score: 35-28, Louisville 5-4
vs Pitt – In the biggest home game of the season, I think the Cards fight a valiant fight but come up just short against new coach Todd Graham and the talented Panthers. Score: 17-21, Louisville 5-5
@Uconn – This game should not be underestimated. Yes Uconn loses a lot. Yes they have a new coach. But this will be a cold, November road game and Louisville will have to bring their A-game to pull off a victory. I say they get the job done, in yet another close one. Score: 27-23, Louisville 6-5
@ South Florida – Ok, Louisville doesn’t win here. It just doesn’t happen. Skip Holtz will have his team humming by the end of the season and I think the Bulls could win the BE championship. I say Louisville plays a great game, but ultimately falls short. Score: 17-24, Louisville 6-6
There you have it.
So, Birmingham bound???