Athlon thinks they might be….. In a nice piece today from Steven Lassan of Athlon Sports, he details the possibility of Louisville being one of the surprise teams capable of making a run at the Big East title. While this sort of enthusiasm might be a year premature, I don’t think there’s any question this team is better than 5-7 or 7th place, as many pre-season publications have predicted. If the offensive line and QB positions take care of themselves, then Louisville might have a realistic shot of finishing in the top-3. The lack of senior leadership and a proven reliable secondary are also concerns, but this team has a new will to win and is loaded with young talent.
Could the 2011 Cardinals overachieve and surpass expectations? Here’s a quick excerpt:
3. Despite losing Bilal Powell, Louisville should remain one of the top rushing teams in the Big East. Senior Victor Anderson rushed for 1,047 yards and eight scores as a freshman in 2008 and has 759 yards over the last two years. Jeremy Wright had a solid debut last year, rushing for 327 yards and four scores. Although neither is likely to match Powell’s 229 carries, the combination of Anderson/Wright should be just as effective.
4. Although this has been mentioned many times, it’s worth repeating again – the Big East is one of the most difficult conferences to predict. West Virginia looks like the team to beat, but there’s no guarantee the Mountaineers will have a smooth transition to new coach Dana Holgorsen. South Florida, Pittsburgh and Syracuse are just behind the Mountaineers, but each has question marks. Louisville has been picked near the bottom of the Big East, but considering the overall uncertainty, the Cardinals have just as good of a shot as anyone as finishing near the top.