Louisville has six bowl teams on its 2014 football schedule.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The primary skepticism that surrounds the University of Louisville football team begins with the absence of Theodore Bridgewater.
How do you set an over/under for the Cardinals’ 2014 win total with a quarterback (Will Gardner) who has completed eight passes in his college career?
No matter what NFL teams thought of Bridgewater, college football fans knew that when Number 5 was on the field Louisville was in contention to win, 23 times over the last two seasons.
Now Bridgewater will play for the Minnesota Vikings. As projections percolate around the 2014 team, you wonder how many games Louisville will be predicted to win considering the loss of Bridgewater – and so many critical faces on defense.
When looking at Louisville, here is another nugget to remember:
Nine of the Cardinals’ 12 opponents are also likely to be starting new quarterbacks, a string of guys who have yet to prove they can throw a football with accuracy from Point A to Point B with an angry tackler in pursuit.
Louisville will play two teams with quarterbacks who will cause unrelenting problems – Jameis Winston of Florida State, the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner and Everett Golson, who led Notre Dame to the BCS championship game in January 2013 before missing last season with a suspension. They’re Top 10 guys.
After that, there is a lot of blah and uncertainty out there.
That begins with Miami in the season opener here on Sept. 1. The Hurricanes have only one guy who has completed a college pass. His name is Gray Crow – and he is not expected to be the Miami starter.
In game three, Louisville visits Virginia for the Cards’ first ACC road game. Last week Cavaliers’ coach Mike London announced his starting quarterback. His name is Greyson Lambert. He is a redshirt sophomore. He completed 44 percent of his 75 passes last season. He averaged 4.5 yards per passing attempt. That is definitely blah material.
And so it goes with many of the Cardinals’ opponents. Will Gardner is unproven, but so are most of the quarterbacks that Louisville will defend.
So I’ll put the Over/Under on Louisville’s 2014 victories at 8 1/2.
SNAPSHOT LOOK AT U OF L’S 2014 OPPONENTS
COMBINED 2013 RECORD: 71-75.
OPPONENTS’ 2013 BOWL APPEARANCES: 6 -- Miami lost Russell Athletic Bowl to Louisville; Syracuse beat Minnesota in Texas Bowl; Clemson beat Ohio State in Orange Bowl; Florida State beat Auburn in BCS Championship Game; Boston College lost to Arizona in AdvoCare V100 Bowl; Notre Dame beat Rutgers in Pinstripe Bowl.
OPPONENTS RANKED IN PHIL STEELE’S PROJECTED AP TOP 25: Florida State (Number One); Notre Dame (15); Clemson (16);
NEW COACHES: Dave Clawson, Wake Forest (from Bowling Green).
TOP RETURNING QUARTERBACKS: Jameis Winston, Florida State; Terrel Hunt, Syracuse; Everett Golson, Notre Dame (back from one-year suspension).
NEW QUARTERBACKS: Greg Olson, Miami, replacing Stephen Morris; Greyson Lambert, Virginia, replacing David Watford; Josh Bordner, Boston College, replacing Chase Rettig; Tyler Cameron, Wake Forest, replacing Tanner Price; Cole Stoudt, Clemson, replacing Tajh Boyd; Jacoby Brissett, N.C. State, replacing Brandon Mitchell; Patrick Towles, Kentucky, replacing Jalen Whitlow; Alex McGough, FIU, replacing Jake Medlock; C.J. Bennett, Murray State, replaces Maikhail Miller.