WDRB Sports Staff season football picks for U of L, UK, IU, WKU
The WDRB Sports staff has checked the numbers and schedules -- and filed season predictions for the Louisville, Kentucky, Indiana and Western Kentucky football teams in 2014.
Wednesday, August 27th 2014, 12:36 PM EDT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – It's go time. All four local FBS programs open their 2014 college football seasons this weekend – and all four will play at home, starting with Bowling Green at Western Kentucky Friday night.
Rule Number One: The four teams can't start until the five members of WDRB's sports team file their season predictions. Here they are:
Tom Lane: 9-3. Cards need to stay healthy, and the early injury to (receiver DeVante) Parker is not a great start.
John Lewis: 8-4. New conference, new (sort of) coach and new QB makes for a relatively difficult transition, but Bobby Ball will make for an exciting 8-win season.
Mike Lacett: 7-5. The ACC is going to be tougher for Louisville, plus there are a lot of new faces.
Eric Crawford: 8-4. This team has a chance to win more, but injury concerns leave me on the cautious side.
Rick Bozich: 8-4. Upgraded ACC schedule and only six home games will make life trickier for Cardinals, especially with no guarantees of having the nation's second-best defense again.
Tom Lane: 4-8. Cats make strides and get an SEC win. Still a ways to go.
John Lewis: 4-8. Year 2 will see (coach Mark) Stoops double his win total from his inaugural season, including his first conference win thanks to a decent offensive attack.
Mike Lacett: 4-8. Kentucky is heading in the right direction. They're just not at the destination yet.
Eric Crawford: 4-8. The Wildcats should get off to a decent start and their schedule sets up well, but can they take advantage?
Rick Bozich: 4-8. Remember where you read this first: The Wildcats will beat Vanderbilt. The Wildcats will beat Vanderbilt. The Wildcats will beat Vanderbilt.
Tom Lane: 6-6. Hoosiers get closer under Kevin Wilson but still need to shore up defense.
John Lewis: 5-7. The duo of quarterback Nate Sudfeld and halfback Tevin Coleman will provide offensive fireworks but the question is how new defensive coordinator Brian Knorr will light the fuse on that brutal defense from 2013.
Mike Lacett: 5-7. I would say 6 and 6 -- except I think IU will lose on the road to a hungry Bowling Green Falcons team.
Eric Crawford: 6-6. The Hoosiers get back to bowl eligibility -- but winning at Bowling Green in Week 2 is a key.
Rick Bozich: 6-6. The Hoosiers still have one of the best offenses in the Big Ten – and that's without the benefit of playing against the IU defense. Can I say 5.5 wins?
WESTERN KENTUCKY HILLTOPPERS
Tom Lane: 7-5. A winning first season for head coach Jeff Brohm as Toppers move to Conference USA.
John Lewis: 8-4. Hilltoppers are road warriors in their first season in Conference USA and will prove their mettle under tough-minded coach Jeff Brohm.
Mike Lacett: 7-5. New conference and tough schedule is a bad combo. Still, it's a team going in the right direction.
Eric Crawford: 6-6. This is an optimistic pick here, but if the Hilltoppers can win a couple of non-conference games, they can do it
Rick Bozich: 7-5. The Toppers have to survive that killer opening stretch of Bowling Green, Illinois, Middle Tennessee and Navy. Hold on. That's brutal. Better make that 6-6.
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