BOZICH | College Football Notebook: Early, early U of L vs. UK l - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | College Football Notebook: Early, early U of L vs. UK line -- Wildcats by 1

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Kentucky by one.

Believe it or not, the Wildcats and the University of Louisville are not scheduled to play football for six months, but I've already uncovered a point spread for the rivalry game:

Kentucky by one.

Chris Andrews, a former oddsmaker who now works at AgainstTheNumber.com, shared some of his pre-season work with me Saturday, including his pre-season SEC E-magazine. (You can read his work at AgainstTheNumber.com.)

I went directly to the Kentucky preview. Andrews has calculated preliminary lines for all 12 Kentucky games. He's got the Wildcats by one over the Cardinals (with a 53 percent win probability) for a game that will be played in Commonwealth Stadium Nov. 28.

Louisville has won four straight over Kentucky, but the Cards had to scramble to beat the Wildcats, 44-40, in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Louisville was favored by 13 ½ in that game.

Overall, Andrews predicts that Kentucky will also be favored against Louisiana, Eastern Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Charlotte. Although he lists Kentucky as the underdog in the Wildcats' seven other games, Andrew projects 5.9 victories for UK this season.

Andrews lists Kentucky as double-figure underdogs in four games – South Carolina (by 11), Auburn (11.5), Mississippi State (11.5) and Georgia (18.5). Auburn is the only game in that group that will be played in Commonwealth Stadium.

*Game-by-game predictions were not available for other local schools. The only E-magazines that Andrews has ready are from the Southeastern and American Athletic Conferences.

*Andrews also shared his power ratings for all 128 FBS teams. This is where he ranks the four local teams:

*Louisville – tied for 36th nationally with Boise State. The Cards rank behind Florida State (8th), Clemson (23rd), Georgia Tech (26th), Virginia Tech (28th) and North Carolina (34th) in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Kentucky climbs to 43rd nationally, but the Wildcats are ranked ahead of only one Southeastern Conference team – Vanderbilt.

Indiana is ranked 66th nationally, five spots behind Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers visit Memorial Stadium in Bloomington on Sept. 19. IU is ranked ahead of Rutgers, Maryland, Purdue and Illinois in the Big Ten.

What are Andrews top four teams, the group that translates into the four playoff teams?

Ohio State, Alabama and TCU are the top three. Oregon, UCLA and Auburn are tied for fourth.

The bottom four? SMU, Eastern Michigan, Charlotte and Georgia State.

*Andrews also lists Auburn as the pick over Louisville by 12 ½ points in the season opener the teams are scheduled to play in Atlanta Sept. 5.

*I also looked at another E-magazine – Dave Bartoo's College Football Matrix.

I'll share several nuggets from his work. He calculated projected win totals for teams in the power-five conferences on a sliding slide.

The most likely numbers for Louisville – a slide back to 7 victories or a gain of one win to 10. He assigns a 22.1 percent probability to those numbers.

For Kentucky? The Wildcats have an 18.5 percent probability to jump from five wins to seven.

And Indiana? He gives the Hoosiers a 17.8 percent probability to improve to five wins, which still would not put Kevin Wilson's team in a bowl.

*Howard Schnellenberger dislikes the high-tempo offense. He loves the one-back sets that he popularized with the Miami Hurricanes and Louisville Cardinals, attacks that featured the tight end and a solid blend of run/pass.

Schnellenberger, who turned 81 in March, said that the high-tempo offenses have become too predictable. “It's fine to go fast, but you don't want to go fast all the time,” Schnellenberger said. “You want to mix it up.”

Which coach does the best job of running Schnellenberger's signature attack?

One of his former pupils – Western Kentucky coach Jeff Brohm, who played quarterback for him at U of L and then coached for him at Florida Atlantic.

“He's one of the rising stars in the game,” Schnellenberger said. “He's done a great job and he's going to do any better.

Schnellenberger was in Louisville last week for another signing of his book: “Passing The Torch: Building Winning Football Programs … With a Dose of Swagger Along the Way.”

Schnellenberger said the book has sold more than 10,000 copies and is in its third printing.

*What is the best college football job in America?

I've heard all the arguments and been involved in several debates. Alabama always makes the cut for the top five. It's difficult to dismiss Florida, regardless of how difficult Will Muschamp made it look. Urban Meyer won at Florida – and appears primed to win just as big at Ohio State. Call me Old School, but Notre Dame belongs on the list.

The folks at LostLetterman tackled the subject last week. The results may or may not be what Charlie Strong wanted to hear because the winner was Texas.

That's great for prestige, but Strong has never been one to embrace expectations. If people think you've got the best job in America, it won't be long until they wonder when you're going to add a national championship to your resume.

What were Lost Letterman's Top Five?

Nothing outrageous in the group. Texas, followed by Alabama, followed by Ohio State, followed by Florida, followed by Notre Dame.

No local schools made the list.

The most surprising picks in Lost Letterman's Top 25?

Texas A&M at No. 12. I know the Aggies have had a solid run recently, but I don't remember them being a legit threat to win a national title. Top 20, sure. Top 12, no, sir. Not better than Oklahoma (14) or Penn State (16).

I was also surprised to find Missouri at 24th, ahead of Stanford, TCU and Indiana. Sorry. Couldn't resist the reminder that the Hoosiers went into Columbia last season and defeated the SEC East champions.

*After playing quarterback at the University of Illinois for four seasons, Nathan Scheelhaase moved to Louisville to work in the Next Generation Ministry at Southeast Christian Church in April 2014

Now after more than a year here, Scheelhaase is headed back to his alma mater. He accepted a job as the assistant director of football operations. Scheelhaase was a superb player for the Illini, passing for more than 8,000 yards and running for more than 2,000.

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