WDRB Sports staff season predictions for Louisville football - WDRB 41 Louisville News

WDRB Sports staff season predictions for Louisville football

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By WDRB Sports Staff

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – This isn’t the Miami Hurricanes with a freshman quarterback that the University of Louisville will open against Saturday in Atlanta.

It’s certainly not Ohio University (once), Kentucky (five times), Murray State (twice) or Indiana State (once), to name the other programs the Cardinals have kicked off against in the previous 10 seasons.

It’s Auburn.

Bo Jackson University. A perennial Southeastern Conference heavyweight.

A team ranked sixth in the nation in the Associated Press writers’ poll and seventh in the USA Today coaches’ poll.

The Tigers are also ranked second by Sports Illustrated, which has two writers working for its web site who have picked the Tigers to win the national championship in this story. The Tigers remain favored by 10-1/2 on Saturday.

According to the U of L football media guide, the game will be the first time the Cardinals have opened a season against a ranked opponent since 1992.

That was the year Howard Schnellenberger and Jeff Brohm danced into Ohio State and went for a two-point conversion after their final score.

The Cards failed – and lost to the Buckeyes, ranked 17th, 20-19. Louisville lost the game but gained considerable credibility.

Enough history. Kickoff is almost here. It’s time for the season predictions by the WDRB Sports staff. I’ve also assembled the forecasts from national media outlets – and attached a poll so readers can express their opinions.

The web site Stassen.com has assembled the pre-season forecast from 19 publications and websites. The consensus ranking for the Cardinals is 33rd.

They are ranked in the top 25 by ESPN.com, Harris and PickSix.com, which has U of L 19th.

Let’s get to the staff predictions.

ERIC CRAWFORD: 8-4. Cards pick up steam after a few early stumbles.

TOM LANE: 8-4. Cards keep rotating quarterbacks but find their stride around mid-season.

JOHN LEWIS: 8-4. U of L may be a mystery team, but the coaching staff will find a formula on both sides of the ball that will end with eight regular-season wins and a post-season berth.

MIKE LACETT: 6-6. Slow start, tough schedule will hinder the Cards this year.

RICK BOZICH: 8-4. Don’t worry about the starting quarterback. Worry about the guys who start and finish on the offensive line.

WDRB SPORTS CONSENSUS: 8-4.

PHIL STEELE COLLEGE FOOTBALL YEARBOOK: Cards ranked 37th in his power poll, but third (behind Florida State and Clemson) in the Atlantic Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

ATHLON SPORTS: Ranked 38th in the nation, third in the ACC Atlantic behind Florida State and Clemson.

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED: Third in the ACC Atlantic, behind Florida State and Clemson.

ESPN MAGAZINE: Cards ranked 44th in the ESPN Power Index, but fourth in the ACC Atlantic, behind Clemson, Florida State and North Carolina State. Given 10.2 percent to win the division.

SPORTING NEWS: Third in the ACC Atlantic, behind Florida State and Clemson.

AGAINST THE NUMBER: Cards ranked tied for 35th with Boise State in power rankings created by Chris Andrews. His numbers forecast 7.2 wins for Louisville.

SAGARIN RATINGS: Ranked 35th in Sagarin’s pre-season computer formula. According to Sagarin, Louisville should be an 8.7-point underdog against Auburn Saturday.

Copyright 2015 WDRB News. All Rights Reserved.

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