BOZICH | Who is best area football team: U of L, UK, IU or WKU? - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | Who is best area football team: U of L, UK, IU or WKU?

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Which local college football team is the best this season? Which local college football team is the best this season?

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The best college football team in the Kentuckiana area is Louisville.

Better than Kentucky. Better than Indiana. Better than Western Kentucky.

Why do I say that?

The TrueSkill Computer rankings have Bobby Petrino’s team ranked 10th in the nation, ahead of Florida, Notre Dame, Louisiana State as well as UK, WKU and IU.

Hold your applause.

There are at least 92 college football computer ranking systems. Another formula, by Ken Stromness, places Bobby Petrino’s team several spots below 10th.

Like 81 spots below. The Stromness formula ranks the Cards 91st in America.

Such is the joy of computer rankings. You can find almost anything you want to find, starting with a reason to celebrate the news that computer rankings are no longer the driving force in college football’s post-season formula.

Is Kentucky the strongest local team? I checked the 92 composite rankings at Massey.com. The Wildcats were ranked as high as 11th in the nation and as low as 89th.

Indiana, after the Hoosiers’ near miss against Ohio State? IU’s best number was 21. Their worst was 79.

Jeff Brohm’s Western Kentucky team?

Nutshell Sports and The Girl (I don’t create the names, folks) placed the Hilltoppers 18th, ahead of unbeaten Florida, unbeaten Northwestern and unbeaten Florida State.

Massey also listed two formulas that place Western Kentucky 64th.

Plenty to fuss about here. You can make a case for the Cardinals, Wildcats, Hoosiers or Hilltoppers. You can also make a case against all four programs.

According to Massey’s composite numbers, the teams should be ranked this way: Western Kentucky No. 40, Kentucky 43rd, Indiana 46th and Louisville 48th.

I’ll let you decide. Here are credentials for each team:

Western Kentucky (4-1, 40th in composite rankings)

Number of Computer Polls That Rank WKU Area’s Best: 20 of 92 (22 percent).

Calling Card: The Hilltoppers are averaging 404 yards per game passing the football. Only Texas Tech and Bowling Green are more dangerous in that category.

Big Question: WKU gives up yardage. Lots of yardage. Too much yardage. More than 443 yards per game. Unless that improves, the Hilltoppers are at risk of getting burned.

Best Win: 41-38 over Louisiana Tech

Chance For Liftoff: If WKU can handle conference games against Middle Tennessee (Saturday at home) and North Texas (on the road Thursday), the Hilltoppers will be positioned to carry a 6-1 record into Baton Rouge when they play Louisiana State Oct. 24.

Kentucky (4-1, 43rd in composite rankings)

Number of Computer Polls that Rank UK Area’s Best: 29 of 92 (32 percent).

Calling Card: The Wildcats have been terrific in the red zone, on offense as well as defense. Kentucky has scored on all 15 trips inside the opponents’ 20, highlighted by 11 touchdowns. They are one of six teams perfect in that category. The Mark Stoops’ defense ranks 22nd in the red zone.

Big Question: Running the football. UK is averaging only 135 yards per game rushing, 106th in the nation.

Best Win: 21-13 over Missouri.

Chance For Liftoff: On Thursday night, the Wildcats have an opportunity to defeat Auburn in Lexington for the first time since 1966. Auburn is not the Auburn everybody expected in August. But Auburn is still Bo Jackson University.

Indiana (4-1, 46th in composite rankings)

Number of Polls That Rank IU Area’s Best: 15 of 92 (16 percent).

Calling Card: Offensive balance. The Hoosiers are averaging 224 yards rushing and nearly 274 yards passing per game.

Big Question: Getting well. Quarterback Nate Sudfeld and halfback Jordan Howard were scheduled to make the trip with the Hoosiers to Penn State but it’s uncertain if they will play against the Nittany Lions Saturday.

Best Win: 38-35 over Western Kentucky.

Chance For Liftoff: Indiana has played Penn State 18 times. IU has won once. Penn State lost to Temple this season. A victory by Kevin Wilson’s team would be noteworthy.

Louisville (2-3, 48th in composite rankings)

Number of Polls That Rank U of L Area’s Best: 28 of 92 (30 percent).

Calling Card: The Cardinals did not generate any interceptions at North Carolina State last Saturday, but they have picked nine passes in 2015, which ranks seventh in the nation.

Big Question: Bobby Petrino is still trying to ignite the U of L running game. Quarterback Lamar Jackson has rushed for 435 yards, which is more than half of U of L’s season total.

Best Win: 20-13 at North Carolina State.

Chance For Liftoff: If Louisville can win at Florida State next Saturday, the Cardinals will positioned to run off a seven-game winning streak.

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