BOZICH | Louisville has no shot (according to recruiting gurus) - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | Louisville has no shot (according to recruiting gurus)

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Bobby Petrino will try to lead Louisville past Florida State Saturday. Bobby Petrino will try to lead Louisville past Florida State Saturday.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- If Louisville defeats Florida State on Saturday, I expect Bobby Petrino to earn A) a Gatorade shower; B) a return to 10 Best Coaches status; C) free pizza (bread sticks included) for life and D) a partridge in a pear tree.

To all those items, can I add one more?

A raise.

Stick with me. I know some people are still groaning because U of L athletic director Tom  Jurich bumped Petrino’s salary over $4 million last spring, several months after the Cardinals’ finished an 8-5 season by handling Texas A&M in the Music City Bowl.

Jimbo Fisher coaches Florida State. He makes about $5.15 million per season, his reward for winning the 2013 national title. 

Money is not the only advantage Fisher has over Petrino. If you look at the talent rankings the recruiting gurus have given players on both rosters, this game should be as much of a mismatch as a sprint between Santa Claus and Usain Bolt.

Florida State should be favored by 10 points.

Maybe two touchdowns.

Don’t believe me? Think about this: The Seminoles will have more 5-star recruits on the bench than the Cardinals will have on the field at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. You don't have to be a member of ESPN's College GameDay crew to understand the Seminoles have the guys you see at Alabama, Louisiana State, Ohio State and Notre Dame.

“They’ve got (speed) at all positions,” Petrino said. “They’ve got receivers that can really run, a tremendous running back, their defensive front has athletic guys that are really fast.

“At the linebacker spot, they always play with smaller guys that can really run. They’re a fast football team.”

Ask the recruiting gurus about speed. They can’t get enough of it.

Over the last four seasons, Fisher has recruited 11 players ranked 5-star prospects by Rivals. Only five are listed as starters Saturday

Louisville has one 5-star recruit. That’s safety Josh Harvey-Clemons, who arrived at U of L after two seasons at Georgia.

None of Louisville’s high school recruits the last four seasons have earned 5-stars. Only nine earned 4 stars.

According to Rivals, Florida State’s last four recruiting classes have ranked second (2016), third (2015), fourth (2014) and 10th (2013) in the nation. No need for a calculator. That’s an average of the nation’s fifth best classes.

During the same period, Rivals ranked the Cardinals’ classes 36th, 32nd, 36th and 41st. That’s an average of about 36th.

Florida State is supposed to be ranked in the top five. Louisville is supposed to be scratching and clawing on the outside of the Top 25.

The breakdown of the Rivals’ recruiting rankings of the 26 guys listed as offensive, defensive and special teams starters on the Seminoles and Cardinals is equally telling.

First, Florida State:

- Five 5-star players

- 14 4-star players

- Six 3-star players

- One 2-star player

Now, for Louisville:

- One 5-star player (Harvey-Clemons)

- Five 4-star players (Receiver James Quick, Quarterback Lamar Jackson and Linebackers James Hearns, Devonte Fields and Stacy Thomas)

- 13 3-star players

- Four 2-star players

- Three walk-ons

And Vegas says the Seminoles are only favored by two points?

The gap between Florida State’s athleticism, talent and depth showed itself in the second half of the last two games the Seminoles and Cardinals played.

In 2014, Louisville led 21-7 at halftime — and lost, 42-31.

In 2015, the Cardinals led 7-6 at halftime in Tallahassee — and lost, 41-21.

Fisher’s 4- and 5-stars have outscored Petrino’s 3- and 4-stars 70-24 in the second half the last two seasons.

Have the Cardinals closed the gap in speed between the programs?

“Yeah, we're getting closer, ” Petrino said, “Speed is not just your 40 time. It’s how you play the game and how much you understand about the game of football. How confident you are. You play faster when you know what you’re doing and you’re confident.

“I think we’re playing a lot faster than we were a year ago at this time.”

Saturday is supposed to be different. Saturday is supposed to be close for 60 minutes, not 30. Nobody should be surprised if Louisville wins.

Except the recruiting gurus, of course.

Copyright 2016 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved. 

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