BOZICH | Street & Smith harsh in U of L, UK, IU, WKU football predictions
The Street & Smith college football yearbook includes plenty of bulletin board material for Louisville, Kentucky, Indiana and Western Kentucky.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- When the local college football coaching staffs search for bulletin board material to play the No Respect card for the 2018 season, this is the best investment they can make:
Spend $8.99 for the Street & Smith College Football Yearbook.
It's guaranteed to produce more grumbling than the price of a bottle of water at the Kentucky Derby.
Consider these forecasts:
*Fifth place in the Atlantic Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference for the University of Louisville, where the Cardinals are projected to finish behind North Carolina State and Boston College as well as Clemson and Florida State.
The Cardinals were named the Program on the Wane in the ACC, with the magazine delivering this synopsis:
"The Cardinals shouldn't fall too much without Lamar Jackson, but some of that is a function of only going 8-5 last year. Unlike the last two seasons, contention for a conference title doesn't seem likely in the preseason.
The best praise for the Cardinals was recognition for Jaylen Smith as an ACC first-team receiver. The Cards recruiting class was ranked seventh in the ACC.
*Sixth place (ahead of Vanderbilt) for Kentucky in the East Division of the Southeastern Conference. (Tennessee is fourth -- and the Volunteers were dreadful before they turned their coaching change into a circus last fall. Missouri is fifth.)
That's a tough projection for a UK squad that Street & Smith's says will have three first-team SEC players -- halfback Benny Snell; linebacker Josh Allen and safety Mike Edwards.
What will be the issue for the Wildcats?
This is what the magazine projects: "The Wildcats return enough talent on both sides of the ball to be a factor in the East -- behind Georgia, of course. But that doesn't mean there aren't several areas that need improvement or players to step in and perform immediately."
*Last place (behind Maryland and Rutgers) for Indiana in the Big Ten East. With Ohio State (No. 3), Michigan (No. 9), Penn State (No. 10) and Michigan State (No. 11) all ranked in the nation's top 11, the Hoosiers will face their usual daunting schedule.
This was the IU outlook: "The sheer amount (of) players Indiana is tasked with replacing, particularly on defense, is just too much for this Hoosiers' team to mount a challenge in a division as stacked as the Big Ten East. Contending in this division in this year requires a roster full of top-flight talent, and Indiana simply doesn't not have enough of it."
No Indiana players were selected all Big Ten, although the Hoosiers' recruiting class was ranked ahead of four league teams.
*Fifth place (ahead of only Old Dominion and Charlotte) in the East Division of Conference USA for Western Kentucky. No WKU players were named first-team all CUSA.
The WKU preview begins with these two sentences: "Mike Sanford probably knew that filling the coaching shoes of Jeff Brohm would be hard. But who knew it would be this difficult?"
The Hilltoppers' recruiting class was ranked No. 5 in the league.
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