LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — No matter how loudly they complain college football coaches and players love to be hated. It's what pushes them into the weight room before sunrise and keeps them there after their muscles begin to throb.
I'm not here to hate. I'm here to help — by sharing tidbits about the local programs I uncovered at VegasInsider.com as well as in the preseason yearbooks.
If you believe Scott Satterfield will be a miracle worker at the University of Louisville, and you’re prepared to prove your belief by investing in the Cardinals to win the national title, you can get odds of 500-to-1 at VegasInsider.
That number seems low to me, considering the mess Bobby Petrino left for Sattterfield. But it seems even lower when I share this information.
The odds on Kentucky are double at 1,000-to-1, and the number on Indiana is double that at 2,000-to-1. The Cardinals might be more formidable than Tom Allen’s third team at IU but it’s difficult for me to create a scenario where Louisville will deliver a better season than a UK program that defeated Florida, South Carolina, Penn State and U of L last season.
At 500-to-1, Louisville was placed in a pack of teams with Boise State, Boston College and Houston, while the 1,000-to-1 Wildcats were grouped with scrappers like Colorado, Duke and Maryland.
Indiana was placed in a lower-rent neighborhood with two other teams — North Carolina and Wake Forest.
There was no number for Western Kentucky.
Need more motivation?
Odds were also calculated for the Top 40 Heisman candidates. Not one guy plays for U of L, UK, IU or WKU.
There was recognition for one of Jeff Brohm’s players at Purdue — New Albany native and former Trinity star Rondale Moore. You can get odds of 50-to-1 on Moore to strike the pose.
Over/under win total projections were more difficult to find. At most sites, they are only listed for the top 25 or 30 teams. Locals do not qualify.
I’ll improvise — and solicit your opinions.
I’ll share the projected win totals from the Athlon Sports College Football Yearbook as well as my opinion on the accuracy of those numbers. I encourage you to make your cases and disagree. Here goes:
Athlon says: 4-8.
I struggle to find four wins from a team that finished last season on a nine-game losing streak and lacked a superb group of freshmen and sophomores.
Clemson, Notre Dame, Syracuse and Virginia games are all ranked in Athlon’s Top 25. The Cards get Florida State, Wake Forest, Miami, North Carolina State and Kentucky on the road.
That’s nine games Louisville is unlikely to be favored. They’ll have to beat Eastern Kentucky, Western Kentucky and Boston College and deliver an upset to get to four.
Possible. But unlikely, considering Louisville is no lock to beat WKU or BC.
Dr. Bo says: 3-9
Athlon says: 6-6.
Hey, what happened to the program that won nine regular-season games and finished second in the East Division of the Southeastern Conference at 5-3?
Mark Stoops lost a string of talented players but he has recruited well for several seasons and assembled a formidable coaching staff.
What happened is Athlon projects major improvement from Florida (preseason No. 8) and Missouri (No. 23) as well as a bit of an upgrade from South Carolina (No. 32) and Tennessee (No. 47). No reason to discuss Georgia (No. 3).
The Wildcats are scheduled for success in non-league play with Toledo, Eastern Michigan, Tennessee-Martin and U of L. To get to six the Wildcats will have to win at Mississippi State and in Lexington against sagging Arkansas.
That’s not outrageous.
Dr. Bo says: 6-6.
Athlon says: 5-7.
Picking the Hoosiers to finish 5-7 is as predictable as forecasting 12-0 for Alabama and Clemson. It happens every year.
Four losses have been automatic: Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State.
The Hoosiers should counter those struggles by defeating Ball State, Eastern Illinois and UConn.
Can they find three wins in the other five games?
They should handle Rutgers at home. Their only other home game is Northwestern, a team that typically struggles early but plays its best football in October and November. The game is Nov. 2.
Even if IU handles the Wildcats, to get to six they will have to win at one of these three places — Nebraska, Maryland or Purdue.
Dr. Bo says: 5-7 is always the safe call, especially for a team that will play four of its last six games on the road.
Athlon says: 4-8.
Instead of opening at Wisconsin this season, the Hilltoppers will welcome a Central Arkansas program that went 6-5 as an FCS program last season.
Give WKU that one. But the Hilltoppers are likely to be underdogs against Arkansas, Army, Louisville, UAB, FIU, Southern Miss and Marshall.
That translates to Tyson Helton creating ways to score enough points to win these three home games (Charlotte, FAU and Middle Tennessee) and this road game (Old Dominion).
Dr. Bo says: 4-8.
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