LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville has the best win of the four local FBS football programs. Kentucky (3-0) is the sole unbeaten in the group, one of 21 unbeaten Power 5 programs.
The person who arranged Indiana’s schedule should be running the steps at Memorial Stadium at 6 every morning. Western Kentucky is passing the football better than any program in America.
Consider that the opening tease for Dr. Bo’s College Football Notebook.
*A week ago grumbles surrounded the University of Louisville football team. The Cards opened as a 9-point underdog against Central Florida. They looked improved but hardly overpowering against Eastern Kentucky. Nobody wanted to wait 25 minutes for a hot dog and soft drink.
Now Louisville heads to Florida State Saturday with a perfect opportunity to improve to 3-1 and win their opening Atlantic Coast Conference game. The Cards are 2 1/2-point road favorites.
UCF is ranked No. 36 in Jeff Sagarin’s computer power formula. Missouri, Kentucky’s best win, is ranked 47th. Neither IU nor WKU has a win as good as the UCF win.
The Seminoles lead the nation with 10 turnovers. Their fans are grumbling that coach Mike Norvell has not been an improvement on Willie Taggart. There is talk the next call will go to FSU alum Deion Sanders at Jackson State.
If FSU loses Saturday, the Seminoles will slide to 0-4 for the first time since 1974. That’s pre-Bobby Bowden.
Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers was one of the narratives surrounding the Cards before the season.
The Cards have not fixed the issue. But they have improved.
In 2020, Louisville was minus-12 in turnovers, making 24 while creating only a dozen. This season, the Cards have jumped from No. 118 to 65 in that category, making four and causing four.
You don’t need an NIL deal to understand it’s a more direct path to a winning season if you can live on the positive side of that category.
*South Carolina has a first-year coach in Shane Beamer. The Gamecocks beat Eastern Illinois, staggered past East Carolina (1-2) and then got overwhelmed in the second half at Georgia.
Kentucky has won six of its last seven against the Gamecocks. South Carolina lacks an SEC level quarterback.
Starter Zeb Noland failed to finish the Georgia game after sustaining a cut to his right hand. Although Beamer said he expected Noland to play against UK, he admitted that Noland was “struggling” with getting feeling back in his hand.
Even with Noland, South Carolina ranks 13th in the Southeastern Conference in passing offense. Noland is a sixth-year senior who was a reserve for three seasons at Iowa State and one season at North Dakota State. He’s just a guy.
The Wildcats are favored by 5 1/2 — and it’s the kind of game Kentucky must win if it aspires to an 8-win season.
*There are 130 FBS football programs. Two started the season playing a pair of teams currently ranked in the AP Top 10.
One is Kent State, which lost to No. 5 Iowa and No. 7 Texas A&M.
The other is Indiana, which lost to No. 5 Iowa and No. 8 Cincinnati.
The schedule is about to inhale the Hoosiers. Playing Western Kentucky in Bowling Green (instead of Nashville, the way Kentucky and Louisville did it) will add another layer of mystique to the IU season Saturday night.
Then, after playing the Hilltoppers, IU will face back-to-back-to-back games against Top 20 teams — at No. 6 Penn State; home with No. 20 Michigan State and home with No. 10 Ohio State.
Nobody predicted a 2-5 or 1-6 start for Tom Allen’s team.
Getting to six wins will be an issue for an IU team struggling with turnovers.
*Hat tip to WKU coach Tyson Helton. The Hilltoppers remain first in the nation in passing offense, averaging 465.5 yards per game, 18 more than runner-up Virginia.
The Hilltoppers are also the national leader in yards per passing attempt (12.0). In two games, WKU has completed 22 passes for 15 or more yards.
How does that compare to U of L, UK and IU?
Here are the 3-game totals: Kentucky 20 passes for 15 or more yards; Louisville 18 and IU only 11.
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