2008 Louisville Cardinals College Football Predictions
2008 Louisville Cardinals College Football Predictions Courtesy of Alex Smart, An Expert College Football Handicapper featured on Touthouse.com. If you are betting football games this season, Buy Alex’s Football Predictions.
Louisville Cardinals (6-6, 3-4 in 2007, 5th place in Big East)
Things just seemed to fall apart at Louisville at a rapid clip in 2007. Former HC Bobby Petrino bolted for the NFL, and incoming HC Steve Kragthorpe had no success building on an offense that was supposed to be amongst the best in the nation. Departed QB Brian Brohm was supposed to be on the Heisman watch list at the start of the season, but fizzled throughout his senior campaign. A 6-6 season without a bowl game was unacceptable in 2007, but it could become a regularity unless the Cardinals have a dramatic turnaround in ’08.
2007 Highlight: With nothing to play for but the pride of finishing .500 on the season, Louisville headed into its final game against Rutgers full of spirit. They found themselves down by 18 points on three different occasions, but tied the game up with back-to-back touchdown drives in the 4th quarter. Art Carmody booted a 33-yard field goal with just 0:20 remaining to clinch the game up for the Cardinals. In Brohm’s final game as a college QB, he went just 12/22 for 237 yards, but did lead the final three scoring drives to propel the team to victory.
2007 Lowlight: In a year of bizarre upsets in college football, Louisville became the largest favorite in college football history to lose a game outright in September. The Cardinals were 37.5-point favorites against the lowly 0-3 Syracuse Orange. Brohm threw for 555 yards, but the defense surrendered 465 yards, including touchdowns of 42, 60, 79, and 93 yards. Despite a late Louisville touchdown flurry, Syracuse hung on to pull the major upset off by a 38-35 final count. If there’s a bright spot for the Cardinals, USC took their record for the biggest favorite to lose outright later in the season when they lost to Stanford as 40.5-point chalks.
Offensive Outlook: Here’s a suggestion for Kragthorpe in camp this summer: invest in name tags. The offense only returns four starters, only one of which is a skill position player. RB Brock Bolen will probably be run into the ground in 2008 behind an offensive line that returns three starters. Senior QB Hunter Cantwell did a lot of watching behind Brohm in his career, but will finally get his chance to shine.
Defensive Outlook: Name tags are necessary here too, as the Cardinals need to break in six new starters on the defensive side of the ball. The defensive line returns three from last year including DTs Adrian Grady and Earl Heyman who are two of the best in the conference. Highly touted sophomore safety Latarrius Thomas will need to play a big role in the secondary. Perhaps it’s a good thing that only half of this unit returns from last year, as the defense gave up a lofty 31.4 PPG in ‘07.
2008 Preview: Eight home games litter the Cardinals schedule, including four straight at Papa John’s Stadium to open up the season. The annual opener against Kentucky is always heated, especially since the Wildcats won the rivalry game in 2007. If it’s another “blue state” affair in ’08, Kragthorpe could be looking for a new job in a hurry. There are only three conference road games on the slate this year, and all three are winnable games (Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and Rutgers).
2008 will be a success if… the Cardinals reach a bowl game. If not, expect sweeping changes for a program that was on the verge of a National Championship just two short seasons ago.
It’s going to be a long road once again for Louisville, but just on accident, eight home games and a relatively easy road schedule should be converted into a bowl game. However, don’t expect the Cardinals to be competing for the conference crown any time in the near future.
Prediction: 6-6, 7th place in Big East