There will be plenty of predictions made from now up until the 2014 football season finally starts. As I always say with these, they don’t mean much, but they’re fun to discuss. And also it is interesting to see how national writers view the Cardinals heading into the ACC. I am waiting until kickoff gets closer to make a game-by-game prediction for the Cards this season. But Greg Wallace from bleacherreport.com has predicted the win-loss record for every new college football head coach in 2014.
In this article, Wallace predicts that Bobby Petrino will guide the Louisville Cardinals to an 8-4 record in their inaugural season in the ACC. Here is what he says about Petrino and the Cards:
Bobby Petrino hopes the second verse is as good as the first in Louisville. The nomadic sideline general had an amazing run as the Cardinals’ head coach from 2003-06, piling up a 41-9 record with an 11-win season and a 12-win season capped by an Orange Bowl win and a pair of top-10 finishes. Following controversial exits from the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and Arkansas, Petrino rehabbed his image last fall with Western Kentucky, leading the Hilltoppers to an 8-4 record.
Charlie Strong jumped to Texas after leading the Cardinals to a 23-3 record over the last two seasons but left some talent in the cupboard. Sophomore Will Gardner emerged as the starting quarterback in spring practice, replacing NFL first-round pick Teddy Bridgewater, one of the Cardinals’ all-time greats. He’ll be surrounded by talent like star wideout DeVante Parker and starting tailback Dominique Brown, as well as three starting offensive linemen.
Defense is a major question for the Cardinals, who return just four starters from the nation’s No. 1 total defense (251.5 yards per game) and No. 2 scoring defense (12.2 points per game) and will shift from a 4-3 to a 3-4 system under new defensive coordinator Todd Grantham. Senior defensive end Lorenzo Mauldin will be a major threat on the edge. Moving to the ACC will be a big challenge: Louisville opens by hosting Miami and travels to Clemson and Notre Dame while also hosting Florida State for a Thursday night game. Don’t expect a 10-win season, but Louisville shouldn’t slip significantly.