Tom Fornelli is a college football writer for CBSsports.com and recently listed five teams that he thinks can make serious runs to win their conference in 2015. The team that he thinks has the best shot out of his five? The Louisville Cardinals.
Is Louisville being here a reflection of how I feel about the Cardinals in 2015, or is it because of what I think about the ACC as a whole? It’s probably both. Louisville has quite a bit to replace off last year’s team (no team in the ACC has fewer returning starters), and that includes just about the entire offensive line. Yet I still feel good about the Cardinals.
The defense may have lost quite a bit, but Charlie Strong left that cupboard pretty full for Todd Grantham, and we know that a Bobby Petrino offense is going to be fine. And when you look around the ACC Atlantic, both of its traditional powers of late have question marks of their own. Florida State will be good, but how good without Jameis Winston and other key players from the past couple of years? Clemson will still be good, but how sorely will it miss offensive coordinator Chad Morris, all those departures on defense, and can DeShaun Watson stay healthy?
I don’t know the answers to those questions yet, but what I do know is that if both Florida State and Clemson take steps back in 2015, Louisville will be more than happy to pick up the slack and win the Atlantic. And given everything that goes on in the Coastal Division on an annual basis, if Louisville gets to the ACC Championship Game, you would have to like its odds.
I like it, Tom. I like it a lot.