Justin Krueger: 8-4. The 2018 season is interesting, in that there is a wide array of possibilities given (A) the unknown surrounding the majority of this team, and (B) the general toughness of the 2018 slate.
Using what I know, it’s better to give Bobby Petrino the benefit of the doubt than to not. That said, 8-4 is likely what happens in 2018. Louisville will give Alabama a decent challenge to start, but Alabama’s depth and power rolls them to a 38-24 win in Orlando.
After that, Louisville’s only losses (in my honest opinion) will come against Georgia Tech, at Boston College and at Clemson. It’s possible Louisville loses to FSU and takes a tough win against Tech instead, but I think they upset the Seminoles and the short turnaround causes some frustrations against the Yellow Jackets’ triple-option offense. Boston College and Clemson stand to be Louisville’s toughest road games, and until we see BVG’s defense in-action, it’s hard to assume they will be able to contain Clemson or BC’s star running back A.J. Dillon.
Overall, I do expect a big year from the offense again, one that should reasonably put up 30+ points per game. Defense will likely see some growing pains in 2018 due to several new starters, but I think TreSean Smith and Dorian Etheridge emerge as sophomore stars for BVG’s system.
Samuel Basden: 10-2. I believe they pull off the upset of Alabama, but lose to GT on a short turnaround from the FSU game. They’ll also lose by two touchdowns to Clemson. I think the defense will be much improved with a couple of standouts (Rodjay Burns and Michael Boykin on defense). On offense, Wakefield will open some eyes on special teams and in the slot. Louisville will come close to having two receivers with over 800 yards.
Jeremy Wahman: 11-2 (counting bowl game). Jaylen Smith is my offensive standout and will have a 1,200 yard season. Micky Crum will be the breakout player on offense. Louisville will defeat Florida State again, but will struggle with Georgia Tech’s triple-option. I expect to beat Clemson or Alabama…..maybe both…Stay tuned!
Paige Sherrard: 10-3. Probably drop one to Alabama, Clemson and one team Louisville should have beat.
Mitch Motley: 9-4. My optimistic side says 10-3, but my realistic side says 9-4. So many unanswered questions on both sides of the ball, but the wide receivers are our best unit and top ten in the nation. Kemari Averett is the breakout offensive player, with Bobby Petrino finding his love for the tight end this year.
Shawn Barbour: 10-3. Louisville’s losses are to Alabama, Clemson and maybe Syracuse as that weird headscratcher.
Jeff Nunn: 9-3. Traditionally, the Vegas guys are very accurate. However, this year I believe they are factoring in the loss of Lamar Jackson a bit too heavy into their formula. I believe Louisville will have a top 5-10 offense. The question I have is on defense, mainly the defensive line. I worry about teams with strong running games. My fear is that a team can control the clock with a slow, methodical running game. (Author’s Note: Read more on Jeff’s 2018 season predictions here).