Let’s take a closer look at the future odds for this program to win the 2015 college football championship game, as it transitions from the AAC to the ACC.
Back to Being a Long Shot
Louisville missed out on an opportunity to make some major noise a season ago, but it’s important to point out that the team ended up having three players selected in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft.
The Cardinals also said goodbye to head coach Charlie Strong, who landed one of the premier jobs in the country at the University of Texas.
All of these factors led college football oddsmakers to establish the program at betting odds of +31408 to win the national title.
Don’t Write Them Off
One of the best offensive minds in football is returning home, as the school welcomes back Bobby Petrino, who compiled a remarkable 41-9 record in four seasons in his first go around at Louisville.
Petrino accepted a job with the Atlanta Falcons after leading the Cardinals to a 12-1 record in 2006, but returned to the collegiate level at Arkansas just two years later. He was fired from that job in 2012 and landed back on his feet at Western Kentucky last season.
The Cardinals’ offense will have a new look under center this season, as they’ll be replacing three-year starter Teddy Bridgewater, who was selected by the Minnesota Vikings last month.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Will Gardner is the early favorite to land that role—after throwing for 542 yards and four touchdowns in the program’s spring game.
Sports bettors shouldn’t be blinded by those gaudy numbers when breaking down this team early on, as he was just a three-star prospect coming out of Coffee High School in Georgia.
A Petrino-led offense is going to score points, but I’m not high on this team on the defensive end, as it needs to replace one of the top safety duos in the country and three starters on the defensive line.
Louisville was known for its physical play on defense during Strong’s watch—something that’ll likely be missing in its first season as a member of the ACC.
A Step Up in Class
The Cardinals are certainly taking a step up in class by switching conferences, but the opponents on its 2014 regular-season schedule went a combined 69-70 during the 2013 campaign.
Louisville will be tested out of the gate in hosting the Miami Hurricanes, while it also welcomes in the defensing Super Bowl champion Florida State Seminoles on Oct. 30.