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Schedule and Odds
Louisville doesn't really come across as one of the best teams in the country, but looking at all of the important factors, they are a team that could go undefeated. Coming off a Sugar Bowl win over Florida, everything is aligning for the Cardinals in 2013. Sure, it helps when your non-conference schedule is weak, the Big East (now American Athletic Conference) is depleted and you return all of your important players. Nevertheless, it's the Cardinals last season in this conference and they plan on going out on top.
Teddy Bridgewater is back and he's still only a junior. After throwing for 3,718 yards, 27 TDs and eight INTs in 2012, his numbers will likely go up as most of his supporting cast remains intact with his top four receivers returning. The one player missing is running back Jeremy Wright. RB Senorise Perry is coming off an ACL tear, but he should be on the field early in the season. Not to mention the Cardinals also transferred in a couple guys that can help at both positions. The offensive line is a bit worrisome at this point as they're losing their top two guys at center and tackle.
Defensively, Louisville should be able to contain most offenses they play this season. They're returning nine starters from a group that allowed 24 points per game last year. Their only significant loss comes at cornerback and the AAC isn't really a pass-first conference. There's no reason why this group of players can't improve from last season.
2013 Louisville College Football Schedule
Aug. 31 vs. Ohio
Sept. 7 vs. Eastern Kentucky
Sept. 14 at Kentucky
Sept. 21 vs. Florida International
Oct. 5 at Temple
Oct. 10 vs. Rutgers
Oct. 18 vs. UCF
Oct. 26 at South Florida
Nov. 8 at Connecticut
Nov. 16 vs. Houston
Nov. 23 vs. Memphis
Dec. 5 at Cincinnati
Louisville's toughest out-of-conference game will either be against Ohio or at Kentucky. Basically, they should be 4-0 when conference play begins. They'll start on the road at Temple and have back-to-back home games against Rutgers and UCF who should be two of their tougher opponents this year. Out of all the newcomers, UCF is probably the only one that can fight for the AAC title. They are coming off a 10-win season out of C-USA with their worst loss of the year coming at Ohio State, 31-16.
The road game at Connecticut should be interesting considering the Huskies actually beat Louisville last year in three OTs. It was a surprising loss for the Cardinals as they just needed to win that game and they would have won the Big East before their final game. To close out the season, Louisville has to travel to Cincinnati led by new head coach Tommy Tuberville. This game could end up determining the AAC and maybe even whether or not Louisville finishes undefeated.
With a good portion of their team returning and Bridgewater at the helm, another successful season should be expected from the Cardinals. Head coach Charlie Strong didn't return to have just a mediocre year. 11 wins is a good benchmark for this team, but they definitely have what it takes to get to 12.
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