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2011 Louisville Cardinals Gambling Odds | Predictions

2011-2012 Football Previews – Big East Conference – Louisville Cardinals

It has been a quiet postseason party scene in Louisville, Kentucky since 2006, when the Cardinals played Wake Forest in the Orange Bowl, and nearly appeared in the national title game.

Big East 2011-12 Football Previews: Louisville Cardinals
Coach: Charlie Strong
2010 Record: 7-6
Louisville Team Page – Players Stats – Roster – 2011 Schedule –>

Louisville Gambling Odds from Sportsbook.com to win BCS: +5000

Strong, the former defensive co-ordinator at Florida, is in his second year in trying to turn the Cards around.

It seems like he’s off to a good start, as he guided Louisville to its first winning season in four years and earned co-Big East Coach of the Year honors.

To be fair, Strong had a highly veteran group in 2010 that adapted to his scheme and tenacity in a hurry. It may be tougher sledding this season after losing 25 seniors.

Strong’s staff has brought in some decent recruits, but it takes a season or two usually to work these youngsters into the mix.

Team Strengths

Louisville has a strong back seven with bright stars like safeties Shenard Holton and Hakeem Smith. Smith was an outstanding freshman for Strong’s defense in ’10, only leading the team in tackles as a fresh-faced frosh. Linebacker Dexter Heyman also bolsters the back seven and gives the Cardinals plenty of dexterity on “D”.

The offense will be spurred by a pair of skill players in the namesake of RB Victor Anderson and WR Josh Bellamy. Senior TE Josh Chichester is also an intriguing player; the former wideout is 6”8, 240 lbs with a downright basketball player skill-set.

There will be a lot of youth on offense so if there is to be any reliable productivity, it must come from these three players.

Team Weaknesses

To re-iterate, the Cardinals are inexperienced on offense. Talented but untested freshman QB Teddy Bridgewater should start, and the Cardinals will lean on underclassmen in the receiver corps and also on the offensive line. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

Bridgewater presents a dynamic dual threat, but these types of players also often are mistake prone when making reads and throwing the ball.

Louisville also breaks in two new starting CBs in junior Darius Ashley and senior Preston Pace. The loss of Johnny Patrick, a first-team all-conference CB last year and a draft pick of the New Orleans Saints, should obviously hurt.

2011-12 Louisville Football Prediction: 5-7

Strong clearly made a good impression on the Louisville brain-trust with his good results in 2010, but this is more of a rebuilding team and perhaps ought to have modest expectations. It’s not that the Cards are void of talent; the new coaching staff has done a good job of bringing in touted freshmen that should contribute sooner rather than later.

But you don’t lose 25 seniors without feeling the sting on your team’s overall performance.

Strong built a reputation on developing aggressive defenses for the Florida Gators and he seems to be adding to his resume with his Louisville efforts thus far. But sometimes a coach just has to take a few lumps while the new crop of players are being worked in; 2011 looks like one of those years.

It would be fairly surprising to see Louisville in a bowl game this season.

2011 Louisville Cardinals Schedule

9/1/11 6:00 PM ET MURST
9/9/11 8:00 PM ET FLINT
9/17/11 12:00 PM ET @KENTY
10/1/11 12:00 PM ET MARSH
10/8/11 12:00 PM ET @NCAR
10/15/11 12:00 PM ET @CIN
10/21/11 8:00 PM ET RUTG
10/29/11 12:00 PM ET SYR
11/5/11 12:00 PM ET @WVIRG
11/12/11 12:00 PM ET PITT
11/19/11 12:00 PM ET @CONN
11/25/11 12:00 PM ET @SOFLA

Click here to check out MORE 2011 college football previews for the 2011-2012 NCAA Football Season!

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