Earlier this week, the folks at Yahoo! Sports looked at the potential weaknesses of the top ten teams in the Associated Press preseason Top 25 poll. It should come as no surprise that they’ve tabbed Louisville’s 2013 regular season schedule as the Cards’ biggest red flag.
9) Louisville: It starts and ends with the schedule for the Cardinals, who could easily go undefeated and be left out of the BCS title game in lieu of a one-loss team from a more respected conference. (The bias will likely come less from the pollster and more from the computers, which will almost assuredly hate Charlie Strong’s crew all season.) The single year of American purgatory isn’t Louisville’s fault, but the lack of a real non-conference threat really hurts their chances to impress outside of the league. This is also a team that lost to Syracuse and Connecticut last year, so despite the fact they don’t play a team in the preseason top 35 (not a typo – thirty-five), it doesn’t mean a potential toe-stubbing isn’t there.
They return most of last year’s 11-2 squad and add Michael Dyer to the backfield, but they’ll have to fill two critical spots on the line after the departure of left tackle Alex Kupper and center Mario Benavides. The advanced metrics are also not huge fans of the Cardinals, but that’s only because they’ve never seen Teddy Bridgewater throw an out route on the move. Why do you deny yourself joy, heartless machines?
Although the schedule is a weakness, it’s not something that they can control. I wouldn’t call the offensive line a weakness, but I do think the loss of Mario Benavides and Alex Kupper is something to keep an eye on. The offensive line has talented players who have a lot of valuable experience, but the unit needs to continue to gel.<