Season-long college football predictions in August are worthless. Let's get that out there right away. Far too little is known and far too much has yet to happen for anyone to have any real grasp on what might take place in a November tilt between a pair of teams that have yet to take the field.
And yet, we do this every year. I don't know, I guess it's fun.
In the spirit of full disclosure, here are my year-by-year prediction results, beginning in 2006.
2006: PREDICTED: 11-1; ACTUAL: 11-1
2007: PREDICTED: 11-1; ACTUAL: 6-6
2008: PREDICTED: 6-6; ACTUAL: 5-7
2009: PREDICTED: 4-8; ACTUAL: 4-8
2010: PREDICTED: 5-7; ACTUAL: 6-6
GAME ONE: vs. MURRAY STATE
I don't care how glorious Pat Forde's hair is, there is no way a Charlie Strong-coached Louisville team loses its season-opener to a visiting OVC squad. There may be some tense moments, but they won't take place in the 4th quarter.
CC Prediction: Louisville 35, Murray State 13
GAME TWO: vs. FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL
Admittedly terrified about this game. I respect our guys enough to believe that they won't be looking ahead to Kentucky, I just don't think FIU is that much worse than we are in terms of talent. I'll be very surprised if the outcome of this one isn't still in doubt at least into the latter half of the third quarter.
CC Prediction: Louisville 31, Florida International 20
GAME THREE: AT KENTUCKY
I don't have the stomach to write any more than this. Proceed with your outraged comments.
CC Prediction: Kentucky 28, Louisville 24
GAME FOUR: vs. MARSHALL
Two weeks to prepare after a crushing loss to a hated-rival and the squad does what they have to do to get us back on the train.
CC Prediction: Louisville 34, Marshall 14
GAME FIVE: AT NORTH CAROLINA
A visit to a more talented team from a power conference that probably won't be able to match us from an effort standpoint; I keep saying this one playing out almost exactly like the Oregon State game a year ago.
CC Prediction: North Carolina 31, Louisville 28
GAME SIX: AT CINCINNATI
The Bearcats have to be the biggest mystery in the conference. On one hand, they've got a wealth of offensive talent. On the other, they appear to be right in the middle of getting
Kragged Butched. Making Louisville their homecoming game and moving the game to Paul Brown Stadium were a pair of mistakes; there will be more Louisville fans in attendance than UC fans. A large part of me thinks we win this game, but I just can't pull the trigger.
CC PREDICTION: Cincinnati 34, Louisville 27
GAME SEVEN: vs. RUTGERS
The one Big East game where, at least on paper, the Cards seem to have a clear advantage. I think the Rutgers spiral back to total irrelevance continues and this game plays a part in it.
CC Prediction: Louisville 27, Rutgers 7
GAME EIGHT: vs. SYRACUSE
We're playing Syracuse in a sport.
CC Prediction: Louisville 20, Syracuse 17
GAME NINE: AT WEST VIRGINIA
Preliminary thoughts about a potential miracle run to a Big East title are dashed in Morgantown by a West Virginia team in the middle of proving it's once again the class of the conference.
CC Prediction: West Virginia 30, Louisville 13
GAME TEN: vs. PITTSBURGH
The one game we all look back at and say we should have won once the year ends.
CC Prediction: Pittsburgh 14, Louisville 10
GAME ELEVEN: AT CONNECTICUT
Forever remembered as Teddy Bridgewater's coming out party. This is the game analysts consistently point to during the summer of 2012 when claiming Louisville as their dark-horse BCS team for the season ahead.
CC Prediction: Louisville 33, Connecticut 31
GAME TWELVE: AT SOUTH FLORIDA
We're playing USF in Tampa. The young guys get a lesson in humility after a big win the week before.
CC Prediction: South Florida 27, Louisville 14
FINAL RECORD: 6-6 (3-4)
Assuming this would be enough to get us back into the postseason for a second straight year, I think you have to consider this season a success. Losing to Kentucky for a fifth straight time would obviously be a downer, but certainly not enough to seriously detract from a bowl bid and another shot at a dance contest crown.
Regardless of how assuredly off-base these predictions end up being, it's equally certain that this will be another season of "play our balls off" football, and that's more than enough to be excited about.