College Football News is the latest preseason publication to throw a little preseason top 25 love in the direction of the Louisville Cardinals, giving Charlie Strong's team the lofty status of being the No. 14 team in the country.
(2011 Record: 7-6, 2012 Roughly Projected Record: 10-2)
The record will be better than the team, but the team will be really, really good, too. The defense that turned into such a powerhouse last year should be even better getting all four starters back in the secondary to go along with a loaded defensive front. Thanks to rising star QB Teddy Bridgewater, the offense should be fantastic with four starters returning to the line and a nice-looking receiving corps to work with. The schedule works out almost perfectly with Kentucky and North Carolina winnable non-conference home games and the one rough stretch of three straight road games against FIU, Southern Miss, and Pitt - with two weeks off before facing the Panthers - not that bad. Cincinnati and South Florida both have to come to Louisville, but going to Rutgers on a Thursday night to end the regular season just five days after playing UConn could be the make-or-break moment for a truly special year.
CFN also has a full team preview which includes this list of the ten best players on Louisville's roster:
1. SS Hakeem Smith, Jr.
2. QB Teddy Bridgewater, Soph.
3. C Mario Benavides, Sr.
4. CB Adrian Bushell, Sr.
5. LB Preston Brown, Jr.
6. OG Jake Smith, Soph.
7. DT Roy Philon, Jr.
8. WR DeVante Parker, Soph.
9. DE Marcus Smith, Jr.
10. WR Michaelee Harris, Soph.
This can only inspire Matt Nakatani.