With much appreciation to gocardsguy, he has inspired a new way for me to look at and evaluate the games as far as picking with or against the spread. After reading his various 10 days entries, I thought that assigning a number of points for each area would be a good way to look at it. Each area can swing 2 points in favor of one team or the other. For example, Louisville can be +2 points for a certain area, +1 point, Even, -1 point, or -2 points. There is a total of 20 points that can be gained or lost on this spread chart, two points in each of the 10 sections. These sections could be looked at and incorporated for each team we face, and to decide how we fare against the other team and how much we should win (or lose, no... win) by. Below is how much better or worse we should fare against the other team this weekend.
- Offensive Line Play -- The CARDS will be much more improved with a year under their belts while UK will be shaky with constant blitzes and may be overpowered in this one. Their saving grace is Matt Smith, but to me, it is still clearly advantage Louisville. +2
- Kentucky's Run Game -- If Josh Clemons were still the starter, it may be a little closer on this one, but with one of the better defensive front 7's from last year, it will be interesting to see if the other guys have trouble breaking the 100 yard mark again this year. +2
- Special Teams -- This is of course an area of concern for most CARDS fans. With first year kickers, it will be interesting to see how we fare. On the flip side, our devensive special teams should and could again come up with some big plays but still, I'll give the advantage on this one to the other guys. -2
- Impact of "New" Players -- This is the area they have to step up in and take some points away from the CARDS in. Players becoming play makers will be a big step for guys like Gaines and "BAM" Brown. If guys on the other side of the ball like Collins can get into space, this could be big. Even though they have more "New" players, look for a few more plays to be made by the "New" guys in Red. +1
- Coaching -- The coaches in Louisville have some of the best things going nationally. If we can keep this group together for a couple years, they may want to stay forver. the Charlie Strong X-press (CSX -- Train. Duh.) has it rolling. I think Joker's guys may be a little overmatched in this one. +2
- Depth -- Louisville's roster is full of experience. Side note: Looking forward to next year, we only lose one guy on defense. Not just starters, but the whole damned thing! As for this year, we still return a lot of experience, and with them looking to replace guys like Trevathan and losing a bunch of starters over the last few months due to various reasons in the defensive backfield they could be thin in a lot of areas. They may be tired at the end of the 3rd quarter +2
- Defensive Pressure -- Look for the CARDS to get after it early and get after often. The Blitz packages Bedford will throw at the young qb should keep him and their O-Line guessing. (Blitzing as soon as they get off the bus.) I expect our O-Line to have a little trouble with a few plays from them, but I do know that Louisvlle's O-Line practice against their own crazy blitz packages. If they can handle that, they should be able to handle the defensive pressure thrown at them Sunday. +2
- Expectations -- Expectations should not play too much into this game. Should not. not saying they won't. Most people have the CARDS favored. The last time our guys could have been this confident prior to a game would have been the last time Call of Duty came out. Luckily, we have a while until the next Call of Duty is released. The other guys however, have never had their expectations so low. If they come out and hit some big plays, you never know. Still, advantage goes to the CARDS. +1
- Position Edges -- It was obvious from earlier todays post, that we should be better than them in just about every position. We are lacking experience in the Special teams department (which I already gave up two points for). The CARDS look to be the dominant team on the field as far as talent goes. A lot of the time, they say talent beats skill, but Louisville seems to have an edge in both. +2
- ????? -- Obviously I dont yet know what tomorrow's final area will be, but we will find out tomorrow. Stay tuned.
So, at this point, I see Louisville as a +12 Point Favorite. These areas do add up and could truly turn into points on the field. If I were a betting man, it would be a toss up, but depending on tomorrows topic, assuming it is an area we are at least 1.5 or 2 points better than the other school in, I would take Louisville against the spread if it is still sitting at 13. What do you guys think?
I cannot wait until Sunday! It is almost here! Go CARDS!!! If I see you guys, I'll be the guy wearing the Anthony Conner jersey in section 215! See you guys there!