Right now in the midst of what should be a standard mundane Monday morning you're probably wondering to yourself why the air smells a little sweeter, why not one scoop of your cereal tasted the least bit soggy, and why the person you woke up next to looked more appealing than they have in six to nine months.
At first you might it's think it's because this is the day of the fourth episode of the third season of the critically acclaimed reality series The Hills, but you'd be wrong. You might next think it's because this just happens to be the date of birth of a certain kicker-worshiping blogger who's seen Notting Hill more times than he'd care to admit, and, well, you'd be partially right because I have found that everyone tends to look more attractive on my birthday. But the main reason this Monday shakes its head at all other establishers of the work week is that this is the Monday where everyone can feel the warmth of the light at the end of the tunnel, this is the Monday where we're all just three days away from parking lot drinking and cornhole, this my friends is the Monday of the first week of college football.
With the season so close you can touch it (sure it keeps swatting your hand away and saying it has a boyfriend, but it'll come around) predictions are flying around at an unrivaled pace. So, much like my strategy when it comes to fighting, I'm jumping in at a point where things are so hectic that hopefully no one will notice me.
Honestly though, there's absolutely no reason for these predictions other than the fact that I enjoy looking back at them once the season is over. With the exception of this Thursday's game, there's a solid chance that none of these predicted scores will be the same as the ones you'll see on this blog the day of the actual games.
The last two years I've predicted two-loss regular seasons, which seems respectable on the surface, but less so when you realize that I've failed to pick one correct loss. Before I roll out the '07 predictions, here are my prophecies from a year ago, and what actually happened in bold.
Louisville 38, Kentucky 20....Louisville 59, Kentucky 28
Louisville 56, Temple 7....Louisville 62, Temple 0
Miami 35, Louisville 34....Louisville 31, Miami 7
Louisville 34, Kansas State 21....Louisville 24, Kansas State 6
Louisville 48, Middle Tennessee State 18....Louisville 44, Middle Tennessee State 17
Louisville 49, Cincinnati 10....Louisville 23, Cincinnati 17
Louisville 33, Syracuse 17....Louisville 28, Syracuse 13
Louisville 41, West Virginia 28....Louisville 44, West Virginia 34
Louisville 49, Rutgers 38....Rutgers 28, Louisville 25
Louisville 45, South Florida 13....Louisville 31, South Florida 8
Pittsburgh 24, Louisville 21....Louisville 48, Pittsburgh 24
Louisville 34, Connecticut 16....Louisville 48, Connecticut 17
In my defense, when the time came I took the Cards over the 'Canes and Panthers, but in my, uh, prosecution, the margin of victory over Rutgers had actually expanded come Nov. 9. But that was then, this is now, and this is what's going to happen (as always, with no more than a sentence explanation).
1. Louisville 66, Murray State 6
I think it's safe to say that the decision to revert back to the old clock rules won't play to the Racers' advantage.
2. Louisville 41, Middle Tennessee State 14
The defending champions of the Sun Belt, MTSU's defense will actually be a better tuneup for Kentucky than most people think.
3. Louisville 39, Kentucky 27
It's tight, then it's not tight, then the Cats make it look closer than it was.
4. Louisville 28, Syracuse 14
Reminds me a lot of last year's UC game, a combination of a lack of focus and an inferior team playing over their heads makes this one ugly for the fans.
5. Louisville 38, N.C. State 19
Andre Brown is the real deal, but Daniel Evans continues to struggle and Brohm and company light up Mike Archer one last time.
6. Louisville 31, Utah 24
Arguably the most intriguing game on the schedule considering the talented wildcards that are Utes QB Brian Johnson and JuCo transfer RB Matt Asiata.
7. Louisville 34, Cincinnati 10
I've been really excited about this UC team since Brian Kelly was hired, and I've followed the Bearcats closer this offseason than any other team in the conference, but for some reason I'm more confident when U of L plays UC at Nippert than I am when they duel at PJCS.
8. Louisville 42, Connecticut 14
Tyler Lorenzen is going to surprise some people and the Huskies are going to compete with some quality teams, but not on this day.
9. Louisville 37, Pittsburgh 17
Pat Bostick will by this time be the quarterback for the much maligned yet steadily improving fighting Wannstaches, but he and fellow freshman LaSean McCoy aren't enough to hang with a Cardinal team hitting on all cylinders.
10. Louisville 41, West Virginia 38
The November national championship talk heats up for the second year in a row as U of L out duels Dub Vee in another controversial classic.
11. South Florida 27, Louisville 22
Also for the second year in a row, the dream dies just a week later as the Tampa hex officially becomes a part of Louisville folklore.
12. Louisville 30, Rutgers 27
The home crowd makes the difference as the Cards have to bounce back with a BCS bid on the line.
So there it is. 11-1. Uncharted prediction territory.
As I said in the Big East Preview in Fives, I think WVU and U of L finish the regular season with identical records, but the Cards get the automatic bid to the BCS by virtue of the head-to-head tiebreaker. If this were to occur, it would remarkably be Louisville's third one-loss regular season in four years.
It's fun to write this kind of stuff, and even more fun to imagine it actually playing out, but my desire to see real live human beings running into other human beings at unthinkable speeds is at an all-time high.
Thursday people, Thursday is the realization of a glorious future.