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Louisville Cracks ESPN's Updated Way-Too-Early Top 25

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Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

A month which included keeping both coordinators from bouncing to big-time jobs and hauling in a top 30 recruiting class was apparently enough for ESPM's Mark Schlabach to boost the Cards from unranked to No. 25 in his updated way-too-early top 25 for the 2015 season.

25. Louisville Cardinals

2014 record: 9-4, 5-3 ACC

Returning starters: 4 offense, 4 defense, 1 special teams

Key personnel losses: WR DeVante Parker, WR Eli Rogers, OT Jamon Brown, TE Gerald Christian, RB Michael Dyer, LB Lorenzo Mauldin, FS Gerod Holliman, CB Charles Gaines, CBTerell Floyd, SS James Sample

The skinny: The Cardinals lost a plethora of playmakers on both sides of the football, but coach Bobby Petrino went the junior college route to rebuild his roster. Also, Louisville already had a handful of FBS transfers ready to step in. Former TCU star DeVonte' Fields signed with the Cardinals and could become a premier pass-rusher. UAB transfer Jamari Staples and Texas A&M transfer JaQuay Williams should help on the perimeter, after the Cardinals lost three of their top four receivers. Running back Jeremy Smith is one of seven junior college transfers expected to join the team. Georgia transfers Josh Harvey-Clemons and Shaq Wiggins should help in the secondary, after Louisville lost all four starting defensive backs, including Gaines, Holliman and Sample, who left early for the NFL draft. Petrino was able to keep defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, who turned down a job with the Oakland Raiders, and offensive coordinator Garrick McGee, who turned down an interview with Oklahoma.

Ohio State tops the rankings, which feature three other ACC teams -- Clemson (10), Florida State (15), and Georgia Tech (19). Auburn, Louisville's first opponent of the 2015 season, checks in at No. 12.