After the worst three-year run in PWIPTF history, we got back to being within a game of the actual final record last season. I will gladly take a return to the days of being wildly wrong about the Scott Satterfield era if it means the team goes 11-1 or runs the table this year.
Here’s a rundown of the history of this post before we dive into the 2022 edition:
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
2011: PREDICTED: 6-6; ACTUAL: 7-5
2012: PREDICTED: 10-2; ACTUAL: 10-2
2013: PREDICTED: 11-1; ACTUAL: 11-1
2014: PREDICTED: 9-3; ACTUAL: 9-3
2015: PREDICTED: 9-3; ACTUAL: 7-5
2016: PREDICTED: 9-3; ACTUAL: 9-3
2017: PREDICTED: 9-3; ACTUAL: 8-4
2018: PREDICTED: 7-5; ACTUAL: 2-10
2019: PREDICTED: 3-9; ACTUAL: 7-5
2020: PREDICTED: 8-3; ACTUAL: 4-7
2021: PREDICTED: 7-5; ACTUAL: 6-6
Let’s get into it ...
GAME ONE: At Syracuse
No team has owned Syracuse over the last eight seasons like Louisville has. Outside of the 2018 disaster, the Cardinals have beaten the ‘Cuse in all seven meetings as ACC members, and have done so by a combined score of 314-98. That’s outrageous.
When you take that and combine it with the fact that Syracuse is picked to finish last in the Atlantic Division and is 12th or 13th in virtually any preseason power ranking of the ACC’s 14 squads, this feels like a game the Cards almost have to get if they’re going to have a season that a majority of the fan base is going to label as “successful.” Despite some struggles in the 2nd quarter, they get the job done Saturday night.
CC Prediction: Louisville 38, Syracuse 23
GAME TWO: At Central Florida
I predicted last-second heartbreak against the Golden Knights in this post a year ago, and instead the result was last-second euphoria. UCF once again has snagged seemingly 95% of the Power 5 transfers available in the portal, and will certainly have revenge on its collective mind when the Cardinals come to town. They’ll also be largely untested, with only what should be a week one walk over South Carolina State under their belt.
In the playoff era, ACC teams have lost 19 road games against Group of 5 opponents. Louisville, unfortunately, becomes unlucky No. 20.
CC Prediction: Central Florida 34, Louisville 30
GAME THREE: vs. Florida State
Louisville’s first home game of the season will be a Friday night Red Out against Florida State. If the Cards are 2-0, this should be the best Cardinal Stadium atmosphere that Scott Satterfield has seen since arriving at U of L. If they’re 1-1, it should still be pretty legit.
The Cards continue to have FSU’s number and improve to 2-0 in the ACC on a night that marks the (final) beginning of the (final) end for Mike Norvell.
CC Prediction: Louisville 30, Florida State 17
GAME FOUR: vs. South Florida
Baylor QB transfer Gerry Bohanon is a dynamic player who, admittedly, almost single-handedly makes me more nervous about this game than I was four months ago. Having said that, this is a USF team that won two games last season and which has been woeful against Power 5 competition in recent years.
A slip-up here would be disastrous, but Louisville has no trouble answering the bell for the first blowout of the season.
CC Prediction: Louisville 56, South Florida 27
GAME FIVE: At Boston College
Don’t ask me to explain why, but since the day the 2022 schedule came out, this game ha put a knot in my stomach. I felt bad about it right out of the gate, and I still feel bad about it now.
A healthy Phil Jurkovec and Zay Flowers go nuts and questions about the Louisville defense resurface like it’s 2017-2021 all over again.
CC Prediction: Boston College 38, Louisville 27
GAME SIX: At Virginia
It allllwaaayyyyssss gets weird when the Cards go to Charlottesville. The same holds true in 2022, but Louisville makes just enough plays to exact some revenge on arguably the most soul-crushing loss of last season and temporarily avoid the return of Jeff Brohm radio here locally.
CC Prediction: Louisville 38, Virginia 36
GAME SEVEN: vs. Pittsburgh
Not sure why we decided to make the reigning ACC champions our Homecoming opponent, but here we are. Louisville is 0-2 against Pitt since joining the ACC and has lost six of its last seven games against the Panthers dating back to 2008.
Kenny Pickett is gone, but the defense that frustrated Malik Cunningham more than any other two seasons ago does the job again.
CC Prediction: Pittsburgh 30, Louisville 20
GAME EIGHT: vs. Wake Forest
We absolutely owe these guys one. Whether Sam Hartman is back or not (and I hope he is, the guy is awesome), Louisville’s not losing to whiny Dave Clausen again.
As is always the case when the Cardinals and Demon Deacons get together, points will be scored and weird things will happen.
CC Prediction: Louisville 49, Wake Forest 45
GAME NINE: vs. James Madison
I don’t think I hate this game quite as much as Keith Wynne, but I definitely hate it. If you’re going to schedule a buy game, schedule a buy game. Get your blowout and get your starters some rest. This isn’t the place for half-measures.
Louisville doesn’t get upset by the Dukes, but they also don’t get the necessary rest for its starters heading into the toughest (and final) three game stretch of the season.
CC Prediction: Louisville 35, James Madison 18
GAME TEN: At Clemson
Freshman Cade Klubnik has taken over DJ Uiagalelei, and the Tiger offense is finally starting to look like the Tiger offense of old. That’s not ideal timing for the Cardinals, who — because of the COVID scheduling changes — are heading to Death Valley for the first time under Scott Satterfield and the first time since a 77-16 drubbing back in 2018.
They keep it under 61 points this time, but the winless run against Dabo and company continues.
CC Prediction: Clemson 40, Louisville 24
GAME ELEVEN: vs. NC State
We’re winning one of these last three games. My money’s on the final home game of the season against an NC State squad that is preseason top 15, but contractually obligated to finish with 7-9 wins. If they’re 8-2 or 9-1 heading into this one, go ahead and bet your mortgage on the Cards.
The biggest win of the season and arguably of the Satterfield era comes on the weekend before Thanksgiving.
CC Prediction: Louisville 37, NC State 33
GAME TWELVE: At Kentucky
The positive momentum from the NC State win once again gets everyone’s hopes up heading into the Battle for the Governor’s Cup. The letdown isn’t quite as extreme as the last two meetings, but it’s still far from ideal.
I don’t like it anymore than you do.
CC Prediction: Kentucky 34, Louisville 27
FINAL RECORD: 7-5 (5-3)
Make me wrong on the right side this year, boys.