Well last night was freaking awesome. If the amazing night of college football that was highlighted by the Backyard Brawl, Purdue - Penn State, and Bryant - FIU didn’t get you beyond pumped for the season ahead or even just this Saturday, then I regret to inform you that you’re on the wrong website.
If you are, however, here on purpose, then I have fantastic news to share as the Card Chronicle staff members (aka the “Chronrades” (no one calls it that)) have once again put together their game-by-game predictions for the 2022 season.
This year we’re doing things a little differently. Instead of listing the predictions in order of coolness, we’re ranking them in order of who predicted the most games correctly last year. Here’s how things shook out:
Cardinal Strong: 12 of 12 games predicted correctly
Keith Wynne: 10 of 12
Matt Sefcovic: 10 of 12
Conor Shea: 9 of 12
Seedy K: 8 of 12
Justin Renck: 8 of 12
Kevin Wright: 7 of 12
You may notice, however, that Keith’s predictions are not listed this year. This may be due to the fact that he’s giving his game-by-game predictions this afternoon on Mike’s radio show. Or it may be due to the fact that as Deputy Editor of the site he thinks he’s better than us. Or because he’s embarrassed tied with Card Chronicle’s resident baseball expert last year. OR I may have given him too short of notice to put together his predictions for this post during an extremely busy time of year for him. The answer is definitely one of those.
Also, per usual, Mike has decided to sit this group exercise out since he thinks his opinions are deserving of their own post.
So without further ado, let’s get into it:
@ Syracuse Orange: Saturday, September 3rd
Cardinal Strong – Is this where I brag on going 12/12 last year? I’d like to thank my TV, my wife, my kids, and the unhealthy amount of time I spent on cfbstats.com. Love y’all, now lets run it back.....My head keeps telling me this game is going to be closer than I think. Dome, opener, healthy team, top running back in the country, Vegas calling it close....I just can’t un-see the beatdowns from seasons past. They’ll have to show me the goods one time for me to say it will be anything less than double-digits.
Louisville 35 - Cuse 24
Matt Sefcovic – Syracuse did enough talking this off-season to piss off the wrong person. Malik Cunningham is going to put up video game like numbers on the way to a lopsided victory, with a new and improved defesnse.
Louisville 41 - Syracuse 21
Conor Shea – I think it’s a combination of how high the stakes are for Scott Satterfield and the seemingly short spread Vegas is giving this game, but I’m a lot more nervous than normal for a Syracuse game. I think Syracuse’s offense will be improved with the staff additions they’ve made, but I haven’t seen enough from Garret Schrader to convince me they can get things turned around as fast as folks are suggesting.
Louisville 38 - Syracuse 24
Seedy K – The edifice which shall forever and always been known as the Carrier Dome is not air conditioned. Much to the chagrin of the Orange coach, who will be perspiring when this one’s over.
Justin Renck – Year four of the Scott Satterfield era gets off to a positive start. Malik shows off his pocket passing, the defense forces multiple turnovers, and the Cards continue their dominance over the Orange,
Louisville 34 - Syracuse 20
Kevin Wright – The Cards kick off the first game of the 2022 regular season with a less than stellar 1st half performance & trail Syracuse at halftime. In the 2nd half, the offense finally finds some rhythm after some big plays by Tyler Hudson & Malik Cunningham. Cards survive its season opener.
Louisville 33 - Syracuse 24
@ Central Florida Golden Knights: Friday, September 9th
Cardinal Strong – Uggh, I hate this game. I hate the location, the place on the schedule, the back to back road games, the Friday “knight” environment, and the fact UCF is kinda-sorta a really good team. While a 2-0 start to come back to Cardinal Stadium would be huge, this one is the first trip up of the year.
Central Florida 31 - Louisville 27
Matt Sefcovic – Central Florida won’t have quite the tuneup that Louisville will face in week one, but the Golden Knights will have a much different roster than they brought to Cardinal Stadium a season ago. Hiccup number one for the Cards.
Central Florida 45 - Louisville 35
Conor Shea – Revenge will be on the mind of every Floridian with a hospitality management degree next Friday night and I expect the “bounce house” will be crazy. Gus Malzahn loaded up on SEC and P5 transfers this offseason and Louisville should have their hands full once again.
Central Florida 35 - Louisville 34
Seedy K – Thanks to governmental intervention, the Orlando area where the home team is located is no longer governed by those folks with mouse ears. It matters not this night to the Knights, who are hard to beat in the Land o’ Disney.
Central Florida wins.
Justin Renck – Short week as the Cards head to Orlando for a Friday night matchup against the GOLDEN Knights. Good crowd, national TV, “experts” picking a UCF win. Malik will have none of it as he shows out in front of a national audience.
Louisville 28 - UCF 27
Kevin Wright – Central Florida seeks revenge from a stinging defeat in Cardinal Stadium last season and jumps ahead early. Tiyon Evans has his coming out party & the UofL defense makes some timely stops late. The Cards scratch and claw their way to a 2-0 record.
Louisville 37 - UCF 30
Florida State Seminoles: Friday, September 16th
Cardinal Strong – Ask 2015 CardinalStrong who the Cards would be pushing around in the ACC Atlantic over the next few years and FSU would not be the team which comes to mind, but a 4-2 record and two 30+ point victories is tough to argue against. Cardinal Stadium is a bit more subdued than we had hoped walking in at 1-1 on a Friday night, but has enough juice to get them back over .500
Louisville 38 - FSU 21
Matt Sefcovic – I would love nothing more than for Louisville to host FSU with a 2-0 record, but that won’t be the case. Cardinal Stadium should still be rocking as fans have to wait three weeks to get a taste of college football. Mike Norvell seems to have no idea what he is doing in Tallahassee.
Louisville 31 - Florida State 17
Conor Shea – If Louisville enters this game 2-0 the stadium should be wild for its home opener. Until FSU gives us any reason to believe things are trending in the right direction, I’m going to err on the side of caution when it comes to predicting their games.
Louisville 30 - Florida State 21
Seedy K – Will U of L’s home opener be as much fun as 9/17/16? Probably not, that was a special day for Louisville pigskin. But the faithful shall go home happy.
Justin Renck – The 2-0 Cards open their home slate in front of one of the best Cardinal Stadium crowds in recent memory. Sorry, but you don’t lose when Michael Bush gets his jersey honored.
Louisville 45 - FSU 28
Kevin Wright – The home opener against FSU is the most hyped Cardinal Stadium crowd since Scott Satterfield’s first game as UofL’s head coach when Notre Dame came calling. Both teams exchange blows throughout but the Cards answer the final bell & beat FSU on a late 4th qtr TD run by Malik Cunningham.
Louisville 28 - FSU 24
South Florida Bulls: Saturday, September 24th
Cardinal Strong – Bulls, Beaches, Battlestar Galactica. Rumor is that South Florida will field a really good football team this year. FALSE. They will not. Cards roll.
Louisville 45 - USF 13
Matt Sefcovic – Back when this game was scheduled, it was probably a game to circle on the schedule, but not anymore. The Charlie Strong game will be all Cards.
Louisville 38 - USF 13
Conor Shea – While I think Jeff Scott will get USF back to respectability, and the addition of former Baylor QB Gerry Bohanon is something to worry about a little, I just don’t think the Bulls are where they need to be yet to steal this one from the Cards.
Louisville 42 - USF 20
Seedy K – Remember when the Bulls were destined to be The Next Great Power? Probably not, it was a long time ago.
Justin Renck – Playing for the Charlie Strong Cup (not a real thing), this game is about as ugly as it gets. Nobody wants to score. Both teams want to run the ball and control clock. It’s a snoozefest, but Louisville hangs on and sleepwalks to a victory.
Louisville 16 - USF 10
Kevin Wright – Louisville predictably comes out flat following a huge home win over FSU & the Bulls capitalize by keeping this one close through halftime. Marshon Ford has his best game of the you g season and the Cards pull away in the 2nd half.
Louisville 41 - USF 20
Boston College Eagles: Saturday, October 1st
Cardinal Strong – I still wake up in night sweats thinking about AJ Dillion running right at me in the Crunchzone what felt like 7 or 8 times back in 2017. The Eagles may have their QB back this time, but they don't have an AJ Dillion. Offense finally sputters after coming out hot, but they hold on late.
Louisville 21 - Boston College 17
Matt Sefcovic – The Cardinal Nine swept Boston College in March, I say we continue the trend.
Louisville 31 - Boston College 24
Conor Shea – When the Eagles offense had Phil Jurkovec healthy they were a problem. If he plays this year then expect this one to have a lot of firepower and points.
Louisville 41 - Boston College 38
Seedy K – In October ‘91, while in Boston for the game, I rebroke a leg that was shattered a year earlier in an accident. I went to the game on crutches. So badly was U of L being throttled, my gang left at the half. The team didn’t fare better after we left, falling 3-33. But I bought a great shirt at Louie’s of Boston, which remains my favorite to this day. I shall wear it on game day, when the good guys turn the Tide.
Justin Renck – You know that random, terrible loss that sometimes shows up? Like the Sugar Bowl team losing to Syracuse and UConn in back-to-back games? Nothing goes right for UofL on the road as they drop a head-scratcher that makes no sense,
Boston College 24 - Louisville 20
Kevin Wright – The golden opportunity of going 5-0 is unexpectedly denied by a Boston College team who capitalizes on too many UofL turnovers as its inability to convert 3rd downs. The Cards play their worst game of the season collectively and lose in Chestnut Hills in underwhelming fashion.
Boston College 30 - Louisville 20
@ Virginia Cavaliers: Saturday, October 8th
Cardinal Strong – This game always feels like a 8:00am kickoff where I’m rubbing the crust from my eyes and staring at 30,000 people in khakis, a white button up shirt, a visor, and an orange fleece vest. I’m confused, the Card’s are confused, and we head into a bye with a sword tucked between our legs.
Virginia 31 - Louisville 21
Matt Sefcovic – Virginia is a tough place to play for the Cards and Tony Elliott will have five games under his belt before Louisville comes to town. The Cavaliers have a slew of question marks, but I am never confident to see these fools on our schedule.
Virginia 38 - Louisville 31
Conor Shea – I hate when we play in Charlottesville. The games are super weird and sleepy, and we always seem to play one of our worst games of the season there. Hopefully all the staff turnover and having to replace the entire o-line from last year helps Louisville’s bad luck in the city that Dave Matthews built.
Louisville 28 - Virginia 24
Seedy K – It’s Homecoming in Charlottesville, where alums take their college experience along the Colonnade seriously. Mums and bow ties shall be abundant. The old schoolers will be back in force to see if that new coach is all he’s cracked up to be? Cavaliers have won two in a row over Cards. Mark it three, Donny.
Justin Renck – Nothing like a little revenge game to get back on track. After blowing a 17 point lead last season, the Cards build an early lead and actually play to win instead of playing to not lose. The result is Malik accounting for five touchdowns as the Cards leave Charlottesville with a victory.
Louisville 41 - Virginia 31
Kevin Wright – Virginia builds off the momentum it built in a big come from behind win last season in Louisville and makes just enough plays to beat the Cards.
Virginia 33 - Louisville 28
Pittsburgh Panthers: Saturday, October 22nd
Cardinal Strong – I like to laugh at Pitt, I never take them seriously, and they always seem to be overrated for the product I see on the field each week. And then they beat Louisville, over and over. Frustration mounts with back to back losses (and a week to stew in between) as we kick off the back half of a brutal schedule.
Pitt 21 - Louisville 17
Matt Sefcovic – After a heart-breaking loss to Virginia, Satterfield and Co. will have a bye week to prepare for the Panthers and they will need every second of it. Louisville shocks Pittsburgh in a close one.
Louisville 24 - Pittsburgh 21
Conor Shea – I love that we get this game at home and after a bye, but I still haven’t recovered from what Pitt’s d-line did to our offense in 2020. This unit should be one of the best in the country this year and I’m afraid Louisville’s veteran o-line still won’t have enough answers this time around.
Pittsburgh 28 - Louisville 27
Seedy K – No Kenny Pickett. No problem . . . for the Panthers.
Justin Renck – The bye week comes at a good time, but does not help here. Pitt comes into Cardinal Stadium and ruins Homecoming and Hall of Fame Weekend.
Pitt 37 - Louisville 28
Kevin Wright – The Cards find their balance by coming back home and turning up the dial on both sides of the ball. PITT won’t have enough to turn this Cards team away as Cunningham throws for 200 yds & runs for 100 more.
Louisville 41 - Pittsburgh 26
Wake Forest Demon Deacons: Saturday, October 29th
Cardinal Strong – Cards get the good vibes back as the offense explodes for a season high in yards and points. Fans are excited about trying to spring a few Top 25 upsets in the weeks to come.
Louisville 55 - Wake Forest 24
Matt Sefcovic – Either way, I think Louisville wins, but Sam Hartman’s status will determine how comfortable I am heading into the game. I would like nothing more than to beat Dave Clawson this season. Well, maybe Mark Stoops, but more to come on that.
Louisville 41 - Wake Forest 31
Conor Shea – I’m not sure there’s a game on this schedule, outside of Kentucky, that Scott Sattefield wants more than this one. Sam Hartman’s availability is going to be huge for this one, but I think no matter what the Cards don’t let this one get away from them.
Louisville 38 - Wake Forest 35
Seedy K – Louisville’s coaching staff doesn’t have the Demon Deacons’ plays in advance. It doesn’t matter. The better team prevails fair and square.
Justin Renck – It’s a blackout game as we are two days from Halloween. This game gets the noon treatment (yes I am predicting a kickoff time here) so the blackout looks…not great. Atmosphere is lacking, as is the performance from UofL. Sam Hartman is back and finds his groove in a Wake win.
Louisville 35 - Wake Forest 21
Kevin Wright – Riding sky high from a convincing win over PITT, the Cards don’t overlook the Demon Deacons and pound Wake Forest on the ground. The Cards front seven on defense price too much to handle.
Louisville 33 - Wake Forest 23
James Madison Dukes: Saturday, November 5th
Cardinal Strong – Another nightmare scenario, coming off the high from Wake and looking ahead to Clemson the Cards come out a bit flat and folks are in meltdown mode late in the 3rd. A season saving 4th quarter from Malik and the offense is the difference in this one, and Satt finally unclenches them cheeks about Tuesday evening as the Cards celebrate a postseason birth.
Louisville 31 - James Madison 24
Matt Sefcovic – Not an ideal game right in the middle of our schedule. Fans, including myself, will get frustrated until about halftime until the Dukes wheels fall off. Louisville will be too big, too fast, and too strong. Hat tip Ben Sowders.
Louisville 38 - James Madison 21
Conor Shea – Why the hell did we schedule this game? If you want a cupcake, maybe don’t pick one of the best programs from the FCS that’s been so good that they’re transitioning to FBS this year. I think this one is closer than the average fan expects it to be.
Louisville 31 - James Madison 21
Seedy K – Historians have taken a dim view of how the nation’s fourth president led during that vexing War of 1812. The faithful of this new upper level contingent will have a similar view of the Dukes after their visit to the ‘Ville.
Justin Renck – Not a team to overlook, but the perfect medicine for Louisville during a tough stretch. Too much talent for the good guys and it shows.
Louisville 49 - James Madison 24
Kevin Wright – The Cards stay hot and roll over new Sun Belt member James Madison in convincing fashion. Cunningham, Evans and Huggins-Bruce all have big days.
Louisville 49 - James Madison 19
@ Clemson Tigers: Saturday, November 12th
Cardinal Strong – The stories of their downfall are a bit premature. They still got dudes, and still make plays. Cards keep it tight in a rough environment but come up short once again. Meet ya at the paw.
Clemson 38 - Louisville 30
Matt Sefcovic – We are getting closer, but not this year.
Clemson 41 - Louisville 31
Conor Shea – While Clemson has lost quite a few staff members since last year, they’re still Clemson, and their d-line is as nasty as ever. Stay healthy.
Clemson 35 - Louisville 24
Seedy K – Oh if that Cardinal wideout who shall remain nameless hadn’t moved so quickly to the sidelines. How differently might the subsequent campaigns have played out? Sigh. Are the Cards ready to finally whip the Dabos? Uh, no, not yet.
Justin Renck – Louisville is 0-7 against Clemson. I see no reason to think we get rid of the goose egg just yet.
Clemson 42 - Louisville 20
Kevin Wright – Death Valley usually means….well, death when it comes to UofL Football. And despite having been within a play or two of beating Clemson a number of times since joining the ACC this task will be too daunting for the Cards.
Clemson 44 - Louisville 17
N.C. State Wolfpack: Saturday, November 19th
Cardinal Strong – A preseason selection to compete with Clemson in the Atlantic has not played out as expected. NC State is a bit on the ropes and the Cards take advantage at home in a Senior Day where Malik and others are honored. They ain’t losing this one.
Louisville 38 - NC State 21
Matt Sefcovic – The Cards have dropped three of the last four against the Wolfpack, but that changes this season. Plus, Doren seems like a huge dork.
Louisville 34 - NC State 24
Conor Shea – The Wolfpack are getting a lot of buzz this season with all of the talent they return from their 9-3 campaign last year. This game is going to be a grinder. My gut tells me there’s something weird about this game and Louisville can steal this one, but my head says the Cards fall short once again.
N.C. State 24 - Louisville 21
Seedy K – “Tobacco Road,” a rock & roll classic was written by John D. Loudermilk in 1960 and became a hit for a British group, the Nashville Teens in ‘62. During that span that school which resides along that Road went 26-23-2 on the gridiron. The Wolfpack will be a hit again this season. Except when visiting Floyd Street.
Justin Renck – It’s Senior Day and Hometown Heroes Day. The defense rushes four consistently, Malik rushes for over 100 yards, and Louisville sends the seniors out on a high note by winning.
Louisville 30 - NC State 20
Kevin Wright – NC State has had the Cards’ number in recent years but the Wolfpack’s magic finally runs out in ‘22. Defensively the Cards create havoc causing multiple turnovers and special teams make big plays from start to finish.
Louisville 36 - NC State 30
@ Kentucky Wildcats: Saturday, November 26th
Cardinal Strong – Still can’t pinpoint when the tides shifted in this rivalry but when they did, we had some hurricane type forces behind it. The Seniors, who have yet to win a game against the team down the road, give it their all but fall just short in a rivalry that needs to quickly become a rivalry again.
Kentucky 41 - Louisville 35
Matt Sefcovic – All
suspended unavailable Wildcats will be available after Thanksgiving. I don’t necessarily think they have a great roster returning, but this one is between the ears.
Kentucky 41 - Louisville 21
Conor Shea – Kentucky looks to replace their single season receptions record holder Wan’Dale Robinson, four of their top-six offensive linemen, and OC Liam Coen. And while I fully expect Chris Rodriguez to be back from his double-secret probation, their leading returning receiver, Izayah Cummings, had just 14 catches last year. So the offense may not be as strong as last year, but I think their defense should be fine. Just keep this one close for once, guys.
Kentucky 38 - Louisville 28
Seedy K – Five years is long enough in a hated rivalry. Cat fans can now turn all their attention to the basketball school’s sport of choice.
Justin Renck – It’s been ugly lately. I am going to need to see something drastically different before picking the guys in red. Cards fall.
Kentucky 45 - Louisville 27
Side note: Cats have some players still suspended (I didn’t say suspended, you did) and we still don’t know if it’s a basketball or football school.
Kevin Wright – Winning against your in-state rival on the road is never easy especially when they have one of their better rosters in decades. UofL shows it has significantly closed the talent gap compared to the previous three showdowns but Kentucky’s ability to run for big yardage enables them to win the Governor’s Cup.
Kentucky 37 - 26 Louisville
Final Predictions –
Cardinal Strong: 7-5
Matt Sefcovic: 8-4
Conor Shea: 7-5
Seedy K: 8-4
Justin Renck: 8-4
Kevin Wright: 8-4