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Bowl Projections for Louisville After Week 0

IT’S NOT TOO EARLY

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NCAA Football: Fenway Bowl-Cincinnati vs Louisville Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

They’re baaaaaaaaaaaack!

It’s officially game week. The season has (kinda) begun. And it’s never too early to plan your bowl trips for this holiday season.

Of course, no one knows for certain how this season is going to go for the 133 FBS teams. But that hasn’t stopped our favorite prognosticators from projecting this year’s bowls. And that’s not going to stop me from compiling them into a nice little blog post for y’all.

But as is tradition, we must start with the nerd stuff, because they actually sort of know what they’re talking about, and it’s just fun.

First up, of course, is Bill Connelly’s SP+. Bill’s computer currently has Louisville ranked #40 overall in the country with a 50th ranked offense, and a 22nd ranked defense. Not sure either of those numbers will hold, as I imagine they’ll probably flip-flop somewhat. Here’s how SP+ ranks the rest of Louisville’s schedule and projects each game’s spread:

Nothing too surprising here as Louisville’s arguably five toughest games on paper are also the five games that the Cards aren’t favored.

So it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, either, that SP+ projects Louisville to go 8-4 with a 26.35% chance of doing so. UofL’s next most likely records are 9-3 (!) with a 23.23% chance, and 7-5 with a 19.52% chance.

*Note: I did notice that Bill C’s SP+ picks for this week give Louisville an 82% chance to win, whereas the graph from his last rankings update says 78.98%. Guess he’s keeping the good stuff to himself for now.

ESPN’s FPI , like last year, is slightly more conservative, projecting the Cards to finish with a 7-5 (actually 6.9-5.2) record. Similar to Bill C’s SP+, FPI thinks the Cards will be up against it when facing N.C. State, Notre Dame, Pitt, Miami, and Kentucky.

Lastly, for poops and gigs, instead of using another fancy CFB metric/computer, I thought we’d try a computer simulator. I found Versus Sports Simulator, which looks to have pretty similar projections to SP+ and FPI. Except that while it agrees with the big computers about which games are the toughest, it projects Louisville’s as favorites in all but the Notre Dame game:

Neat stuff. No clue how it works.

Now for the fun stuff…

ESPN:

Military Bowl Presented by Peraton (Bonagura) – Louisville vs. SMU (future ACC foe?)

Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, Maryland

Dec. 27, 2:00PM, ESPN

Tony The Tiger Sun Bowl (Schlabach) Louisville vs. Washington State

Sun Bowl, El Paso, Texas

Dec. 29 2:00PM, ESPN

Action Network (Brett McMurphy):

TaxSlayer Gator Bowl Louisville vs. Auburn

TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, Florida

Dec. 29, 12:00PM. ESPN

CBS (Jerry Palm):

Tony The Tiger Sun Bowl Louisville vs. UCLA

Sun Bowl, El Paso, Texas

Dec. 29, 2:00PM, ESPN

College Football News:

Tony The Tiger Sun Bowl Louisville vs. Oregon State

Sun Bowl, El Paso, Texas

Dec. 29, 2:00PM, ESPN

247 Sports:

Bad Boy Mowers Pinstripe Bowl Louisville vs. Maryland

Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York

Dec. 28, 2:15PM. ESPN

Athlon:

Bad Boy Mowers Pinstripe Bowl Louisville vs. Nebraska

Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York

Dec. 28, 2:15PM. ESPN

College Football Network:

Duke’s Mayo Bowl Louisville vs. Auburn

Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina

Dec. 27, 5:30PM, ESPN

Sporting News:

Tony The Tiger Sun Bowl Louisville vs. Oregon

Sun Bowl, El Paso, Texas

Dec. 29, 2:00PM, ESPN

Bleacher Report:

Tony The Tiger Sun Bowl Louisville vs. Oregon State

Sun Bowl, El Paso, Texas

Dec. 29, 2:00PM, ESPN

Totals Tally: Sun Bowl (5), Pinstripe Bowl (2), Gator Bowl, Mayo Bowl, Military Bowl.

Looks like it’s going to be another season of being teased with spending the holidays in Juarez only for the rug to be pulled out from under us.

Can’t wait for Friday to get here.