Discussion

Top 25 playoff teams: Louisville

Will Petrino find similar success in his second go-round as Cardinals coach?

Updated: June 11, 2014, 9:14 AM ET
By Ryan McGee | ESPN Insider

From May 27 to July 3, Insider's college football experts will preview the season for the 25 teams with the best chances to make the inaugural College Football Playoff, based on Brian Fremeau's post-spring projections. This is the entry for the Louisville Cardinals.

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Fremeau's Projection

Projected finish: 9-3 (6-2)
Chance to make playoff: 6 percent
Chance to win ACC: 7 percent
Toughest games: Oct. 11 at Clemson (38 percent chance of winning), Oct. 30 vs. Florida State (26 percent), Nov. 22 at Notre Dame (35 percent)

Why they'll make the playoff

1. Bobby's back!

Forget about the Bobby Petrino punch lines for a moment (just for a moment, though; we'll discuss those shortly). Instead, for now, try to focus on what athletic director Tom Jurich said about Petrino when Charlie Strong left for Texas: Petrino wasn't just a candidate to get his old job back, he was the candidate for the job. In other words, Jurich longed for Louisville's glory days -- 2003-06 -- when the Cardinals finished with 41 wins in four years, two top-10 berths, an Orange Bowl victory and never trailed Kentucky for as much as a single minute in four contests. When Louisville played with swagger, it routinely hung 40-plus points on opponents (emphasis on the "plus").

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