--By Mike Gilpatrick
--File photo by Jared Anderson
Nobody is picking the Louisville Cardinals over Alabama on September 1st.
The Crimson Tide are coming off another National Championship, while the Cards are trying their third defensive coordinator in three years. The media picked Alabama to once again win the SEC, and Louisville to finish fifth in their division.
If Louisville ends up winning, it could shift the entire college football dynamic. It would almost certainly catapult the Cards into the top-25, and be a game that would give Louisville definite style points.
The Evil Empire of College Football is picked to win almost every game they play. When they lose, even in the playoff, half of the country loses their minds. It wouldn’t be any different for the Camping World Kickoff. Alabama has a 25.5 point spread over Louisville.
If the Cards come within 14, most of the fan base would take the moral victory and run with it.
In order for Louisville to win, the defense has to be *significantly* better than it was last year, the offensive line must block perfectly, receivers need to not miss a beat, and Jawon Pass needs to be perfect in the pocket.
Wide receiver Dez Fitzpatrick believes Louisville’s receivers can beat out Tide defensive backs.
"Every receiver in our receiver corps can honestly beat every one of their DBs one-on-one in coverage.” Fitzpatrick said, “It ties into the other stuff, if the blocks are right, if the quarterback's drop is right, we ran eight-yard routes instead of a 10-yard route, that's the kind of stuff I feel like we need to sharpen up. But I feel like straight talent-wise, I feel like we have the upper edge against their secondary, 1,000 percent.”
For Fitzpatrick and the rest of the receiver corps. to prove their point, Pass needs to have an even-more impressive starting debut than Lamar Jackson. Jackson’s first pass against Auburn in the Chick fil A Kickoff game went for an interception.
If that happened against Alabama, Jalen Hurts, or Tua Tagovailoa wouldn’t forgive. The Cards would be forced to come from behind, a seemingly impossible feat.
But if Pass is perfect, and the Cards are able to pull it out, there will be a shakeup in the college football world.
ESPN’s FPI would shoot Louisville up tremendously. All of the borderline games would shift into Louisville’s favor.
The Cards may be considered serious contenders for the ACC Atlantic title.
And it’s a non-conference game. Whether Louisville wins or loses, they have the same opportunity win the ACC as any other ACC team. If they beat Alabama, and come close to winning the ACC, the college football playoff committee will have to seriously consider who to send.
More than likely, Louisville won’t win the game, or even come within 10.
If they do, the college football world will be rocked.