Louisville v Clemson: Football 2013
The ACC media days just ended with a lot of folks predicting that Clemson would win the ACC title this fall. Meanwhile, Louisville is certainly projected to dominate the AAC. Our recent poll regarding the expected ACC winner, which included Louisville in jest, was utterly dominated by Louisville. The question that begs, however, is who would you pick to win a game between Clemson and Louisville? And this is a game that may actually be played, as both teams could (and should) win BCS berths. Anyway, here is what we think.
Well, the individual correspondents may have their own thoughts. And they can certainly share same. But this guy’s money is on Clemson beating Louisville if the two played head-to-head.
First, unlike most teams in FBS, Clemson has a QB that can match Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater. But the bottom line is that this is, at least, a draw.
Second, the easy answer is that Louisville will have played nobody. Of course, we’ll have to see. For all we know, both teams will finish 8-4 and this entry will be laughed at in December as absurd. And Louisville played a whole bunch of nobody last year and still beat a pretty good Florida team in the Sugar Bowl. Again, keeping up with Clemson’s defeat of LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. But if these two teams meet for a bowl game, they will both have several weeks to rest and recuperate. And the battle-tested Clemson should have the edge.
Third, the defenses. Charlie Strong gets back 10 defenders from a team that went 11-2 and gave up 309 points in 13 games. But Clemson gave up a similar 323 points against a tougher schedule. They also only lose one starter. And one author made the argument that Clemson will be much improved on defense. But we will call it a draw.
Finally, the playmakers. While the quarterbacks may be even, the playmakers are not. Clemson’s Sammy Watkins can claim the title as the ACC’s best wide receiver–it is his to lose. We like DaVante Parker too, but Watkins is just at another level. When push comes to shove in a shootout or defensive struggle, having an elite talent like Watkins may very well be the difference.
So, while there is a whole football season to play–ample opportunity for this discussion to become moot or absurd–the early opinion is that Clemson would beat Louisville. Either way, the Confidential looks forward to having the Cardinals in the ACC (for real) in 2014!
What do you think? Right or wrong?