(Note: This article was written by Canespace blogger "LB". It does not include stats from games against FCS opponents E. Kentucky (UL) or Savannah St. (UM) in the overall statistical analysis):
Strength Of Schedule:
- While UM played opponents who averaged 6.09 wins, Louisville played opponents who averaged 4.9. UM played 8 "bowl-eligible" opponents (6+ wins), while Louisville played 5.
- UM played defenses who allow 23.2 points per game and average 42nd. Louisville? 27 points per game with an average of 62nd.
- UM played 4 top 30 defenses (FAU, Florida, FSU, Va. Tech). Louisville? 3 (UCF, Houston, Cincy).
- UM played 3 defenses ranked 70th or lower (USF, Virginia, Pitt). Louisville played 6 (Kentucky, FIU, Temple, Rutgers, USF, UConn).
- Louisville is more effective against the average against these defenses at +11.35, while UM stands at +8.95.
- UM played offenses who score 27.6 points per game and average 77th. Louisville isn't much worse, playing opponents who score 24.1 points per game and average 85th.
- UM played two top 30 offenses (GT, FSU) while Louisville played zero.
- Louisville is MUCH more effective than others against their offenses, scoring at +11.35. UM -0.15?
- As pitiful as Louisville's schedule is, their defense at least can stop some folks. They've even pitched a shutout (a novel concept) vs. Temple. They allowed 20+ points twice (UCF, Cincy). UM allowed 20 or more points 9 times in 2013.
Statistical Analysis Predictions:
- Louisville has a 99.9% chance of scoring more than 20, as they've done it every single game. Even God himself will have a tough time helping D'Onofrio out on this one.
- Louisville has a 75% chance of scoring more than 30 against UM.
- Louisville has a 50% chance of scoring 40+ on UM.
- UM is going to score a lot. Evening out the stats, UM is the best offense Louisville will see. UM has a 90% chance of scoring more than 20.
- UM has a 70% chance of scoring more than 30.
- UM has a 50% chance of scoring more than 40.
Summation: Given the adjustments, UM's offense is probably slightly better than Louisville's given the opposition and expected rankings vs. such. There is no question about defense. Louisville will score with reckless abandon and probably piss off UM fans to no end. At least D'Onofrio still has 100 yards to offer between the end zones.
As for the final score, I'm not giving predictions as bowl games are enigmas. UM hasn't won one since 2006, and it's about time. It's a better draw than Texas A&M, so take that as an early Christmas present.