Calculating Louisville football wins needed for College Football at-large bid

Jeff Brohm brought Louisville football back to national relevancy last season and with another 10-win year, he could get the Cardinals into the expanded 12-team CFP.
U of L head football coach Jeff Brohm
U of L head football coach Jeff Brohm / Sam Upshaw Jr./Courier Journal / USA

In just one season, Jeff Brohm completely turned around the Louisville football program. He finished Year 1 with a 10-4 record after a Holiday Bowl loss to USC and is expected to compete for the ACC title in 2024 despite having to make a change at quarterback. 

If Tyler Shough leads the Cardinals to the ACC crown, it will guarantee a spot in the expanded 12-team College Football Playoff, but even without a conference title, Brohm’s team will have a shot at an at-large bid. The ACC is far from the toughest conference in the country, but with Notre Dame and Kentucky on Louisville’s non-conference schedule, another 10-win season should be enough to contend. 

According to a graphic from Kelley Ford, of, Louisville only needs 10 wins to be in the CFP conversation. 

Where will 10 wins come from for Louisville in 2024

Louisville will start the season off with two wins in its pocket:

  • vs. Austin Peay
  • vs. Jacksonville State

Those two games are the Cardinals’ first of the year before entering ACC play. The conference has expanded to 17 teams with the addition of Cal, SMU, and Stanford. Those additions have lightened the load of conference play with both Stanford and SMU on Louisville’s schedule this season. 

There are five more likely wins on Louisville’s conference slate: 

  • vs. Georgia Tech
  • vs. SMU
  • at Virginia
  • at Boston College

That makes seven and means that if the Cardinals handle their business in those games, they will just need to win three of these five:

  • at Notre Dame
  • vs. Miami
  • at Clemson
  • vs. Pitt
  • at Kentucky

Pitt and Kentucky are the most likely victories of those five games. After an abysmal season last year, the Panthers were only included in the toughest section because of their upset win over Louisville at Acrisure Stadium last year.