Why the Louisville Cardinals will make the College Football Playoffs for the first time in 2024

Louisville football quarterback Tyler Shough (9) and running back Peny Boone (13) run drills during spring practice.
Louisville football quarterback Tyler Shough (9) and running back Peny Boone (13) run drills during spring practice. / Clare Grant/Courier Journal / USA TODAY

The Louisville Cardinals have yet to make the College Football Playoffs in its 10 years of existence. However, with the CFP expansion to 12 teams and Louisville’s previous finish at 10-4 overall, the Cardinal is primed and ready to make its first appearance in the playoffs.

Head coach Jeff Brohm took over the Cardinal’s football program in 2023 and immediately led Louisville to a winning season.

During the 2023-24 season, Louisville had incredible wins over Notre Dame, Duke, and Miami and finished the season at No. 15 on the final CFP Poll.

Brohm has recruited the No. 30 class in the nation according to 247Sports and has brought in a top-five class from the transfer portal.

Wideout Chris Bell is set to become a star receiver for the Cardinals as a junior returner. Last season, Bell had 29 receptions for 407 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Louisville’s running back Peny Boone is also set to become a standout player for the Cards. Boone finished the 2023-24 season as eighth in the nation for rushing yards (1,400).

Last but not least, transfer quarterback Tyler Shough is expected to become Louisville’s starting quarterback. While Shough didn’t finish the previous season due to injury, he has an impressive resume after starting his collegiate career with the Oregon Ducks and Texas Tech Raiders.

This will be Shough’s sixth season in college football and he has yet to have a completion percentage lower than 59.9 percent.

Beyond the Cardinals’ incredible incoming classes and returning stars, Louisville should be able to dominate its regular-season competition.

Louisville should easily defeat Austin Peay and Jacksonville State in nonconference play. The Cardinals will most likely breeze by Georgia Tech, SMU, Virginia, Stanford, and Pitt.

Expecting seven straightforward wins, Louisville could also surprise Boston College, Clemson, and Kentucky. The biggest hurdle the Cardinals will face in 2024 will be the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

If Lousiville can pull off a majority of those surprise wins, the Cardinals would sit at 11-1 overall heading into the postseason.

Not to mention that the winner of the ACC conference championship will most likely receive an automatic bid to the CFPs.

Believe it or not, the Louisville Cardinals not only could but should make their first College Football Playoffs appearance this coming season.

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