Louisville Football joined Conference USA in 1996. 19 seasons of league play since that time and a pretty decisive set of data.
When the Cards and Petrino Win The Season And/Or Conference Opener
Since 1996 when Louisville WINS its Season Opener the Cards have won 70.19% of their games. Correlating to a 9.1247-win season for 2014.
When the Cards win their CONFERENCE Opener, Louisville has won 79.21% of their games Correlating to a 10.2973-win season for 2014.
Bobby Petrino is EVEN BETTER. Petrino has won ALL 10 of his season openers as a Head Coach and has won 73.68% of his games correlating to a 9.5784-win season for the Cardinals in 2014.
When Bobby Petrino wins his first CONFERENCE game which has happened in now 6 of 10 seasons, he wins 86.84% of his games in that season. Correlating to a 11.2892-win season for the 2014 season.
When the Cards and Petrino Lose The Season And/Or Conference Opener
Things are MUCH different for the season when Louisville starts things off with a loss.
Since 1998 the Cards have won just 44.26% of their games when losing the season-opener, and 49.59% when UofL loses the conference opener. Both would project a season under .500.
Petrino on the other hand has NEVER lost a season-opening game, but when he loses the opening conference game Coach Petrino has won just 66.67% of his games during those seasons. Correlating to a 8.671-win season for the Cards.
What Do We Really Know?
Knowing the data, that is all it is. But we can identify trends. Transitioning to a new conference MAY affect this data, but again Louisville is on its 4th conference in 19 years and Bobby Petrino is now in his 4th college head job (Louisville 2x, WKU, and Arkansas). The data was mined during change of all types AND the Petrino data was collected for 4 seasons while he was coaching in the SEC West.
In any event it is interesting to look at how the 1st step out of the gate can really affect probability of a season. And in 2014 the probability of a nice season took a great 1st step on Monday Night.
|When Cards Win Season Opener||W||L||When They Win Conference Opener||W||L|
|When Cards Lose Season Opener||W||L||When They Lose Conference Opener||W||L|
|When Petrino Wins Season Opener||W||L||When Petrino Wins Conference Opener||W||L|
|When Petrino Loses Season Opener||W||L||When Petrino Loses Conference Opener||W||L|