Getting to the BCS National Title Game is the goal of the University of Louisville Football program.  To do that politics must be played & scoreboards must be tested.  The University of Louisville put a ‘beat down’ on Ohio University in its season-opener on Sunday 49-7, amassing 615 yards and sat its 1st Team offense & defense in the 3rd quarter.  The score could have been worse if not for a couple of Pick 6 drops, and a punt return that stumbled.

Still, even despite that domination and Louisville respecting the game of football & their opponent, ESPN’s Chris Fowler dropped the Cards from 13th to 14th from Pre-Season to the Week 2 poll.  Fowler moved Oklahoma & Florida in front of Louisville after their dominating season-opening performance.  Fowler said in response to the poll: “It is a Week 2 ranking, I’m very fluid & will rate them highly if they continue to dominate”.

My response?:  They did dominate and you moved them down in your poll.  This is one voter in the AP, but Fowler is also host of ESPN’s 3-hour pre-game show “College Game Day” and one of the most influential voices in college football.  PLUS, each week matters for the Cards. So while one voter in Week 2, doesn’t believe in the hype of the Cards it IS A BIG DEAL in terms of gaining the national consensus early enough to make a push for the BCS National Title Game in Pasadena.

So what did Fowler see in Florida & Oklahoma to make him believe that they were more dominant than the Cards?  Well, the Gators (who the Cards beat 33-23 in the Sugar Bowl) beat their MAC opponent, Toledo, 24-6.  Remember that the Cards beat their MAC opponent 49-7 and sat their starters in the 3rd quarter, while tallying 615 yards and allowing just 273?  Well late in the 3rd quarter Florida led just 17-6 and finished with just 415 yards (allowed 205) against a similarly regarded MAC team. I DON’T THINK THAT IS REASON TO MOVE THEM IN FRONT OF LOUISVILLE!!!!!   Oklahoma was impressive against Louisiana-Monroe posting a 34-0 shutout, the Sooners had 429 yards and allowed just 166.  But OU didn’t get over 30 points until just 38 seconds left in the 3Q.

How Does Louisville Get Voters Attention? 

The AP Poll doesn’t count in the BCS tabulations.  But the AP Poll DOES influence public perception, the Coaches Poll (which does matter), and the Harris Poll (which also accounts for 1/3rd of the BCS Formula).  But more than anything Louisville needs to gain collective consensus with voters that they are an elite program worthy of their Top votes.  As the season goes on, this will become more and more important.

One of the ways the Cards can achieve this is by posting HUGE margins of victory.  On Sunday, Louisville had a shutout going before the 2nd Defense allowed a TD and the Cards went on to win by 42.

42-points in game one.  That’s a solid start.  A weak schedule.  That’s another thing.  So I started thinking, what is the BIGGEST Margin of Victory season in the last 10 years?  Could Louisville Football make a run at being the largest margin of victory school and use that as a platform to get into the hunt of a BCS National Championship game.  Here are the results in terms of Points & Yards Allowed by Louisville Opponents in Week 1:

Points Allowed Yards Allowed
Eastern KY (Robert Morris) 6 232
Kentucky (WKU) 35 487
FIU (Maryland) 43 576
Temple (Notre Dame) 28 543
Rutgers (Fresno) 52 537
UCF (Akron) 7 250
USF (McNeese) 53 424
Connecticut (Towson) 33 393
Houston (Southern) 13 372
Memphis no game yet no game yet
Cincinnati (Purdue) 7 226

Eastern Kentucky is the next target. An FCS school, the Colonels handled Robert Morris allowing just 232 yards.  That’s a solid job.  And while I typically advocate FBS schools blowing the doors off FCS schools (respect the game), a big margin COULD happen on Saturday at Papa John’s.  Kentucky, FIU, Temple, Rutgers, USF, UConn, & Houston all game up a lot on defense in Week 1.  Memphis is yet to play, but there is no reason to believe their 4-8 results from a year ago are about to change.

In fact, the only games right now where it appears that Louisville won’t just have their way with opponent’s Defense is UCF & Cincinnati.  If Louisville starts scoring on Defense and getting some run on Special Teams they could even be more dangerous.

Season Margin Leaders since 2003

After discovering all of this I went through the last 10 years of college football and targeted teams with 2 or fewer losses & compiled their average margin for their seasons.   3 loss schools may have ridiculous blowouts that could qualify themselves for this chart, but I wanted to identify teams that were potentially in the hunt for the national championship.  So 2-losses was the cut-off and  I went back through a decade of results.

How I calculated:

Pretty simple (I like to keep things simple) add up the total points of the team vs. their total points of the opponent, divide by the number of games.  I didn’t just count wins.  I included losses into the equation as well to get a good representation of a team’s average margin for a given season.

What I Found: 

Oregon’s 2010 team is the #1 Season Margin besting their opponents by an average of 41.85 points per game.  That is a nearly 6 Touchdown advantage per game.  Texas in 2005 was slightly behind UO’s 2010 season at 41.54, but is equally impressive.  These two teams were far & away the leaders, with a strong pack in the 37+ range behind them.

I did find it interesting that Louisville’s 2004 team was #3 on this list, with the 2006 Orange Bowl team had the 26th best margin in the last decade.  Last year’s Sugar Bowl Championship team is near the bottom at 103rd with an average margin of 11.31.  In all, 110 teams made up the list with Iowa’s 2004 10-2 team rounding out the bottom with an average margin of just 6.92.

As it stands right now Louisville’s 2013 average margin of 42 would be the best all-time…………………..but it is just one game.  If the Cards can continue to win at a high rate we will see where they can compare to the best season margins of the last decade.  Maybe UofL can even use this to their advantage when arguing for their spot in the BCS National Title game.

* = National Championship Runner-Up

**=National Champion

1 Oregon 2010* 12-1 41.85
2 Texas 2005** 13-0 41.54
3 Louisville 2004 11-1 37.83
4 Florida 2008** 13-1 37.36
5 TCU 2010 13-0 37.23
6 Kansas 2007 12-1 37.08
7 Boise St 2010 12-1 37.00
8 Florida State 2012 12-2 36.93
9 USC 2005* 12-1 36.31
10 Alabama 2012** 13-1 35.93
11 Oregon 2012 12-1 34.85
12 Penn St 2008 11-2 34.46
13 USC 2008 12-1 34.00
14 Utah 2004 12-0 32.42
15 Texas 2008 12-1 32.31
16 Oklahoma 2003* 12-2 32.29
17 USC 2004** 13-0 32.23
18 Florida 2009 13-1 31.93
19 Alabama 2011** 12-1 31.79
20 Stanford 2010 12-1 31.69
21 LSU 2003** 13-1 31.21
22 Boise St 2003 13-1 31.21
23 Ohio State 2010 12-1 31.08
24 Boise St 2004 11-1 31.00
25 Boise St 2009 14-0 30.50
26 Louisville 2006 12-1 30.46
27 Boise St 2011 12-1 30.08
28 TCU 2008 11-2 30.00
29 TCU 2009 12-1 29.77
30 Stanford 2011 11-2 29.77
31 Boise St 2008 12-1 29.62
32 LSU 2011* 13-1 29.57
33 WVU 2007 11-2 29.08
34 Houston 2011 13-1 29.00
35 Texas 2009* 13-1 28.29
36 USC 2003 12-1 28.00
37 Oklahoma St 2011 12-1 27.77
38 Oregon 2011 12-2 27.50
39 LSU 2007** 12-2 27.29
40 Ohio State 2006* 12-1 27.23
41 LSU 2006 11-2 27.23
42 Oklahoma 2008 12-2 26.64
43 Alabama 2009** 14-0 26.21
44 VT 2005 11-2 26.14
45 Nevada 2010 13-1 26.07
46 Miami (OH) 2003 13-1 25.86
47 Boise St 2006 13-0 25.85
48 Auburn 2004 13-0 25.46
49 Utah 2008 13-0 25.15
50 Hawaii 2007 12-1 25.08
51 WVU 2006 11-2 25.00
52 Oklahoma 2004* 12-1 24.85
53 Texas 2004 11-1 24.75
54 Oklahoma St. 2010 11-2 24.62
55 Ohio State 2007* 11-2 23.92
56 Cincinnati 2009 12-1 23.92
57 Georgia 2012 12-2 23.79
58 Wisconsin 2010 11-2 23.54
59 BYU 2006 11-2 23.23
60 Penn St 2005 11-1 22.83
61 USC 2007 11-2 22.69
62 Arkansas 2011 11-2 22.46
63 TCU 2011 11-2 22.08
64 Penn St 2009 11-2 22.00
65 Wisconsin 2006 12-1 21.69
66 Missouri 2007 12-2 21.46
67 Clemson 2012 11-2 21.23
68 K-State 2012 11-2 21.23
69 Florida 2006** 13-1 21.21
70 Alabama 2008 12-2 21.00
71 TCU 2006 11-2 20.92
72 USC 2006 11-2 20.92
73 Auburn 2010** 14-0 20.79
74 Ohio State 2009 11-2 20.77
75 Northern Illinois 2012 12-2 20.71
76 Ohio State 2012 12-0 20.00
77 South Carolina 2012 11-2 19.85
78 Rutgers 2006 11-2 19.69
79 Southern Miss 2011 12-2 19.07
80 Central Michigan 2009 12-2 19.00
81 Ball St 2008 12-2 18.93
82 Ohio State 2005 10-2 18.92
83 Miami (FL) 2003 11-2 18.77
84 Michigan 2006 11-2 18.69
85 Oklahoma 2010 12-2 18.29
86 WVU 2005 11-1 18.25
87 LSU 2005 11-2 17.62
88 ND 2012* 12-1 17.62
89 San Jose St 2012 11-2 17.23
90 Boise St 2012 11-2 16.31
91 Georgia 2007 11-2 16.00
92 BYU 2009 11-2 15.92
93 Auburn 2006 11-2 15.77
94 LSU 2010 11-2 15.46
95 USC 2011 10-2 14.83
96 Florida 2012 11-2 14.54
97 TCU 2005 11-1 14.50
98 Stanford 2012 12-2 14.29
99 Utah St 2012 11-2 13.69
100 South Carolina 2011 11-2 13.62
101 Northern Illinois 2003 10-2 13.58
102 Utah 2003 10-2 11.67
103 Louisville 2012 11-2 11.31
104 BYU 2007 11-2 11.15
105 Navy 2004 10-2 11.08
106 Iowa 2009 11-2 11.08
107 Michigan St 2010 11-2 10.23
108 Ohio State 2003 11-2 9.31
109 TCU 2003 11-2 8.69
110 Iowa 2004 10-2 6.92
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@UofLSheriff50. Louisville native, University of Louisville Business School Grad c/o 2004. Co-Founder of TheCrunchZone.com

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