Teams on the rise, fall for 2014

Michigan among teams projected to climb, Louisville among those set to drop

Updated: January 8, 2014, 2:41 PM ET
By Phil Steele | ESPN Insider

Teddy BridgewaterDavid Manning/USA TODAY SportsWith Teddy Bridgewater gone, Louisville could struggle next season.
A lot can happen in college football between now and the start of the season in August -- and for that matter between now and when I release my annual preview in May. However, I thought I would take an early look at teams that appear poised to increase or decrease their win totals from 2013.

Here's a look at two teams that had great seasons in 2013 but are projected to decline in 2014, and three teams with winning records in 2013 that are poised to rise next season.


Falling

Louisville Cardinals

2013 record: 12-1

It was all laid out for the Cardinals in 2013 as they welcomed back projected top-five NFL draft pick Teddy Bridgewater, returned 10 starters on defense and had a schedule tailor-made for an undefeated season. Their only blemish ended up being a blown 28-7 third-quarter lead against UCF, but they still finished 12-1 with a rout of the Miami Hurricanes in the Russell Athletic Bowl. With back-to-back top-15 finishes, the Cardinals appeared to be a rising program, but things are about to change -- and not for the better.


To read the rest of Phil Steele's article on the teams he expects to rise and fall in the 2014 college football season, you must be an ESPN Insider.

Phil Steele

ESPN Insider