College Football Top 25: 10 non-ranked teams who could crack the late-season polls

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Nov 29, 2014; Louisville, KY, USA; Louisville Cardinals quarterback Kyle Bolin (14) celebrates with running back Michael Dyer (5) after a touchdown during the second quarter against the Kentucky Wildcats at Papa John

No. 9: Louisville Cardinals

2014 Finish: 9-4, 5-3 ACC

Louisville has an opportunity to build on what they started during their first season in the ACC. Considering some of the teams they played and how closely those games were contested, a 5-3 conference record was nothing to be ashamed of.

The Cardinals are a sleeper pick for many to actually make the ACC Championship game and possibly win it, but let’s not put that proverbial cart before the horse.

Bobby Petrino has to fix this Cardinals offense, and he has to fix it fast. He’s the man who is supposed to be the genius when it comes to offensive sets and play-calling, and Louisville looked quite pedestrian last season on that side of the ball.

Defensively, the Cardinals looked good – on paper. But was the first year under Todd Grantham just a mirage, and was the lesson in how to run the ball over and through defenders given to the Cardinals by Georgia in the Belk Bowl a shadow of things to come?

There are a lot of questions here, but you should never count out a Bobby Petrino team. The second half of the season is much easier than the first, so even if Louisville staggers out of the gate, they can still make up ground and get the attention the polls during the second half.

Next: Kansas State