Louisville doesn’t need Kentucky on football schedule

Courier-Journal columnist Tim Sullivan writes in his latest column that a noisy segment of the University of Kentucky fan base would prefer that UK stop playing Louisville in football altogether. I’m inclined to agree with them but for different reasons.

They’re tired of losing to Louisville and want to get out while UK still owns an edge in the all-time series. The Wildcats have a tough enough schedule with Auburn, Tennessee, Georgia and other SEC teams every year without playing a strong in-state rival.

There’s talk that UK athletic director Mitch Barnhart has been discussing a future series with Cincinnati, which would give Kentucky more exposure in talent-rich Ohio. If they think UC is going to be a pushover, they haven’t paying attention to the Bearcats’ program in recent years. For the sake of Cincinnati, stuck outside the Big Five conferences, I hope the series is finalized.

Tom Jurich doesn't want to end the football series.
Tom Jurich

As for UofL, the time for the Cardinals needing to play Kentucky has long since passed. Entry into the Atlantic Coast Conference guarantees that UofL will have a respectable schedule every year on out, with teams like Florida State, Clemson and the occasional game against Notre Dame.

A UofL win over Kentucky has never meant much to the outside world. Having Wildcats on the docket does not enhance the Cardinals’ strength of schedule. A loss to the Wildcats in a rivalry game, where emotion often prevails, could be devastating, especially if the game is the last one in the season.

For some reason Tom Jurich still insists that he wants to keep playing Kentucky every season. Could it be that Tom takes some satisfaction in continuing the series in part because UK wants out of it? He knows the game will always be the game of the season for many Wildcat fans, the opponent they hate the most, the team they most would like to beat. That makes it difficult for Barnhart to escape the series gracefully.

I’ve personally never enjoyed sitting a couple seats away from UK fans on the same row at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium or, heaven forbid, having them seated in the row behind me. While we may have good relationships with them on other days, that all changes on game day.  At best, relationships between serious UofL and UK fan are strained when it comes to sports.

If Kentucky doesn’t want to play Louisville, and UofL doesn’t need UK any more, let them go their way, and we’ll go ours.

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Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

6 thoughts on “Louisville doesn’t need Kentucky on football schedule

  • July 23, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    I’m ready to be done with it because I don’t like to be around UK fans. I have little respect for them. I group them in with the low-information crowd, following blindly without any knowledge of how that program is operated.

  • July 23, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    We should keep the game. The rivalry can be so toxic that some people lose sight of how enjoyable and entertaining our rivalry games are. Sports is entertainment, and nothing is more entertaining in sports than playing your rival. Having a rival also elevates programs who have them. The nation takes notice, and they become interested in it as well. It’s OK to dislike UK, but we shouldn’t dislike them so much that we can no longer enjoy getting the opportunity to beat them.

  • July 23, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    Sports is (are?)supposed to be about fun.
    What’s more fun than beating Kentucky?

  • July 24, 2014 at 2:35 am

    Nah, let them play. Beating up on UK in football is fun and satisfying and is something I look forward to most years. Plus, as much as it sucks to admit this, beating them in football helps with losing to them in basketball because, let’s face it, that happens more often than not.

  • July 24, 2014 at 9:04 am

    I hope they do get a series with UC,if they drop UofL.Tommy Tuberville,would love nothing more than to beat on UK’s sorry football team. Go Bearcats

  • July 25, 2014 at 9:19 am

    I say keep it. Nothing better than smashing those low lives every season. If we are going to drop it, at least wait until we have the edge in the all-time series

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