In any rivalry game, there is going to be some bad blood. It’s a natural thing. The two teams don’t like each other. The two fan bases don’t like each other. And in many cases, the two coaches don’t like each other. However, there are some rivalries that are more intense than others, and usually for one reason alone. Distance. This is the case for the Kentucky Wildcats and the Louisville Cardinals. These two schools are separated by a mere hour and a half from each other, a straight shot on I-64. With this being the case, the thought of the rivalry being disbanded seems absurd.
Of course, this was before the SEC went and added Missouri and Texas A&M, changing the need for scheduling inside the conference. For right now, everything stays the same. There is still an eight game conference schedule, though it looks a bit different now. However, with the talks of a nine game conference schedule still floating around, it would appear that the UK-UL rivalry might be in danger. Could a team like Kentucky, who is trying to rebuild, really afford to play a good team like the Louisville Cardinals in addition to a grueling SEC schedule? Well, have no fear. Mark Stoops said today that he expects it to continue, regardless of SEC scheduling. Check out what else he had to say about the rivalry below!
Any time you’re an in-state rivalry, it’s important. I think both groups, both institutions, have such strong fans and fan bases, it’s important to them; it’s important to our players, it’s important to us. There’s no denying that. If you ask me, and certainly Charlie (Strong) and I have had discussions — I don’t know Coach (Bobby Petrino) as well — but sometimes people don’t realize there’s 11 other games that we’ve gotta get to. But it is important, and we embrace that challenge.
While he does acknowledge that it’s not the ONLY game on the schedule, he seems to understand how much it means to everyone else in the state. He knows it’s for bragging rights and the crown to the best program in Kentucky. And because of this, Mark Stoops supports it fully. The rivalry isn’t going anywhere, folks. It is here to stay!