The most heated rivalry in all of the Commonwealth of Kentucky is unarguably the Wildcats..."/> The most heated rivalry in all of the Commonwealth of Kentucky is unarguably the Wildcats..."/>

Looking at the Kentucky vs. Louisville Rivalry: Is it even a Rivalry?


The most heated rivalry in all of the Commonwealth of Kentucky is unarguably the Wildcats versus the Cardinals. Kentucky represents the entire state while Louisville represents a small faction of the state, one county for the most part. Even though the majority of the fans cheer for UK, the Cards have a very passionate, albeit a smaller fan base.

The two major sports that we all pay attention to are obviously football and basketball. Kentucky leads the basketball rivalry all time 28-14, including the past two years in a row, and the football record is 14-9 in favor of the Cats, including the last four in a row. As we can see the Cats have sizable leads in both major sports, especially in basketball.

Let’s also focus on the factors that you cannot keep stats in or you can place in a win/loss column. National attention and exposure also goes in favor of the Wildcats. Louisville does not have players on the level of John Wall, Tayshaun Prince, DeMarcus Cousins, or Randall Cobb, just to name a few, in the pros that America sees on a regular basis. John Calipari gets more media attention in one week than Rick Pitino gets in an entire month. Big Blue Madness has now turned into a recruit destination where the best of the best in high school basketball show up.

One aspect that Louisville does have Kentucky be in are the facilities. I love Rupp Arena, but the Yum! Center is far superior. But let’s see how long that lasts. Kentucky is looking at either renovating Rupp arena or building a world class bran new basketball arena in downtown Lexington.

As far as the football complexes go I also have to concede that to Louisville. Commonwealth can hold more fans but it needs some serious renovations. Papa John’s Cardinal stadium is nicer because it is newer and it has a new expansion area that is also very nice. I really think that the football stadium needs a makeover as well.

Kentucky is also beating Louisville in the “minor” sports. Kentucky swept Louisville in baseball this past season, the women’s volleyball team is also beating the Cards with regularity. In short, the Cats are pretty much superior to the Cards in every sport.

With the expansion of the SEC being the talk of college sports right now, Kentucky has to seriously consider whether or not they need to play Louisville every year in football. The SEC schedule will become even more difficult, and let’s be real, the Cats do not fair well when it comes to SEC play. The Cards might be an automatic win every year right now, but if Charlie Strong ever lives up to any of the hype that he has been built up about, then the Governor’s Cup might not be a game that Kentucky will want to play if they intend to go to a bowl game every year.

I honestly think that the Governor’s Cup means more to the Louisville fans than it does to the Kentucky fans. The fact that they play in the weakest BCS conference in the land does not give them much to brag about as far as wins and losses are considered. Kentucky fans can say “We beat LSU this season”, or “We beat Georgia this season”, and people will be genuinely impressed. Louisville fans can brag about beating powerhouses like Syracuse, South Florida and Pitt. In other words, they can’t brag at all.

Kentucky has proven historically and within recent memory that it has a better sports program that the University of Louisville. Does it really need to continue showing them up? I like to see it just for bragging rights. But does Kentucky honestly need the game against Louisville?

And what about bragging rights? I have listed in this post the all time records of the two teams as well as the most recent results, a blind man could tell you which team is superior overall. No matter what Kentucky does, no matter how many times Kentucky wins and no matter the point difference, Louisville fans will continue to insist, for some unknown reasoning that their delusional minds have invented, that their team is better than ours. Yes, it defies logic in every sense of the word but they somehow continue to insist greatness on their part.

The basketball game will always be played. There is plenty of room on the schedule for both teams and the effects of a win or a loss are not as dire as the football game. But the football game seriously might be in question as expansion becomes a reality.

What say you Big Blue Nation? Will you be upset if Kentucky ceases to play Louisville in the Governors Cup? Or are you fine with not having to listen to the Louisville fans anymore than you really have to?

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