Which, all other considerations aside, makes the move more than just all right with the BBN. If Tom’s unhappy, Big Blue is delighted. Heck, if Tom’s unhappy, lots of Cardinal fans are also smiling.
The move is also more than fine with me.
I liked the anticipation that has come with a season opener against the Cardinals’ biggest rival. But that had become only an every other year occurrence, at Kentucky’s insistence. The game, which to this point isn’t that big a blip on the national radar, has gotten even more totally lost when played, as it will be this year, several games in.
So, if it’s not going to be the opener, let it end the season. Which is when the football deities feel rivalry games should be played. Texas vs. Oklahoma notwithstanding, as the exception that proves the rule.
Apparently the SEC and ACC imposed the permanent change on the schools. The game can now be packaged for TV with three other season ending rivalries between those league’s schools. Florida/ Florida State. South Carolina/ Clemson. Georgia/ Georgia Tech.
That’s the name of tradition these days.
From a Louisville perspective, it’s a no brainer. It solidifies the series. It is further indication that the Cardinals are yet another step immersed into the nation’s elite.
For Kentucky, it’s a bit different. The Cats have been finishing the season with Tennessee for sixty years or so, but it’s been a rivalry only in the minds of UK fans. And the Vols won about fifty of those games in a row. A change should be welcome. By playing U of L in the finale, there must be begrudging recognition of the Cards’ burgeoning status.
In the end, one guy’s opinion, it’s good for both schools.
All lip service to the contrary aside, Louisville and Kentucky are each other’s biggest, most hated rival. In every sport, including football. (It’s even extending to stealing eminent cancer researchers.) For fans of either side to deny the importance of this rivalry is duplicity of the most heinous sort.
And, pipe dreaming for a bit, suppose the following plays out. Charlie Strong is as good a coach as his first three seasons indicate, and Louisville rises to the upper echelon of the sport and stays there. Mark Stoops is as good a coach as the BBN hopes, and Kentucky elevates itself to a loftier status. (It’s happened. Think Kansas State. Or Miami.)
If those scenarios play out, who is to say that, in the next decade, the rivalry can’t become one of the premier must watch season-enders in the land?
I’m thinking real football weather. Raccoon coats. Boolah boolah, sis boom bah. A chance for either school to put a cap on a great season. Or scuttle their rival’s. With a full year’s bragging rights on the line.
– Seedy K