ust how important is Saturday's Governor's Cup matchup between Louisville and Kentucky? In my humble opinion, it is critical. Let me explain.
First, it's critical because Kentucky fans have suffered at the hands of Cardinal fans for years, up until the last couple. Bobby Petrino had Louisville built into national notoriety, and for four straight years, the Cardinals crushed us into a fine powder, rolled us up, and smoked us. I have not forgotten those years.
I have not forgotten those years. Since the renewal of the rivalry game in 1994, Louisville owns streaks of two, three and four games. They have taken nine of the fifteen games that the teams have played since the rivalry was renewed, and have reveled in schadenfreude until we finally broke the four-game streak in 2007 when Stevie got loose.
Let's take a look at the series:
Courtesy of Wikipedia:
|Date||Site||Winning team||Losing team||Series|
|2002-09-01||Louisville||Kentucky||22||Louisville (17)||17||UK 10-5|
|2005-09-04||Lexington||Louisville (12)||31||Kentucky||24||UK 10-8|
|2006-09-03||Louisville||Louisville (13)||59||Kentucky||28||UK 10-9|
|2007-09-15||Lexington||Kentucky||40||Louisville (9)||34||UK 11-9|
UK desperately needs to at least equal the 1999-2001 winning streak of Louisville, if for no other reason than to say we did. It is really frustrating to see those long Cardinal streaks and that 12 year period where Louisville took nine of the games away.
Also, consider the schedule this year. The path to a bowl requires at least one major upset if Kentucky loses this game, and even though that is always possible, it is also possible that UK will lose a game in which they are favored, as they have almost every year. If that happens, the path to a bowl becomes much iffier, and even though I think this team can do it, meeting Florida 2-0 is infinitely preferable to meeting them 1-1 with a loss to a bitter rival the game before.
I am really pumped about this contest, and I want to see Kentucky prevail in the worst way. I really want this bowl streak to continue, and even get to bigger, better bowls. But losing to Louisville makes all that much tougher.
I hope I have made my point. Kentucky needs this game, bad. It is a big one.