Over on CoachCal.com, Calipari has posed the "Who would you drop" question. He states that we are in danger of over scheduling because we will be adding the two SEC games against Missouri next season. These two new league games taken together with on-going commitments to play in the Champions Classic (against Duke and Michigan State over the next two years) and the SEC/Big East Challenge are forcing Cal to make choices to stay within the NCAA's game limitations.
From a die-hard fan's perspective, we would ordinarily keep our perennial rivalries with North Carolina, Indiana and Louisville and cast off cupcake games against the likes of Radford, Tenn-Chattanooga, Samford, Loyola (MD), Lamar and Arkansas-Little Rock. However, it is against these very confectioneries that we hone the individual skills, confidence and team play of the freshmen dominated squads Calipari puts on the court every year. So, we can't throw out two cream puffs - one of the trio of North Carolina, Indiana or Louisville will very likely have to go. So, to the question: Who Would You Drop?!?
Me - I'd drop Louisville.
This is not likely to be a popular pick even on a Kentucky site but, looking into the future of conference realignment and the formation of the super conferences, it is very likely Louisville will be left out in the cold. As we have observed, Louisville is not an attractive program to the ACC, Big 10, SEC, PAC12 or even the Big 12. They will very likely be left to wither on the vine in the diminished Big East. Such a result will have a dramatic impact on their ability to recruit and thereby compete against not only us but the rest of the top tier basketball programs, still better than the typical cupcake but not a high-major program.
If my anticipated scenario comes to pass, and I think it extremely likely, Louisville is destined to become a high risk mid-major. A high risk mid-major is one too good to be considered a cupcake and not good enough to convey any benefit to our RPI for the expected win. And given the emotional charge incorporated into the Kentucky/UoL rivalry, the likelihood of a UoL team playing above their head is too great to provide a reasonable risk/return trade off.
Further, at the point where the SEC goes to 16 teams, we will almost certainly drop Louisville from our football schedule. Why? ... to remain even somewhat bowl viable. At that point we'd be playing 9 conference games. To maximize our chances of at least a 6-6 bowl qualifying season we need to play 3 very beatable OOC teams. Beat 3 sure-thing teams and eek out 3 wins in conference and we're bowl eligible. Louisville is too good a program and would win entirely too often to fit comfortably into that 'sure-thing' category. And if we're going to drop them from the football schedule, it only makes sense to make a clean break and sweep them from our lives entirely.
Bottom line: I'd drop Louisville.
Coach Cal wants our input on his tough scheduling issue. Click Here and Vote! Then come back and tell us how you voted and why.