Hello Kentucky fans I have always had an interesting question regarding who you consider your rivals. I have watched Kentucky pretty consistent in all 3 big sports. But my question is do you consider MSU a rival in Football, Basketball, or Baseball. Or 2 or all 3 of the sports.
MSU and Kentucky play each other in football every year despite being in separate divisions. This game each year always seems to be close. To me bowl game berths are on the line each year for both teams when they play and while they both aren't ranked when playing, they always seem to play one of the most exciting games of the season each year. I cant really see anything ever really great has happened to MSU football. I am a supporter for keeping this permanent divisional meeting between MSU and Kentucky.
MSU and Kentucky in Basketball has of course been dominated Kentucky and the tradition Kentucky has is no where near what MSU has or ever will. But that still doesn't mean that the games MSU and Kentucky play are not exciting. In fact I have seen many classic MSU Kentucky games. In 1996 MSU beat Kentucky to win the SEC Tournament. MSU went to their only final four in school history that year and Kentucky won the nc (MSU and Kentucky did not meet in the final four, MSU lost to Syracuse). Plus here is some food for thought. Should MSU be more of a basketball school? I'm sure you have heard of the MSU Loyola game of change in 1963 when MSU disobeyed the state governors orders to play against a team that had African Americans, but did you know they were denied into the tournament 3 other times? That's right in 1959, 1961, and 1962, MSU was denied into the Tournament because they were going to play African Americans. I'm not sure about the other 2 teams but that 1959 team I think would have won the nc. They were ranked 3rd in the final AP poll, had a player(Bailey Howell) that averaged 28 points and 19 rebounds a game, and only lost 1 game. Now i'm not saying that MSU would be a basketball power right now if they weren't denied, I just think they would be more of a basketball school. Also for note MSU and Kentucky have each won the most division titles in their respective divisions(that will not change as divisions were disbanded in 2011). Now I am an MSU fan so I am just telling you about our basketball history. I know you know about your basketball history and I respect your basketball program.
Baseball to me has an interesting story. Now you may be wondering why I brought up baseball here but there are a few reasons: I love college baseball , I consider MSU a baseball school, and there is an interesting controversy that happened not too long ago. Now as far as I can tell(by reading history) Kentucky really didn't have that much success before John Cohen came to Kentucky. Now I will say that I think Kentucky is a good competitive program now so that's all that matters. And John Cohen gave Kentucky new hope when he started winning at Kentucky. But according to this. He left because of a contract clause that stated if Kentucky did not start constructing/renovating a new stadium before the 2008 season, then he was free to go. And that is what he did when he accepted the MSU head coaching job and caused a lot of fires even in Starkville. Apparently long time coach Ron Polk wanted to hire someone else and was mad that MSU didn't. I could go into a long story comparing MSUs baseball stadium and Kentucky's but I think that is cruel. Let me just say that MSU currently holds the all time NCAA on campus attendance record for any game(in fact they own all top 10 on campus attendance records). So while I am sidetracking, MSU is having really good success and Kentucky seems to be maintaining a good program as well. Does this make for an intresting rivalry between Gary Henderson and John Cohen?
In short, Kentucky has a real great basketball program while MSU has a real great baseball program. While this is from the perspective of a MSU fan let it be known that you already probably know all about Kentucky's history. I gave you interesting facts between the schools and as I stated above my question to you is how many sports if any do you consider MSU a rival. Can you also comment about a top 5 list of who you think Kentucky's top 5 rivals are? Thanks for reading this and I respect Kentucky. I don't hate Kentucky. -wtw2400