Mike over at Card Chronicle is sorting through his feelings on The Governor's Cup being played in November for the first time:
Maybe it's because it's still so new or maybe it's because there's still some afterglow from the Notre Dame win, but for me, so far this week hasn't felt like either Kentucky game week or Thanksgiving week. Maybe it's because the two forces are so unfamiliar with one another that they're working to cancel each other out, I don't know.
I encourage you click the link to read the thoughts of other Louisville fans, as well as Mike's comprehensive pros and cons list.
I think this is a question worth asking A Sea of Blue readers as well. How do we feel playing our biggest rival in November instead of August or September? It does feel a little weird, right? The Commonwealth was accustomed to watching the teams play at the beginning of the season when you can't help but feel optimistic about the season ahead. This week the teams are playing with actual things at stake, so why doesn't it feel like rivalry week for some (myself included)?
That basketball has started for both schools probably explains some of it, but I'm going to say it's mostly just because this is a new experience for many of us, and we'll end up liking the change in a few years. I confess, I don't miss the jawing that use to go on in the slow summer months between the fan bases and sometimes even the players. One comment, usually meaningless, would invariably get blown up by the media hungry for content during a slow July or early August.
Sure those moments added to the game, but did they add to the game for the right reasons? I don't think think so, but now our schools are officially a part of Rivalry Week along with Clemson-South Carolina, Georgia Tech-Georgia, Auburn-Alabama, and Florida State-Florida to name a few. Now our rivalry feels elevated by proxy since its on the same platform of other great rivalries. Slow-summer trash talk is no longer required.
If the programs both continue to improve, The Governor's Cup could now feasible air as a prelude to The Iron Bowl or The Egg Bowl. Imagine the families gathering in Birmingham, Hilton Head, Biloxi, or Orlando grazing on their vast spread of Thanksgiving leftovers together, and watching Kentucky versus Louisville in football; and not because of a rooting interests, but just because on Thanksgiving, BAH GAWD, you watch good football with loved ones and gain weight.
I seriously doubt that possibility was ever imagined when the Governor's Cup series resumed in 1994.
Every single bit of this is great for programmatic prestige and recruiting. Both schools are in the position to capitalize on the late season move, even if the "new haircut" seems kinda off for the moment.
That's my pitch for why the move was worth it even if it feels weird this year. How are you feeling about the move?