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Mitch Barnhart talks Governor’s Cup amid possible schedule changes in SEC

The series could come to an end if the SEC moves to a 9 game conference schedule.

Mitch Barnhart is against a 9-game SEC schedule in football.
Mitch Barnhart is against a 9-game SEC schedule in football.

The future of SEC football is going to be changing in the coming years when the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners join the conference in 2025.

With the SEC currently in talks about football scheduling, the Governor’s Cup could be in danger of coming to an end.

In an interview with Jon Hale of the Courier Journal, Kentucky Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart stated that he is not sure what will happen with the series if the league moves to 9 conference games.

“I want to see where we go with that deal,” Barnhart said. “That certainly makes our schedule way different. We’ve done a really good job of managing the eight and the four non-conference games. With Louisville, that gives you nine (Power 5) games.”

Mark Stoops as well as other SEC coaches are fighting to keep the league at 8 conference games. However, if the league expands to 9 games, then the annual matchup against Louisville would be up in the air.

The biggest impact would be to the FCS programs like Stoops’ hometown team, Youngstown State, who will be getting paid $550,000 for their trip to Lexington.

“It’s important to support FCS football because I want people participating in college football,” Barnhart said. “I think sometimes we forget about thinking about the end game, making sure everybody is still playing. If there’s opportunities that go away and there’s not kids that want to play the game of football, the game of football suffers. We’ve got to make sure we do things that ensure the game of football and people want to play the game. Keeping FCS football alive is very, very important to that end.”

While the Kentucky vs Louisville rivalry is more significant than an FCS game, Barnhart would not commit to playing the Cards until a scheduling decision from the SEC is finalized.

You can check out everything Barnhart had to say here.