Debating the Kentucky-Louisville football series

ukgovernorsAs we wait on Andrew Wiggins this afternoon, up popped a football issue.

J. Rowland of Rivals tweeted that he didn’t believe that Kentucky had anything to gain from its game with Louisville and would like to see the series discontinued. That’s not a crazy notion. I can see where he’s coming from, especially if the SEC does in fact implement a nine-game conference schedule in the near future.

Still, I’m against Kentucky dropping Louisville, or vice versa, and here are three reasons why.

1. The series has been good for football interest in the state. It sparks summer debate, especially when the game is the season opener. It has also been a relatively even series — U of L actually leads 11-8 — which makes it a competitive and interesting series, unlike say UK-Florida or UK-Tennessee.

2. How can you say┬áKentucky has nothing to gain, especially this year when Louisville could be a top five team when the two teams meet in late September? An upset of Louisville in the season opener sparked Guy Morriss’ 2002 team to a 7-5 record. When Rich Brooks’ UK team beat Louisville in 2007 it set the stage for the Cats’ upset of No. 1 LSU later in the year.

3. If Kentucky drops Louisville, it will schedule another Alabama State or Norfolk State. That’s true whether there is an eight-game or nine-game conference schedule. If you want fans to come to the stadium, instead of staying home to watch the myriad games on television, you need to give the customer more good matchups, not fewer.

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