Even though the weather leading up to the annual UofL v UK football clash was cloudy and rainy, it became
clear early into the contest that Louisville was the superior program. A 98 yd. drive for the opening touchdown. Two more drives of over 80 yards leading to the same.
Not that UK really cares.
The emphasis with most UK fans I know is basketball. Seeing if they can repeat as national champions.
Football a reason to tailgate on fall Saturday afternoons and not much else.
This has to be stressful to the head football coach Joker Phillips, the athletic director Mitch Barnhart and those associated with the program. Not that Kentucky has ever been a major power in the gridiron game...but there was a sense of at least being able to go to a bowl game during the Rich Brooks years
and the consecutive wins over Steve Kragthorpe's Cards.
Add that to the fact that the program is currently considered the doormat in the nation's most powerful football conference and you have apathy, disillusionment, disgruntlement, and indifference in a sport that
traditionally is a cash cow for major collegiate institutions.
IF they play it, will the Cats fans come?
Commonwealth Stadium is still the largest venue for non-racing sports events in the commonwealth of Kentucky. Whether it reaches 70,000 again for a football game in the near future or not will depend on a few factors...the opponent, the success of the Cats and the weather.
LOUISVILLE won the 2012 version of football Commonwealth style 32-14. It could have been 53-14 if Charlie Strong hadn't pulled his starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater before the final quarter began. A deference to the plight of his friend Joker? After all, they were on the same coaching staff together a few years back and there's no smoldering rivalry there that exists...unlike the Pitino v. Calipari cold war.
Louisville will travel to Lexington next year to play the Cats in football. Not to open the season, UK doesn't schedule it until the third game of the year. Louisville will be stronger, more experienced, deeper and better. UK may be in the first year of a new head coach. I remember a flyer I was handed several years ago when attending the annual game...which was in Lexington that year. It read 'Dump Mitch and Rich.' UK actually won that year in Commonwealth, Rich retired after leading the Cats to several bowl games and Mitch is still the AD.
What will they hand out at UK games this year?