So, yeah — I guess it’s rivalry week. The time of year where we as football fans traditionally hype ourselves stupid as the final regular season game versus our hated blue bellied enemy rapidly approaches. But, for several reasons, this year’s rendition seems… off. To me anyway, the 2017 Battle for the Governor’s Cup has arrived like a fart in the wind with seemingly nothing of consequence truly on the line, other than a victory or loss against your hated rival: A Kentucky team that just got humiliated on the road by Georgia.
Forgive me for not getting overly excited.
Broadly, there are no meaty story lines headed into this year’s go-around. Let’s see, we’ve got the Lamar Jackson-revenge for last year’s shit-the-bed performance against Kentucky. Aside from that we’re presented two mediocre teams that have mostly under performed and disappointed their fan bases (especially Louisville).
As usual against the Wildcats, Louisville faces a lose/lose situation in that even if they blow the rusty, unhinged doors off of UK, nobody outside of this state will care because the Cats just aren’t a very good team. On the flip side, like last year, if they lose (which is highly probable) it will be two straight humiliating defeats resulting in a trip to the Frisch’s Big Boy Bowl brought to you by whogivesashit.com.
So ultimately what does this game mean to this Louisville squad and its fans? A victory against UK won’t change the fact that this group has largely underachieved finishing with 4 losses (all of which I put heavy blame on new defensive coordinator Peter Sirmon), BUT it’d absolutely wash a little bit of the awful taste of losing to ACC doormat Boston College at home out of our collective mouths.
I’m really not trying to seem so negative, only honest. I want Louisville to win this game. I really, really want the Cards to hang 70 on this Big Blue joke of a team, and hopefully squeak into a decent bowl game against a semi-respectable opponent. The fact is that a blowout win at home against a truly terrible Syracuse troupe and road win against the worst FSU team in nearly half a century doesn’t get my hopes up that Petrino & Co. have righted the ship, because even if they have, it’s too damned late to come anywhere close to meeting preseason expectations.
PREDICTION: I firmly believe that Louisville will dominate this game from start to finish. After last week’s showings from these two teams, the Cards seem to be trending in the right direction on both sides of the ball while Stoops’ Troops seem to be falling apart. I don’t believe that UK is that much better than lowly Syracuse, especially when considering their mounting injuries to key players over the last few weeks. Louisville will win 42-21 as the Cats will struggle to move the ball while Lamar Jackson shreds their weak defense piling up 450 yards of total offense. Yeah, most of this prognostication is based on bullshit hope and/or nothing in particular, but whatever. This is supposed to be fun, and that’s what I’m trying to stir up to add some personal hype going into Saturday.
Photo by Mike Ricke taken from News and Tribune.