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The Kentucky-Indiana rivalry doesn’t have to completely die


According to a report by Andy Katz on Thursday, Kentucky still has a reserved date at Lucas Oil Stadium for a game next season. The validity of that report has since been questioned, but it looks like Kentucky is at least interested in still playing a game in Indy, even if it is not against Indiana. Texas, West Virginia, and Kansas have been rumored as potential neutral site opponents for quite some time. As Matthew Hayes mentioned yesterday, Ohio State would be a great potential neutral site opponent as well. Playing the Buckeyes in Indy would be a nice geographical fit and would have the potential to fill up Lucas Oil Stadium.

Hayes also pointed out in his post yesterday that there would be no better way to stick it to Indiana than scheduling their in-state rival Purdue for a game in Indy. I have an even better idea. Just because we no longer have a rivalry with IU, does not mean we can’t have a rivalry with the state of Indiana. I’m proposing that UK starts up an annual double-header in Indianapolis featuring UK and Louisville against two other Indiana teams: Notre Dame and Purdue. You could call it the “Bluegrass-Hoosier Classic”, but IU doesn’t have an invitation.

A past Notre Dame-Kentucky rivalry would be renewed every other year, with UK and UofL alternating between playing either Notre Dame and Purdue. The tickets to the 60,000 seat Lucas Oil Stadium could be divided between the 4 schools, with each school receiving 15,000 tickets. On a Saturday in December, UK and UofL fans could get along for once and root for each other against the Indiana schools, while IU plays a less significant game in Bloomington. This would certainly make IU regret ending the Kentucky series, and perhaps would cause them to cave in and agree to play the Cats on a neutral site in the future. If UK and UofL worked together to make this happen, it would also improve the relationship between the two schools and possibly make it easier to work out an agreement to play an annual game at the Yum Center.

So what do ya’ll think? If UK goes through with still playing in Indy, who would you like to see them play there? Let me know on Twitter @wilmhoffKSR and sound off in the comment section below.

Article written by John Wilmhoff

Former beer vendor, college mascot and ESPN editor. This spring, you can also find me blogging about the Reds on Follow me on Twitter: @JohnWilmhoff

41 Comments for The Kentucky-Indiana rivalry doesn’t have to completely die

  1. CATS
    1:03 pm May 6, 2012 Permalink

    Doesn’t Louisville already play Notre Dame in the Big East?

  2. flipisatrip
    1:04 pm May 6, 2012 Permalink

    dumb as hell, play IU.

  3. NO More Indiana
    1:04 pm May 6, 2012 Permalink

    Bottom line, we don’t need them so let it die. Let UL pick it up and play home on home. We have options. I would like to have UCLA either home on home or a neutral site. To dominate them would shut up those who still say UCLA is the #1 program. We know better and can prove it on the court.

  4. Chris
    1:06 pm May 6, 2012 Permalink

    so you basically stole the idea from the radio the other day with UK and Louisville playing in North Carolina and changed it to UK and UL playing in Indiana.

    Good one.

  5. John Wilmhoff
    1:12 pm May 6, 2012 Permalink

    #1 good point…maybe Butler could be included instead.

  6. FlySoup
    1:13 pm May 6, 2012 Permalink

    If UK and UofL worked together to make this happen, it would also improve the relationship between the two schools and possibly make it easier to work out an agreement to play an annual game at the Yum Center

    keep dreaming

  7. BravoBigBlue
    1:16 pm May 6, 2012 Permalink

    It needs to be a top 10 program. That eliminates Purdue and Notre Dame. It needs to be a school that the Indy location makes sense. Not Kansas, Duke, North Carolina, or Syracuse. That leaves Michigan State. It would draw big crowds from both schools. And it likely would help recruiting in Indiana for both schools.

  8. juice
    1:18 pm May 6, 2012 Permalink

    Wisconsin. Great fan base. Would like to see the two contrasting teams play one another. Would be an interesting game. That being said I’m a UK fan that lives in Wisco.

  9. here ya go
    1:22 pm May 6, 2012 Permalink

    when i look at the map i see 4 teams.. kentucky louisville ohio state and wait for it.. illinois… yep not a single indiana team and all 4 travel well.. rotate playing osu and illinois.. illinois is not gonna hurt us in recruiting.

  10. notplayingthisgame
    1:29 pm May 6, 2012 Permalink

    Derby’s over. Stop beating this horse! lol
    Completely trusting Coach to turn this into something good.

  11. Big Blue 66
    1:31 pm May 6, 2012 Permalink

    why…thats about it, why do we need a rivalry with the state of Indiana, and why does everyone always think we need to play Notre Dame or Purdue?? The Ohio State game would be okay.

  12. martinbluther
    1:34 pm May 6, 2012 Permalink

    I say play an Ohio River Valley Challenge: UK, UL, Cincy, Xavier, OSU, Purdue, Notre Dame, and Butler. Let IU sit on the outside of a fantastic tourney.

  13. lane taylor
    1:35 pm May 6, 2012 Permalink

    Dont be surprised if we end up with a deal with West Virginia. Cal and Huggins are friends, WVU is a solid basketball team, and we’ve built a small “rivalry” with them over the last few NCAA tourneys. Plus I’m a die hard UK fan and my college roommate is from WV so it would be great to have bragging rights.

  14. Usernametaken
    1:39 pm May 6, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t think Purdue and Notre Dame have that kind of drawing power. Hell, I don’t think Ohio State has that kind of drawing power.

  15. Burger
    1:43 pm May 6, 2012 Permalink

    Hey John –

    I propose that no one ever have to drive on the same roads as people from Ohio, EVER, PERIOD.

    If we invite Ohio State into Indy to play, the entire state of Indiana would have a legitimate right to be complete douchebags towards everyone in blue.

    Oh wait, they already are.

    Welcome to Indy Buckeyes!

  16. Burger
    1:47 pm May 6, 2012 Permalink

    #14 – Usernametaken – Yea, but no one question their sucking power!

  17. Burnsj
    1:51 pm May 6, 2012 Permalink

    I still like the Kentucky/ Louisville vs. UNC/ Duke game.

  18. serdi
    2:02 pm May 6, 2012 Permalink

    UK-Louisville vs North Carolina-Duke would be great.

    Playing Purdue in Indianapolis would be good.

    NO to playing Ohio State anywhere. UK tried for years to play them in Cincinnati and Dayton and they would not do it. Why should we help them out? They aren’t a basketball school…yes, they are currently having some success, but, the morning after they lost to Kansas in the final four, the Columbus sports page theme was basically, “that’s over…now we can move on to football.”

  19. Smyrna_Cat
    2:10 pm May 6, 2012 Permalink

    You sure Corey didn’t write this? Sorry, but what an amazingly dumb idea. No way you have something like this without Indiana. Otherwise it is like having the Kentucky Derby in Florida. WTH?

    Add Indiana … and add Murray. They are better than Purdue or ND.

  20. Kyle
    2:12 pm May 6, 2012 Permalink

    You don’t necessarily have to set up Lucas Oil for 60 or 70,000 seats. I think it is more likely they do a half stadium setup and get 35,000 in there.

    I don’t think they can sell 60,000 for a game like that.

  21. CincyCatFan
    2:15 pm May 6, 2012 Permalink

    This is the dumbest thing Cal has done as coach of UK. UK isn’t supposed to be scared to play anyone anywhere!

  22. catcounsel
    2:20 pm May 6, 2012 Permalink


  23. Greg
    2:26 pm May 6, 2012 Permalink

    21- So you are actually a Cincy BEAR Cat fan. Get out of here troll

  24. Greg
    2:28 pm May 6, 2012 Permalink

    21- BearCatFan, we set the location to and time to play any non blue blood. Get used to it wannabe.

  25. Andy
    2:40 pm May 6, 2012 Permalink

    This game structure used to be called The Big Four Classic UK and UL would rotate playing IU and ND each year, the same afternoon. The game would rotate between the RCA Dome and Freedom Hall. Not an original idea

  26. HOO HOO
    2:40 pm May 6, 2012 Permalink

    Just admit it already, Cal is scared to lose this season at Rupp and found a way to weasel out of playing Indiana. Why are you so worried about recruiting the state of Indiana? That”s right. The state that claims they are THE basketball state is full of fat, out of shape hillbillies that cannot sniff the jock of the Hoosier state when it comes to basketball talent. The odds of UK playing a game at LOS next year are as great as Kentucky boy Darius Miller being selected in the first round like he was from the great state of Indiana – none.

    This writer is worse than Corey Nichols.

  27. WestWorld
    3:14 pm May 6, 2012 Permalink

    Notre Dame makes the most sense. They always think they’re better than they are plus they are always over-rated.

  28. tennessee wildcat
    3:16 pm May 6, 2012 Permalink

    We have had the Indiana game on our schedule since the 60s. We used to play Kansas every year also. It just comes down to potential losses and whether we want to set ourselves up for a potentially rough season or not. The way we were treated this year doesn’t hold a candle to how we have been treated on the road in the SEC in the past and that’s a lame excuse.

  29. Ira Tatum
    3:35 pm May 6, 2012 Permalink

    Great Idea to have Louisville & KENTUCKY play Purdue and Notre Dame up in INDY. Stick it to Eye You.

  30. Burger
    3:52 pm May 6, 2012 Permalink

    Oh wait… Nebraska beat Indiana in basketball last year.

    Sorry. I heard they are up and coming too, just like IU

    Big Ten 2012 Up & Comers ….. Conference Record …. NCAA Record
    Nebraska ………………………..4-14 ………… 12-18

  31. HOO HOO
    4:08 pm May 6, 2012 Permalink

    Cal and UK fans = scared


  32. Mike Honcho
    4:30 pm May 6, 2012 Permalink

    Why not just propose a revamp of the Big Four Classic held in Indy in the 1988 through 1991 seasons involving UK, UK, IU, and Notre Dame. (thanks go to Jon Scott).

  33. Mike Honcho
    4:31 pm May 6, 2012 Permalink

    *UK, UL, IU, and Notre Dame

  34. Wild Turkey 101
    4:49 pm May 6, 2012 Permalink

    Purdue’s not good enough to draw the tv ratings.

  35. Walter55
    5:01 pm May 6, 2012 Permalink

    UK/UL vs. Michigan and Ohio State.

  36. Manbearpig
    5:22 pm May 6, 2012 Permalink

    Purdue fans would travel for the game….its only 45 minutes from campus to Indy. The only bad part about playing Purdue is you dont know which team your getting year to year. It can range from a decent top 15 team to prob top 35-40.

  37. Jbunch
    10:03 pm May 6, 2012 Permalink

    A Purdue/UK/UofL/Notre Dame series would be great for an Indy/Louisville trade off because the crossroads classic (Purdue/IU/Notre Dame/Butler) draws many fans from all those fan bases. But with that in place, I don’t see a Kentucky/Indiana border war happening. Although I do miss when Purdue would play UofL a lot during the Keady/Crum years and IU/UK match ups.

  38. Wildcat Rider
    11:09 pm May 6, 2012 Permalink

    As a graduate of Purdue, I fully support this initiative. Boiler Up! Go Cats!

  39. buda
    6:19 am May 7, 2012 Permalink

    We should be playing Indiana home and home. We’re screwing the fans out of some great games by taking the stance we are. Why are we doing this, Coach Cal? Are we scared?

  40. BlueMoon O' KY
    9:48 am May 7, 2012 Permalink

    Best idea since Peanut Butter just had lunch with Jelly.

  41. the Big Dog
    1:01 pm May 7, 2012 Permalink

    Not a chance. No way would we go back to splitting the money four ways. We can go to Ford Field or similar venue and split it two ways.