Could Commonwealth Stadium be this empty for a UL game in December?
1994: Louisville (6-4) at Kentucky (0-10)
Reaction: Even with a winless Kentucky, this game likely would have drawn big attention for the fact the series was being renewed for the first time in 371 years. But, it could be likely argued the result of the game would have changed. As the first game, Kentucky won 20-14, but after 10 straight losses, and a UL team winning 3 of their last 5 games, you could argue the Cards likely win this game at the end of the year.
1995: Louisville (6-4) at Kentucky (4-6)
Reaction: UK had lost 4 of their last 5 games so the fans had probably checked out for basketball season, which was a national championship season. The result of the game is unlikely to be changed, but the interest would would have been less.
1996: Louisville (4-6) at Kentucky (4-6)
Reaction: Once again, the game would have drawn significantly less interest as neither team had a particularly good season, and UL had lost 3 of their last 4 and UK would have just gotten pasted by Tennessee by 46.
1997: Louisville (1-9) at Kentucky (4-6)
Reaction: UL was having it’s worst season of the decade and Kentucky was once again out of bowl contention, so broken record here, but the game would have drawn less interest. The result probably stays the same though as UK was just better that season.
1998: Kentucky (6-4) at Louisville (7-3)
Reaction: One of the few times the game might have been better at the end of the year. UL clearly was overmatched in the first game. 68-34. Wow. But by the end of the year, it likely would have been a much better contest, still likely a Kentucky win.
1999: Louisville (6-4) at Kentucky (6-4)
Reaction: This game would have likely been highly anticipated but mean very little in the end as both teams’ bowl slots would have been secured.
2000: Kentucky (2-8) at Louisville (8-2)
Reaction: Absolutely minimal interest in this game as Kentucky was horrible and UL a Top 25 team. Maybe UL fans show up for the game, but UK likely brings very little fan support.
2001: Louisville (9-2) at Kentucky (2-8)
Reaction: Same basic idea at 2000. Game draws mediocre crowd and interest.
2002: Kentucky (6-5) at Louisville (7-4)
Reaction: UL had a disappointing season, so despite their 7 wins, their fans had lukewarm feelings about that team. And UK was not bowl eligible because of sanctions. At best, equal interest as first game of year.
2003: Louisville (8-3) at Kentucky (4-7)
Reaction: Another less than stellar game at the end of the year at Commonwealth.
2004: Kentucky (2-8) at Louisville (9-1)
Reaction: Not only would this have been a big time beatdown, it would have drawn little interest.
2005: Louisville (8-2) at Kentucky (3-7)
Reaction: Rinse and repeat from 2004, 2003, 2001, etc etc.
2006: Kentucky (7-4) at Louisville (10-1)
Reaction: This would have probably been the best seasons for the game at the end of the year. So the excitement would have been high, but overall bowl implications would have been small.
2007: Louisville (6-5) at Kentucky (7-4)
Reaction: The game drew HUGE interest as the 3rd game as UL hadn’t tanked yet. End of the year, UL fans had already quit on Kragthorpe.
2008: Kentucky (6-5) at Louisville (5-6)
Reaction: UL may have been going for a bowl, but even still, neither team had an impressive season.
2009: Louisville (4-7) at Kentucky (6-5)
Reaction: Another mediocre game against 2 teams who had mediocre seasons.
2010: Kentucky (5-6) at Louisville (6-5)
Reaction: Kentucky would have been fighting for bowl eligibility while Charlie Strong had UL fans happy with a surprising 6 wins. This game probably draws similar interest.
2011: Louisville (6-5) at Kentucky (5-6)
Reaction: Basically a repeat of 2010, except the game would be in Lexington. UK fighting for bowl eligibility.
2012: Kentucky (2-9) at Louisville (9-2)
Reaction: A boring blowout.
Here are some stats of the potential of these 19 games had they been played the last game of the year: