The numbers heavily favor Kentucky in tomorrow’s Governor’s Cup matchup. Louisville’s home-field advantage isn’t quite an advantage either.
Kentucky fans will surely pack the stands that have often been left vacant during Louisville’s abysmal 2-9 season. Blue will get in and rally Stoops’ troops, but none of that matters. The Cards are already doomed.
In the 24-year history of the Kentucky-Louisville rivalry, each time a team undergoes a massive stadium renovation, they lose the Governor’s Cup. Since Tim Couch cruised to victory in Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium’s inaugural game, “stadium games” have been soured in the rivalry.
Couch’s Cats scored 68 points on Louisville back in 1998. The following year, the Commonwealth Stadium end zones were enclosed and suites were added. Kentucky fell to Chris Redman’s Cards 56-28. Eleven years later Papa John’s underwent its first expansion. Derrick Locke and Randall Cobb promptly beat them down 23-16. In the final game of the New Commonwealth Stadium’s first season, Louisville handed Kentucky a 38-24 loss. Last year’s embarrassing loss to Louisville came after the stadium’s name was changed to Kroger Field. Teams are 0-5 in the Governor’s Cup following stadium renovations.
Before Bobby Petrino decimated the Louisville football program, the Cardinals completed the circle. Now the north end zone has luxury field suites, new locker rooms and a giant Adidas logo in the stands that has never been covered by fans. Not only was the expansion unnecessary, it all but ensures a loss to Kentucky in the Governor’s Cup.