You’re never supposed to count your chickens before they hatch, but there’s a scenario brewing that must be addressed.
If Kentucky and Louisville both win this weekend’s Regionals, the Cats and the Cards will face off in a best-of-three series at Jim Patterson Stadium for a chance to play in the College World Series (CWS).
After reaching the CWS two years in a row in 2013 and 2014, the Cards were favorites to win it all the previous two years, only to be upset in heartbreaking fashion at home in the Super Regionals. On the other side of the diamond, Kentucky has never been to a CWS. In fact, they’ve never even been to a Super Regional. If the Cats could advance to the CWS in Mingione’s first season while building a new stadium, it would create unprecedented momentum for the program, all while ending another promising UofL season early in their own ballpark.
That choice is awfully attractive, but so is winning the Governor’s Cup for the second consecutive year against a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback coached by Bobby Petrino. It’s difficult to foresee where the each football program will be at the end of the season, but here’s a best case scenario for each team going into the game:
- Kentucky: The Cats have eight wins and could potentially win the East.
- Louisville: The Cards defeat Clemson and Florida State and are playing for the CFB Playoff.
Even if there is much less at stake for both teams in the final game of the season, an eight-win regular season for Kentucky would be the first for the football program since 1984. I don’t think I have to tell you how insufferable Louisville fans would be if they made the CFB Playoff.
Now you have a hypothetical choice. You only get one. Would you rather eliminate the Louisville baseball team from postseason play and see UK advance to the CWS, or would you rather see the best regular season of Kentucky football since 1984 end with a win over Lamar Jackson and Bobby Petrino?