Only 5% of the CC voters have disagreed that the University of Kentucky is the University of Louisville's #1 Rival. As much as I hate to give them a #1 because I know it will go to their fans' heads, I think it's safe to say they have the spot locked down. The cases have been made. It's time to vote and fill in the #2 spot. After reading and writing this entire post, I'm having trouble deciding where my vote will go. Contestants include:
The University of Memphis
It's rough to say that Memphis is still our rival because Memphis has not played Louisville in basketball since 2005. But, take a brief moment to relive that game as Mike Described it before it went down in the elite 8 of the Best Louisville Game of the Decade Tournament:
1. It was against Memphis.
2. We hate Memphis
3. The game was played in Memphis in front of a crowd of mostly Tiger fans.
4. It was the last Conference USA game we would ever play
5. It was the league title game.
6. The only chance Memphis had to make the NCAA Tournament was to win that game.
7. Darius Washington had spent the entire game pounding his chest and sticking out his tongue.
8. Washington looked over to Calipari and mouthed "it's over" after he was fouled by Garcia.
9. There is absolutely no worse way to lose a game than by missing two out of three free throws with your team down two and no time on the clock.
And rewatch the last few second to remind yourself how annoying Memphis fans are:
Memphis played Louisville in football in 2008, but Memphis has not beat Lousville in Football since 2003. However, I'm sure it would still kill most of us to see the Cards fall to the Tigers on October 9th. Is football every other year enough to still call this our #2 rivalry? Does the rivalry mean more to them than us? Sheraton Hotel thought the rivalry was still strong during the 2007-2008 basketball season.
CCers on Memphis:
I think the Memphis rivalry has really lost steam in the last few years. I think very few current students or recent graduates would list Memphis as a rival, and if they remember the Black Out Game they definitely wouldn’t put them above WVU. Interestingly, if you ask a Memphis fan, I think they would say that U of L was their number one rivalry. by Dais
Memphis, on the other hand, is a pure hate thing for me. I wouldn’t do them the honor of calling them a rival; they have nothing that we need. Sure, I’d hate to see the Cards lose to them. I really hated seeing us lose to Western Carolina, but that doesn’t make them a top rival! Memphis fans may consider Louisville their biggest rivals, but that’s because they have to respect us. I don’t respect Memphis and I don’t consider them our rivals. by rickmbari
Memphis would probably be #4 for me after UK, WVU, UC… by Card Kid
i think with rivalries, there cannot be a long period of time where we do NOT play them. so that knocks memphis out of that list. football has been nothing recent and basketball has been dead for 5 years now. i would go cincy 2 wvu 3 and uconn (yes uconn) 4. by jcarti01
We actually played Memphis recently in FB Back in 2008 (actually a close game), and play this this year at home. I assume you meant to say that we haven’t played them since we were on an even playing field. Unfortunately, ____ made our team almost beaten by Memphis in ’08, so the field was almost even again. by guyngreen
West Virginia University
West Virginia has a strong case to take the spot. Few Louisville fans are also fans of Bob Huggins. Why can't that guy wear a suit? The fan base is annoying, loud, rude, and crude. The Cards have fallen in the last 3 football games to the Mountaineers, and the Mountaineers illegitimately won the last basketball game. What CC reader wouldn't give up a healthy ankle to see the Cards emerge victoriously on November 20th (if we could only make that deal)? This rivalry even has it's own Wikipedia page.
The Louisville-West Virginia rivalry is a new rivalry game between the University of Louisville and West Virginia University football teams. The rivalry was introduced in 2005, as Louisville left Conference USA and moved into the Big East conference. Since then, it has become a marquee matchup in Big East play and college football. The game has also become more important in basketball play as well. West Virginia leads the current football series 4-1, and the all-time series 9-2. However, Louisville leads the basketball series 4-1, and the all-time series 7-2.
The games against West Virginia in recent years dominated the Best Louisville Game of the Decade Tournament; going against itself in football and basketball. Take a moment to relive those through Mike's words and check the videos:
2005 Elite 8:
2006 Louisville vs. West Virginia Black Out Game
CCers on WVU:
Then I’d say from a Big East perspective it should be WVU #2. And then I guess Cincinnati is #3 just because of the history. by CardsFanTX
WVU has to be 2 in 5 years we’ve had no fewer than 5 insanely great games two teams can play. In two sports. Involving many overtimes. Now, I don’t hate WVU, I actually like them. And from a rivalry standpoint that is somewhat detrimental – but you can’t argue with the intensity and importance of the games. e by ericdedwar
I'm 58 and I'll vote for WVU I kinda take issue with the definition of a rivalry presented in the OP. I’ve said it before, but I’ll repeat it: a rivalry, at least a good rivalry, involves mutual respect. I don’t like WVU, but I respect them. We have had some great games with them, some ridiculous comebacks, some season-spoiling upsets, and a lot of really exciting games. WVU is a rival in both sports. by rickmbari
I think WVU in recent times is #2, by Card Kid
i would go cincy 2 wvu 3 and uconn (yes uconn) 4. who would i like to see on this list? tennessee and indiana. we should be playing those two in football and basketball (more often in the bb case). by jcarti01
uk is our number 1 rival, then UC, WVU, Marquette by Sam-Ville
To me personally, WVU is Louisville's #1 rival They produce much better games together, the wins mean more, and the WVU fanbase is at times even more obnoxious, ignorant, and uneducated than uk fans. by LORD KAYOSS
The University of Cincinnati
Known more for an intense basketball rivalry and tradition, the Universities of Louisville and Cincinnati have a football rivalry that has stretched over the span of 3 conferences from the Missouri Valley Conference, to Conference USA, and more recently in the Big East Conference. It is believed to be the oldest rivalry for the University of Louisville football team and the second oldest for Cincinnati, only behind the annual game with the Miami RedHawks.
There is definitely a history behind the Louisville - Cincinnati Rivalry. In most of my recent memories, the Cards always take care of the Bearcats in Basketball. You might say the rivalry died when Huggins was fired.
The rivalry immediately went into a death spiral and has been virtually nonexistent since. Part of that is because Cincinnati hasn't been very good, but anyone who thinks that U of L/UC as we knew it didn't die when Hugs left is kidding themselves. Andy Kennedy and Mick Cronin are both fine coaches, but both lack an inherent inability to graduate a single player, as well as a propensity for recruiting young men who will eventually punch horses or torture their roommate with a clothes hanger.
... until the most recent game, where the Cards were sent home after their first Big East Tournament Game. Did this renew the basketball rivalry?
The football rivalry might be better. Cincinnati owns the series 28-20-1, dominating the last two years. Both Universities are noted for having the most recent Big East Dominating teams. The only problem is the 2006 Cardinals never got a chance to play the 2008 or 2009 Bearcats. Don't worry too much about this, Brian Bennett on the ESPN Big East Blog is simulating a tournament.
It's time to get back to our March Madness style Big East football tournament. Let's check the results of your second game:
No. 2 Louisville (2006) vs. No. 7 Cincinnati (2008)
Score: Louisville 24, Cincinnati 21
This one is a close call. Both teams had excellent seasons and loads of talent. Don't forget how good that Louisville team was; if not for a second-half collapse at Rutgers, the Cardinals would have played for the national title. I give the edge here to Louisville because of its performance in big games that year. It beat (an admittedly down) Miami, a top-10 West Virginia team and ACC champion Wake Forest in the Orange Bowl. Cincinnati lost three games, including blowouts at Connecticut and at Oklahoma, and lost by double digits to Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl.
Those Bearcats, though, had a stout defense led by guys like Connor Barwin, Terrell Byrd, Mike Mickens and DeAngelo Smith. I think they would have held Brian Brohm, Harry Douglas, Mario Urrutia and the Louisville offense to a reasonable level. However, the Cardinals' defense was underrated as well, with Amobi Okoye up front and Will Gay at cornerback to go against Mardy Gilyard.
Give me Louisville on a two-minute drive by Brohm and a field goal by Art Carmody.
And the 2009 Bearcats should be next:
And so we're down to the Final Four. No upsets yet, which defies the term madness. But the next round should be interesting. Here are the matchups:
No. 1 West Virginia (2005) vs. No. 4 West Virginia (2007)
No. 2 Louisville (2006) vs. No. 3 Cincinnati (2009)
Not having studied these closely yet, I can honestly say I don't know who would win either game, or who will ultimately come out on top. All four of these teams were good enough to play for a national title.
The trophy is a replica of a keg used to ship nails. The exchange is believed to have been initiated by fraternity chapters on the UC and UofL campuses, signifying that the winning players in the game were "tough as nails."
The present keg is actually a replacement for the original award, which was misplaced by Louisville, ironically lost during some construction of office facilities. It is adorned with the logos of both schools and the scores of the series games.
And, where is the original Keg of Nails?
CCers on Cinci:
Cincinnati I think WVU in recent times is #2, but historically you could argue UC for the second spot. Memphis would probably be #4 for me after UK, WVU, UC…by Card Kid
i would go cincy 2 wvu 3 and uconn (yes uconn) 4.by jcarti01
Since I’m an old man (‘78 alum) i lean towards Cinci as #2 because of the long and continued history and proximity. WVU, though, is really coming on strong. Love to
hatestrongly dislike UConn and it’s coaches.by SullyCard Rivalry
I would definitely say uk is our number 1 rival, then UC, WVU, Marquette by Sam-Ville
Keg-of-Nails It has its own trophy. Over 93 basketball games played, 49 football games, and we still play them. This should be no contest for #2, historically. by HendoCard
Historically, yes Historically, really, Cincy is #1. We didn’t even play Kentucky for most of my lifetime. Today I would say: 1. Kentucky 2. West Virginia 3. Cincinnati by rickmbari
But I have to say Cincinnati is a strong #2... I remember many games that were dogfights. I’ll never forget the Cincinnati player who kept jumping into the UL defender and drawing a foul. Kenyon Martin manhandling our inside guys. Or Huggie-bear being such an ASS on the sidelines. Throw in the Football Keg of Nails, the close proximity, the similar colors, and it only gets meaner, nastier and more like a rivalry. Memphis is #3, with WVU coming in a distant 4th. by JustCards
Louisville's Top 10 Rivals
1. University of Kentucky
Obviously, which ever Universities don't get the #2 spot will be automatically nominated for the #3 spot. I'm taking additional nominations for the #3 spot now. Make your nominations and vote for the next week--ish.
Which of these Schools is the University of Louisville's Top Rival?
University of Memphis (56 votes)
West Virginia University (178 votes)
University of Cincinnati (135 votes)
369 total votes