Post III-- Top Ten Louisville Rivals Investigation: #3 Poll

West Virginia University is, by a plurality (48% of the CC voters), Louisville's #2 Rival.   Congrats, Mountaineers.  We look forward to evening out that Football Series under Charlie Strong.  Considering that this is turning into such a great rivalry for us (I don't think anyone would put it out of their top 4 on Louisville's Rival List), shouldn't the games have a catchy name or trophy?  Any ideas? 

Now we move on to the #3 spot, contestants include:

Marquette University

Marquette at first glance seems like a weak contender to make Louisville's top rivalry's list.  Yeah, they're in the same conference.  Yeah, they're both pretty good at basketball, but that's about it.  Marquette doesn't even have a football team.  So what's the big deal? 

SI knows what the big deal is:

New Rivals: Marquette-Louisville

Close encounters highlights this battle of the birds

By Luke Winn November 20, 2007

PROTAGONISTS: Tom Crean, Rick Pitino, Reece Gaines, Francisco Garcia, Dameon Mason, Jerry Smith

HOW WE GOT HERE: These are unnatural enemies. Marquette is a Jesuit school in a Midwestern brewtown. Louisville is a state school in a Southern horse-racing mecca. They are joined by the Big East, and before that, Conference USA, but separated by a six-hour drive and the obsession of Louisville fans with Kentucky. Yet what has transpired this decade -- too many classic finishes, too much peripheral drama -- has given rise to a rivalry of the highest order.


If you can recall, the last game left a bitter taste in the Louisville fan's mouth. 

Things I Hate

Seriously guys, it's not like you just beat a top 25 team or  anything.

More photos " Jeffrey Phelps - AP

Seriously guys, it's not like you just beat a top 25 team or anything.

Here are some things that I hate.  Some of them have to do with college basketball:


   ESPNU announcers who love Marquette

  Rick Pitino's substitution patterns and starting line-up tinkering

  Samardo Samuels's inability to successfully manage a double team.


That's right Buzz Williams wore some atrocious light blue jacket and then proceeded to dance around in reaction to beating Louisville.  Their players, yes the players that I generally won't say negatives about because they're just kids playing basketball, also reacted to the win like they had just won the lottery.  I can't remember all of these games but these stories make my blood boil.  Unreal: 

After a missed Nate Johnson free-throw that kept Louisville's lead at 70-68, MU's Jarrod Lovette grabbed the rebound and gave the ball to guard Marcus West who quickly pushed the ball up to the other end of the floor. With time winding down, West passed to Lovette at the top of the key and he found freshman Brian Wardle on the left wing who drilled the game-winning three at the buzzer.

Sunglasses wearing Marquette head coach Mike Deane then proceeded to dance around the court and flip the bird (this is still hotly debated) to the home Louisville crowd. Outraged Louisville fans hurled drinks at Deane who continued to dance and taunt the crowd.

But least we not forget, Jerry Smith's One Shining Moment, and perhaps the greatest ending to a game of all time (Jerry nails 3, rips off shirt, knock's over a friend of Crean's wife, then Pitino slaps an assistant--hard): 


But can this be a top 5 rivalry without football?

CCers on Marquette:

It's probably time to throw Marquette onto the next poll. I’m going Memphis here out of a sense of history, and because I hate to give WV the satisfaction of being that high on our list, when we wouldn’t be nearly that high on sarasota-card

marquette is a rival, but not a top 4 rival. 5th at best fighting with notre dame. it’s a rivalry based on closely matched up teams, some insane overtime games and one asshole of a coach. its also a rivalry based on one sport, men’s basketball, instead of spread out over a couple of jcarti01

Marquette and Notre Dame have been great rivals in basketball. I think the Marquette rivalry is on a different level than Notre Dame though due to the Reece Gaines/Jerry Smith connection and the amount of dramatic finishes over the last 20 years....I wouldn’t necessarily agree that we have more than 3 or 4 true rivals right now but if I were forced to make a Top 10, I suppose those teams would have to be included.

My 2010 List:
1. UK
2. WVU
3a. Cincinnati
3b. Marquette
5. Memphis

by UL is my hot hot sex

I would have liked to have seen Marquette included here, I wouldn’t have voted for them, but I think we can all acknowledge that they deserve mention.West Virginia is on the rise, right now I’d put them below Cinci (my vote) but ask me again in a couple years. by yawnz

I think UConn, at least for me, is a more hated rival than either Cincy or Marquette. ... by cardinNO

Marquettte ? Hot for a few yrs with Dean thru IU asshole, but fading  by frankpos

Marquette makes some sense because there is a little more history, but they don’t play football which brings it down a notch...Maddie in Portland, Oregon by kentuckybred

However, I’ll mention Marquette and Syracuse as contenders for #4 despite the fact that there is no football rivalry with Marquette, and the football rivalry with Syracuse has only been a race to avoid cellar-dweller status during the not-nearly-brief-enough tenure of Him Who Shall Not Be Named. We just don’t have that many football rivals – we’ve moved on from such historical nemeses as Southern Miss, and we don’t really register (yet) on the radar of a Florida State or Miami. by rickmbari

University of Connecticut

I haven't heard a whole lot of press on the Louisville-Connecticut Rivalry.  However, this past basketball season watching a struggling UConn lose twice to the Cards put a smile on my face.

Back to Storrs, Connecticut. Time out. 29 seconds on the clock. Everyone inside Gampel Pavilion knew Edgar wanted to take the last shot. Pitino knew that Edgar needed to take the last shot. For himself. For his team. For the win. And perhaps most importantly, for confidence heading into March. 29 seconds left. "I'll make it," says Edgar.

Sosa feeds off the pressure, the fans, the moment, the oft overstated bravado that is a New York City point guard. Yes, Peyton Siva is primed for a great career at Louisville. But today, this week, this's Edgar's time. Throw out the efficiency stats. Forgive the missed free throws. Ignore the criticism. A Louisville team that plays well this March is a team that's led by a confident Edgar. A Good Edgar. An "I'll Make It" Edgar.

I did a quick Google search to see what's out there.  This jogged my memory, not only is there a rivalry here between football and basketball, there is also a rivalry here in women's basketball:

Q.  Can you just address how Louisville UConn rivalry has matured in the last two years, two Big East finals now and a national championship?  And maybe also how after this game how maybe you guys will take this rivalry to even a higher level now that you're playing in a national final?
COACH AURIEMMA:  Yeah, it's always interesting for us in the last 10 years or so, however long, it was going to be Connecticut and Notre Dame for the rest of the Big East history.  And then it was Connecticut and Rutgers for the rest of the Big East history.
Now it's Connecticut/Louisville.  It just seems to me that if you consider yourself the best team or the best, more importantly, the best basketball program in a conference, then it's just natural that as other programs get better you're going to have to deal with that.
And in this case, again, because of Angel McCoughtry and Candyce Bingham, specifically, and generally the way they recruited and the way they've built their program, who knows what's going to happen in the future.  Who knows where they'll be next year.  I just hope we're still around to still talk about who our big rivals are.

I don't know a lot about women's basketball, but I do know that both teams were in the final four last year, and UConn won. 

Besides this, I also remember in the Cards two most recent dominant seasons the Huskies were unbeatable.

The other memory that UConn brings to mind, in a rivalry sense, is the 2007 football game.

UConn scored its first points on a Larry Taylor's controversial 74-yard punt return. With the Huskies down 7-0 with 13 minutes left in the third quarter, Taylor settled under a 45-yard punt and appeared to call for a fair catch at the Connecticut 26.

Replays showed Taylor putting up his right hand, and Louisville players stopped their pursuit as soon as he caught the ball. But Taylor sprinted left, then down the sideline and the referees didn't stop the play.

Louisville coach Steve Kragthorpe called a timeout before the extra point in an effort to get the officials to take another look, but after a consultation, they said a fair-catch signal isn't reviewable.

Fair Catches are now reviewable.  I still can't believe this call.  Worst part about this was that UConn won the game 21-17, and the Cards were 1 conference game short of being bowl eligible. 

CCers on Connecticut:

i would go cincy 2 wvu 3 and uconn (yes uconn) jcarti01

Love to hate strongly dislike UConn and it’s SullyCard Rivalry

I think Syracuse and UCONN could be an OK rivalry if all three of our football teams improve but its just not there for me yet.  I wouldn’t necessarily agree that we have more than 3 or 4 true rivals right now but if I were forced to make a Top 10, I suppose those teams would have to be included.

My 2010 List:
1. UK
2. WVU
3a. Cincinnati
3b. Marquette
5. Memphis

by UL is my hot hot sex

I think UConn, at least for me, is a more hated rival than either Cincy or Marquette. I have even found my self rooting for Cincy of late – Cincy coach is a member of the Pitino tree, the Cincy fball team helped maintain BE fball relavancy.  UConn on the other hand makes my skin crawl – I still wretch at the thought of the fair catch… plus the arrogance of their bball team irritates me, I mean how can they presume such arrogance when they aren’t even the best program at their school? by cardinNO

I'll take that as a UConn Nomination for the #3 spot. That fair catch really pissed me off too. As soon as it happened I said a rivalry should spawn from it. That and them beating us basketball in 2007 or 2008 during their team spirit REALISTICCARDSFAN... Yes I just quoted myself.
Lol. I bet this year the women’s team could beat the men’s at UConn. That would be an awesome CardinalDude

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 while I thought the 2009 Bearcats should be next, Bennett disagreed and the 2006 Card squad lost in the final four:

The Final Four kicks off Saturday, but our Big East football madness Final Four comes to a conclusion right now with our second semifinal. Let's check the results:

No. 3 Cincinnati (2009) vs. No. 2 Louisville (2006)

Score: No. 3 Cincinnati (2009) 35, No. 2 Louisville (2006) 33

Very, very difficult call here. Louisville won the Big East in probably the league's toughest year since the realignment. Those Cardinals suffered just one loss, on a last-second field goal against a Top 15 team (Rutgers) on the road. They had NFL players like Amobi Okoye, Brian Brohm, Harry Douglas, Eric Wood and Will Gay on a well-rounded offensive and defensive squad. And they won the Orange Bowl.

So why go with Cincinnati? There was just something about these Bearcats, at least during the regular season, that said they weren't going to lose. They had a champion's mentality, developed from the previous season, and always managed to find a way to pull out a victory. That's what it takes to go 12-0, and Cincinnati makes one more play (a Mardy Gilyard kickoff return, perhaps?) to eke this one out.

Louisville is slated for a Friday night ESPN showdown with Cincinnati this year.   Who will win this Keg of Nails

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 Cincinnati: 

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) 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 hate strongly dislike UConn and it’s 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

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

I'm betting most fans < 30 yrs old vote WVU over Memphis as bigger rival  by UL is my hot hot sex

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


Louisville's Top 10 Rivals

1. University of Kentucky

2. West Virginia University

3. ?

Obviously, which ever Schools don't get the #3 spot will be automatically nominated for the #4 spot.  I'm taking additional nominations for the #4 spot now.  Make your nominations and vote for the next week--ish.

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