Louisville-Kentucky Football Game Moving To The End Of The Season Starting In 2014

Jamie Rhodes-US PRESSWIRE

Beginning in 2014, the Louisville/Kentucky football game will be the last one of the regular season for both teams.

Here's a press release you didn't plan on reading when you woke up this morning:

The University of Louisville's annual football game against the University of Kentucky will move to the final game of the regular season beginning with the 2014 season.

"I have been a huge proponent that the game should be played as the first game every year," said UofL Vice-President/Director of Athletics Tom Jurich.  "I'm disappointed that it will not be our opening game in the future, but most importantly, we will continue to play the game.  We'll support the move at the request of both conferences and we are very excited about our future in the ACC.  I'm sure that fans across the Commonwealth will be pleased to see the series continue."

When the series was renewed in 1994 after a 70-year break, the intrastate rivalry was played as the opening game for 12 of the next 13 years.  In 2007, the timing of the game alternated to the third game of the season in odd-numbered years when played at Kentucky, then back to the opener in even years when it was played in Louisville's Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. The Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference, along with the athletic directors from both schools, came to an agreement to play the matchup as the last game of the regular season moving forward.  Next year's game will be played on Nov. 29, 2014.

"There's great excitement surrounding Louisville's move into the ACC and we look forward to when they are able to compete as conference members," said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. "The storied rivalry between Louisville and Kentucky is an important part of the tradition and history of both institutions and we appreciate being able to showcase that game on the final weekend of the season along with the other inter-conference rivalries between the ACC and SEC."

The late-season shift will increase to four the number of ACC vs. SEC intrastate rivalry matchups on the season's final weekend, joining Florida State-Florida, Georgia Tech-Georgia and Clemson-South Carolina, which are also played on the closing weekend.

Kentucky holds a 14-11 advantage in the series, but the Cardinals have an 11-8 edge since the series renewal in 1994.  Kentucky won the first six games played between 1912 and 1924.

Louisville, ranked ninth nationally in both the Associated Press and USA Today polls, will travel to Lexington to face the Wildcats on Sept. 14 this season (Noon ET, ESPN) in the third game of the year for both schools.

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