Is the Kentucky-Indiana Rivalry in Jeopardy?
Wildcats vs. Hoosiers. Wildcats vs. Tar Heels. Wildcats vs. Cardinals. Last fall, UK coach John Calipari called upon Big Blue Nation to help him determine which, if any, of these three annual rivalry games should be dropped if it was necessary–the thought being that the SEC would be going to an 18-game schedule with two new schools in the conference (and it will).
By a pretty good margin, the fans indicated that they could live without the Indiana game. Now, I guess I got my wires crossed, because I thought the North Carolina series was going away. But, the Tar Heels are on the schedule for next season. Actually, right now, so is Indiana.
But Hoosiers coach Tom Crean and Coach Cal have a difference of opinion when it comes to where these games should be played. Coach Crean would like the series to remain home-and-home. Coach Cal would like for the games to move away from campus and alternate between neutral sites in Louisville and Indianapolis. And that’s actually how the series played out from 1991 to 2005.
But Crean wants the games on campus. And Cal doesn’t. So here we are. And UK fans apparently aren’t going to miss the Hoosiers since they voted to get rid of that game long before this impasse between Crean and Cal came up. Personally, I’d miss the game–especially now that Indiana is hot again and predicted to be a top five team from here on in.
I’ve always liked the idea of Kentucky and all the teams it plays on regular basis being great teams at the same time so we’d always get to see awesome games. Oh, well, I can’t complain too much, if at all, about the ‘Cats non-conference schedule for the upcoming season.
As of right now, Indiana’s still on it, but that could change in the next couple of months, if not weeks. North Carolina’s still there and, of course, Louisville.
Then there’s Duke in the Georgia Dome. If that doesn’t send Big Blue Nation into a foaming-at-the-mouth frenzy, nothing will. Plus, UK will head to Brooklyn to the brand new Barclays Arena to play a Maryland team that’s expected to improve on this past season’s so-so performance.
So opportunities for quality games against quality opponents have gone anywhere. But, for old time’s sake, I will miss the Indiana game if it goes. And it looks like it will.