Mark Story

A Kentucky-Louisville scheduling impasse interrupts one part of Cats-Cards rivalry

Quick hitters from the tailgate:

21. Louisville 3, Kentucky 0. No. 9 UK suffered an emphatic loss to archrival U of L in men’s soccer Tuesday night. It was the first win for the Cardinals over the Wildcats since 2015.

20. No chance for UK payback. There will be no opportunity for the Kentucky women’s soccer team to earn some school-pride retribution over Louisville this year. For the first time since 2008, UK and U of L are not playing in that sport.

19. Scheduling impasse. According to publicists from both schools, Kentucky and Louisville were unable to agree on a playing date for the 2019 season.

UK women’s soccer vs U of L.JPG
Kentucky’s Foster Ignoffo shot on goal against Louisville’s Inger Katrine Bjerke in U of L’s 3-1 win at UK in 2017. A scheduling impasse means the Cats and Cards will not face each other in women’s soccer in the current school year. Matt Goins

18. Louisville rationale. After conferring with U of L head coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes, U of L spokesman Kenny Klein said Wednesday that “our (coaching) staff felt it would be hard to balance our schedule, with a difficult conference schedule this year, and include (UK) on the schedule.”

17. Kentucky rationale. Earlier this summer, Kentucky athletics publicist Guy Ramsey said, “there were a couple of things that came up” that prevented the UK-U of L game from being scheduled for 2019. Ramsey declined to specify what those things were. He added UK “is committed to our rivalry with Louisville, we like the rivalry, and we are open to resuming the series.”

16. All-time record. Kentucky leads its women’s soccer rivalry with Louisville 12-4-1, but U of L has won the past two meetings, including 1-0 in overtime last year in The Ville.

15. Terry Wilson. According to the Kentucky football media guide, UK’s junior starting quarterback has not cut his hair since he was in eighth grade.

14. The rest of the story. That claim does not entirely stand up to scrutiny. “I did trim it just a little bit a couple of days ago,” Wilson said last month. “I don’t like it too long. I like to keep it a nice, little length.”

13. Tavin Richardson. The former UK wide receiver graduate transferred to Marshall after last season. In the Thundering Herd’s season opener, Richardson caught three passes for 23 yards in a 56-17 demolition of VMI.

12. On TV Friday night. Kentucky fans can check in on the senior wideout — who started 24 career games at UK and caught a combined 40 passes in 2017 and 2018 — on Friday night when Marshall plays at No. 24 Boise State in a game telecast at 9 p.m. on ESPN2.

Tavin Richardson vs UT
Now-former Kentucky wide receiver Tavin Richardson (11) was one of the star’s of UK’s 29-26 win over Tennessee in 2017. Alex Slitz

11. Georgia State 38, Tennessee 30. Rocky Top hitting rock bottom last Saturday has not engendered a great deal of empathy in the Bluegrass State. Still, before leaving the 2019 football Volunteers dead and buried, consider lessons from the following:

10. Michigan, 2007. In the season in which the Wolverines began with the storied 34-32 upset loss to Appalachian State (then of the FCS), Michigan still went on to finish 9-4 and beat Florida in the Citrus Bowl.

9. Washington State, 2015. In the season in which Mike Leach’s Cougars began with a 24-17 loss to FCS foe Portland State, WSU still finished 9-4 and beat Miami (Fla.) in the Sun Bowl.

8. Washington State, 2016. In the season in which Mike Leach’s Cougars began with a 45-42 loss to FCS foe Eastern Washington, WSU still finished 8-5 and reached the Holiday Bowl.

7. Northwestern, 2016. In the season in which Pat Fitzgerald’s Wildcats lost 9-7 to FCS foe Illinois State in the second game, Northwestern still finished 7-6 and beat Pittsburgh in the Pinstripe Bowl.

6. Rick Stansbury. The Western Kentucky men’s basketball coach has been a force in the in-state recruiting battles since coming to Bowling Green before the 2016-17 season.

Western Kentucky Coach Rick Stansbury will have seven in-state players on the Hilltoppers’ 2019-20 roster. Mark Cornelison

5. Eli Wright. With the recent announcement that former Apollo High School star Eli Wright was transferring to WKU from St. John’s (after beginning his college career at Mississippi State), the Hilltoppers now have seven home-grown Kentucky products on scholarship on their 2019-20 roster.

4. Three Kentucky Mr. Basketballs. Included in the contingent of Kentuckians at WKU are our state’s 2015 (Camron Justice of Knott County Central), 2016 (Carson Williams of Owen County) and 2017 (Taveion Hollingsworth of Paul Laurence Dunbar) Mr. Basketball winners.

3. A.W. Hamilton. The Eastern Kentucky head coach, a former standout player at Scott County, is putting a big emphasis on recruiting inside the commonwealth.

2. Darrin Horn. The Northern Kentucky head coach, a former standout player at Tates Creek, was very successful recruiting in-state during his stint as Western Kentucky head man (2003-08).

1. In-state battle royal. Even if Kentucky and Louisville continue (to choose) to be limited factors in home-state recruiting, the competition for the commonwealth’s best high school basketball talent among the other in-state schools in the coming years figures to be fierce.

Mark Story has worked in the Lexington Herald-Leader sports department since Aug. 27, 1990, and has been a Herald-Leader sports columnist since 2001. I have covered every Kentucky-Louisville football game since 1994, every UK-U of L basketball game but three since 1996-97 and every Kentucky Derby since 1994.