With Kentucky becoming bowl eligible yesterday, and Louisville being one win away, it’s become the trendy pick to predict them playing each other this year in Birmingham for the BBVA Compass Bowl. I can’t lie, it would be a wonderful match up for the media. Especially with Louisville fans beginning to give the yearly ‘If we played now, we would kill Kentucky,’ speeches.
But what’s the likelihood that game happens?
From a money stand point, Kentucky is going to bring fans no matter the opponent, so that’s not a huge factor. Louisville will buy tickets like it’s their first bowl game in years, which for Louisville fans will translate to about 15,000 I’d imagine. A match up between the schools might get some national publicity as one of the ‘bowls to watch,’ but outside of that, I don’t see a huge reason for BBVA to get too excited about a re-match.
With that part out of the way, from a logical stand point, I don’t see why Kentucky would agree to sign off on this game. Schools actually have some influence on where they play, especially in the lesser bowl games (think FSU for Bobby Bowden’s last game,) and the conferences help make decisions as well. While Louisville would likely love to get a second crack at Kentucky this season, what good will it do for the Cats? They’ve already proven they can beat the Cardinals, so there is really very little to gain from playing them a second time this season.
Plus, Mike Hartline doesn’t lose to Louisville. That almost takes the fun out of drubbing them.
Plus plus, Louisville still has to make a bowl.