Louisville came up as the victors in this year’s storied Governor’s Cup, the annual game between the Cards and Cats. This year marks the third year in a row that the trophy made its way to the Derby City, however the traditions of these two deep rooted rivals squaring off in the realm of pigskin goes back much farther than that.
The first time the teams faced off dates back to October of 1912, when Kentucky coach Edwin Sweetland led his Cats to a victory over Lester Larson’s Cards.
Following that between 1913 and 1915, the famed game happened annually, all of these games seeing the Wildcats as the victor. The rivalry game ended for a few years after that, however heated back up in 1922 when the two met yet again, however there was only two times that the Cup was played in that decade the other occurring in 1924, both games going to the Cats.
For the next sixty years following that though, there was no governor’s cup. The two teams ran parallel to each other, each in their respective conferences, that is until 1994 when the series picked back up again in a big way, as the actual Governor's cup was introduced. Again the Cats managed to claim yet another victory, that year leading to an undefeated streak in the series that has yet to matched.
And, in 1995 that streak ended abruptly as the Cards won their first Governor’s Cup, they followed this up with a second victory in ’96. Not to be out done though, Kentucky had back to back wins themselves in ’97 and ’98.
In seven games, which had now been established as annual of the next eight years Louisville grabbed wins, with Kentucky’s only victory in this time coming in 2002, when the Cats upset the then ranked 17th Cards.
Going back and forth the Cats won the next four though, concluding in 2010 when the Howard Schnellenberger award began. This award celebrated the MVP of the game, of course named after the man who famously played for Kentucky and coached for Louisville, and became a football icon at both schools, and in the inaugural year of the award Kentucky running back Derrick Locke was awarded.
And that leads us to today, where currently the Cards have a three year winning streak; consequently in 2011 the Schnellenberger went to Dexter Heyman and in 2012 and 2013 Teddy Bridgewater has been the first player to receive the award twice.
Currently, Kentucky does lead the Louisville- Kentucky series 14-12, while the Cards lead the series in the Governor's Cup Era.
Following up this year’s game, undefeated Louisville will meet Florida International at home Saturday at noon. Meanwhile, Kentucky also stays home next Saturday to play their first conference opponent in Florida.
Image courtesy of http://www.kentucky.com