Are you ready for some FOOTBALL?
Of course all of us are! I mean, with all of the who-knows-if-any of the coaching talk can be believed,Â we are really ready! And especially if you bleed Blue, it has been a summer dominated not by football talk but that by that fellow Coach Cal, he of the roundball fraternity. Cal has his own PR people who even dominate the airwaves and the social media.
But if Kentucky football coach Joker Phillips wanted to keep a low profile for himself and his Wildcats, he has scored big.
Now the time is near when the talking can end, thank goodness, and the pads can start cracking and popping.
Kentucky and Louisville will clash for just the 25th time at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Papa Johnâ€™s Cardinal Stadium. If you canâ€™t make it, you can watch it on ESPN.
Tickets? Sorry, but itâ€™s a sellout. And Iâ€™ll mention this just one more time: UK sent back about half of its allotted 5,000 tickets and Cardinal fans gobbled them up.
Yes, that 25th is correct, The teams played each other in the early years from just before and after World War I. UofL couldnâ€™t keep up with the Wildcats and the series became dormant for 70 years from 1924 until 1994. Itâ€™s true that UofL not only couldnâ€™t keep up with the Cats, but didnâ€™t score a point during the first six games between the two schools.
To tell the truth, it took constant media pressure, mainly from sports columnist Billy Reed of The Courier-Journal, and Govenor John Y. Bown Jr. to get the Cats and Cardinals on the same football field. It was even harder to get the teams on the same basketball floor, but we can save that for another day.
UofL is favored and is ranked just out of the top 25 in most polls, and Big East Conference coaches put the pressure on the Cardinals by picking Charlie Strongâ€™s team to win the Big East. Itâ€™s a different story for Joker Phillipsâ€™ Wildcats, who are picked last in the Southeastern Conferenceâ€™s East Division. And Iâ€™ll say it one more time: Jokerâ€™s job appears to be on shaky ground. But remember, he DID beat Tennessee last year.
While it seemingly took forever for Joker to name Maxwell Smith his starting quarterback, UofL had no such problem. Teddy Bridgewater is in control of the Cardinalsâ€™ attack. Look for him to put the ball in the air a lot and look for high-jumping DeVante Parker to be on the receiving end of most of his passes. They promise to be an exciting pair.
TV Will Be Kind To UL, UK, WKU
Television will be kind this season to the football teams of Louisville, Kentucky and Western Kentucky, starting with Sundayâ€™s 3:30 p.m. clash at Papa Johnâ€™s Cardinal Stadium between UK and UofL on ESPN.
Westernâ€™s Sept. 15 game at UK will be televisedÂ at 7 p.m. on ESPNU.
When North Carolina comes to Louisville Sept. 15 for its 3:30 p.m. game withÂ the Cardinals it will be televised on ABC. Thatâ€™s the big network,Â not one of its ESPN outlets.
Other TV information:
EKU at Purdue, 3:30 p.m., BTN.
UofL at SouthernÂ Miss, 8 p.m., Sept. 29, CBSSN.
WKU at Troy, 7:30 p.m., Oct. 11, ESPNU.
Cincinnati at UofL,Â 8 p.m., Oct, 26, ESPN2.
Middle Tenn. at WKU, 9:15 p.m., Nov. 1, ESPNU.
UofL at Rutgers, 7:30 p.m., ESPN.
Other games will be added throughout the season and the networks will set the starting times.
Notre Dameâ€™s Sept. 1 game against Navy in Dublin, Ireland will be televisedÂ by CBS at 9 a.m. Eastern Time. That will be 2 p.m. EST in Dublin. Reportedly 35,000 Irish fans will fly to the â€œOld Countryâ€ to see the game.