Taylor's Thoughts: Let the hype begin

Talk of the upcoming college football season is officially under way. It all started last week with the SEC gathering in Hoover, Ala., while another round of hype started on Wednesday with the Governor's Cup luncheon at the University Club in Lexington.

More hype will be circulating both on the airwaves in print once players report on Friday, followed by Media Day festivities on Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium.

Practice has yet to begin, but the signs of pads popping and whistles blowing indicate that it will soon be time to end all speculation and debate.

During a luncheon to spruce up the rivalry between the Cats and the Cardinals on Wednesday, Kentucky coach Rich Brooks said the Wildcats needed to hold up their end of the bargain against Louisville.

Brooks said Kentucky needed to make the series "a good rivalry."

"We haven't done our part in making this a rivalry," he said. "Louisville has dominated us in recent years."

Brooks came close to notching his first career-win over the Cardinals a year ago, dropping a 31-24 setback. The win was almost a big one, considering Louisville now prides itself as one of the top teams in the nation.

Prior to last season, the previous two meetings weren't even close, with the Cardinals posting a 28-0 shutout in 2004.

Brooks had a point when he mentioned the recent gap in dominance between the two instate programs. Admittedly, this writer's first thought of moving the game to a later date in the season seemed like a bad idea, but have since determined otherwise.

No matter when the game is played on the calendar, whether it's the first game or the last, it's still Kentucky versus Louisville. That's what makes the rivalry special in the first place.

In terms of the series, it needs a breath of fresh air and a new approach.

The Wildcats have lost six of the last seven meetings against Louisville, including three in a row. Since the series resumed in 1994, Kentucky has beaten the Cardinals just four times. Hal Mumme is the only Kentucky coach to post back-to-back wins over the Cards, with both of those victories coming with Tim Couch behind center. The Cats beat Louisville 38-24 in 1997, followed by a whopping 68-34 rout in 1998, Couch's last season in Lexington. The following year, however, Louisville came away with a 56-28 win.

Despite the discrepancy in the win-loss column, each coach at UK has beaten the Cards at least one. Brooks is awaiting his chance to beat the Cards.

Could the fourth year be the charm?

Let the hype begin.

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