What is the Governor’s Cup?

The Governor's Cup is up for grabs once again as the Louisville Cardinals take on the Kentucky Wildcats in their last games of the regular season.

In this intense rivalry, the Louisville Cardinals look to break their four-game losing streak against the in-state rival Kentucky Wildcats. While there haven’t been many meetings between the two teams, the rivalry dates back to the 1910s and has provided much intrigue and close games over the last three decades.

Here is a look at the rivalry that includes the Governor’s Cup trophy they receive and the history behind the heated showdown.

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History Behind the Governor’s Cup

The two teams played each other for the first time back in 1912 with Kentucky shutting out Louisville 41-0. Their first six matchups together were ugly, as the Wildcats won all six games by a combined score of 220-0. After their 1924 meeting that ended with a 29-0 win for Kentucky, the rivalry was done for 70 years.

In 1994, the two teams played each other once again. This time, the Governor’s Cup was on the line. The winner of the game would take the cup to their campus to hold on to until the next time they lose in the series. Kentucky continued their winning ways, as they defeated Louisville, but this time, the Cardinals scored and kept it close with a 20-14 contest.

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From 1994 through 2006, the two teams started their seasons playing each other. The rivalry game moved to the third game of the season in 2007 and lasted this way until 2013. They then moved the rivalry game once again to the last game of the season starting in 2014, and it has stayed in that timeframe since.

Kentucky has been in control of the series over the last six games, winning five of the last six matchups, including four straight wins. In 2022, the Wildcats were able to pull out a 26-13 win over the Cardinals.

The Wildcats lead the series overall with a 19-15 record. Kentucky has the longest winning streak in the series beating Louisville seven straight times to start the annual matchup. The Wildcats also have the largest margin of victory, beating the Cardinals 73-0 in 1922.

The 10th-ranked Louisville squad has already clinched a spot in the ACC title game this year with a 10-1 record and has an outside shot at making the College Football Playoff.

Meanwhile, Kentucky is coming off a 17-14 loss to South Carolina, as they hold a 6-5 record and a two-game losing streak. Their matchup takes place at noon EST on ABC with Louisville as a seven-point favorite.

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