My Favorite Annual Tradition: Indiana Begging On Hands And Knees To Play Kentucky Again While Fans Lose Their Minds
[Source] - “I’m gonna stay on his heels about trying to get the Kentucky-Indiana series back on the table. Over the years that was a helluva game. It might not be Bloomington-Lexington. However we’ve got to get it done, I’ll take it.”
Ah, yep, must be the offseason. Every year this story pops up and every year I have to remind Indiana fans that it doesn't matter. I'm not even trying to say it doesn't matter because Indiana hasn't been worth playing in the offseason but Kentucky's schedule is fairly set. There's a limited amount of non-conference games. They are locked into 4 every year - Champions Classic (Duke, MSU or Kansas), CBS Sports Classic (UNC, UCLA or OSU), Louisville and the SEC-Big 12 Challenge. That's four high majors right off the bat. Then they already have an agreement with Michigan to play. There's 5. Throw in the 18 SEC regular season games and you're at 23 of 31 regular season games. You're not going to fill the remaining 8 with high majors, that's just a basic rule of scheduling. You have buy games and then maybe you get one more high major.
But here's the thing. Why Indiana? Old people care about the rivalry. But it's hardly a rivalry like it was in the 70s and 80s. Can hardly even say it was a rivalry in the 90s when Kentucky won 7 of the 10 games. Shit even since 1990 Kentucky leads 17-7 in the series. It's not like it's back and forth and a battle for who is better. As a UK fan I'd rather play Duke, UNC, Michigan, Louisville, Kansas and then someone different. Give me an Arizona or a Gonzaga or a Texas Tech or a Nova.
Some would say Kentucky should play Indiana for recruiting purposes. That doesn't matter as much these days. A recruit isn't going to Kentucky because they are playing in Indianapolis on a neutral court game. It's basically yeah, great if we schedule Indiana. It means more for IU than UK these days. I'd rather see us play a more consistent program.
Also this dance is just going to go on every year for eternity. People will argue about the series renewing. People will argue about where they should play. People will argue about if it matters or not. It's my favorite annual tradition.