Earlier this week before the college athletics world was flipped on its head for the second summer in a row when it was announced that USC and UCLA would be joining the Big 10 in 2024, the ACC was enjoying it’s brief moment in the sun as college football fans celebrated the conference’s dismantling of its own divisions.
For Louisville fans, the big news was that the football team was assigned three permanent “rivals” that they will face each year for four consecutive years starting in 2023. Those “rivals” being Miami, Georgia Tech, and Virginia.
Something I never imagined when the Cardinals joined the ACC was how long it would take for them to find someone they truly and mutually despise. In the C-USA and Big East Louisville had no trouble making enemies with the likes of Southern Miss, West Virginia, etc. And while the Cards have certainly had some tests moments with Clemson, Florida State, and Wake Forest, nothing’s truly developed into something deserving of the “rivalry” tag.
But all of that is set to change!
Because the ACC has given us no choice but to loathe the Hurricanes, Yellow Jackets, and Cavaliers.
And with every great rivalry comes a rivalry trophy, which I have taken the liberty and pleasure of designing.
But before each trophy is revealed, let’s break down our histories with or new mortal enemies.
Head-to-Head: 11-3-1, Miami leads
1985 – Miami 45 – Louisville 7 – Howard Schnellenberger faces Miami as Louisville’s head coach just 2 years after winning Miami’s first National Title.
2004 – Miami 41 – Louisville 38 – Devin Hester game.
2005 – Louisville 31 – Miami 7 – Mario Urrutia game.
2014 – Louisville 31 – Miami 13 – ACC debut game.
Rivalry Description: This rivalry has seen its teams trade a few punches since the new millennium began, and while there have been some exciting games and highlights, nothing has defined this rivalry more than the famed man with the pipe who kickstarted both programs, Mr. Howard Schnellenberger. To commemorate the godfather of these football programs, each year the teams shall (should) play in what is called the “Schnellenberger Bowl,” and the victor shall return home with the glorious golden pipe.
GEORGIA TECH YELLOW JACKETS
Head-to-Head: 2-0, Georgia Tech leads
2018 – Georgia Tech 66 – Louisville 31 – In what still remains as the most impressive / embarrassing display of the triple option I have ever seen, Paul Johnson’s offense hung 66 points on Brian Van Gorder’s defense while completing one pass and rushing for 542 yards. I’m still not over it.
2020 – Georgia Tech 46 – Louisville 27 – How in the hell did we lose to Geoff Collins?
Rivalry Description: Okay. So we’ve barely played one another. Who cares? So the only two people that hated each other, CPJ and BVG, are now gone. WHO CARES? You know what this rivalry has? Beef. Or should I say, Chicken?
That’s right. You have the headquarters of KFC taking on the headquarters of Chik-fil-a. Does one restaurant do an infinitely better job in literally every measurable way possible? Yeah. But do you think the Cardinals care? I don’t think so.
Let’s settle this the old fashioned way on the gridiron. Winner takes home a trophy with a fried chicken on it.
Head-to-Head: 5-5, Tied
2014 – Virginia 34 – Louisville 31 – Virginia hands Louisville its first ACC loss in a bizarre, turnover-filled day in Charlottesville. A sign of more strange things to come in Charlottesville.
2016 – Louisville 32 – Virginia 25 – Lamar Jackson saves Louisville from a major upset.
2021 – Virginia 32 – Louisville 31 – Louisville blows 30-13 fourth quarter lead and misses potential game-winning field goal.
Rivalry Description: This is not a rivalry. I will not allow it. Sure the on-field product has been exciting, but everything else surrounding these two programs with each other has been so boring. When the news broke that Virginia and Louisville would continue to play one another every year in football I don’t think I saw a single fan on either side happy or sad. Neither fanbase cares. It’s just so so so so boring. It’s no secret that the ACC has been trying to force these two programs into a rivalry by pitting the teams against each other every year in football and twice a year in basketball. And while Louisville fans despise losing to the most boring brand of basketball over and over and over again, these two fanbases just don’t have it in them to hate one another. So stop trying to make it happen, ACC.