Forget the College Football Playoff, the Keg of Nails might be the bowl game you don’t want to miss the most in 2022.
Louisville and Cincinnati have a long history as rivals, separated only by 100 miles and the Ohio River. And while Cincinnati holds a 30–22–1 lead across four conferences in the history of the matchup, they stopped playing in 2013 when UL went to the ACC.
But what makes it one of the games you don’t want to miss is the move by Scott Satterfield, who was already pretty unpopular in the River City thanks to a mediocre track record and openly pining for other jobs like South Carolina in the past. So when he took his talents to the Queen City, it seemed like a win-win for both sides: UL gets out from a coach that never clicked with the city or fan base, and UC gets someone that has recruited the same turf.
But tell that to the Louisville fans, who are now thrilled to have one more chance to dunk on their old rival, in Fenway Park of all places, on the first Saturday of Bowl Season. “Thanks for leaving, send that $3.5 million buyout check ASAP, and also we’re going to take you out even if you’re not coaching this game directly.” Satterfield has said he won’t even be in attendance at the game, but the message UL will want to send is real.
But this might not be the best display of football however, as both teams are filled with transfer portal applicants and opt-outs. And both teams will be on a backup quarterback as the Bearcats will start Evan Prater ahead of the injured Ben Bryant, with Brock Domann coming in for Louisville as Malik Cunningham has declared for the NFL Draft.
While most fans might think of Bob Huggins or Mick Cronin vs. Denny Crum or Rick Pitino when it comes to the rivalry between two teams separated by about 100 miles of Ohio River, the football distaste is real as well. It should be at least compelling television, if not tremendous football.