(19/16) Louisville (10-1, 6-1) @ (NR/23) Cincinnati (9-2, 6-1)
Date: Thursday December 5, 2013
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN (Rece Davis, Jesse Palmer, David Pollack, Kaylee Hartung)
Location: Cincinnati, OH (Nippert Stadium)
Capacity: 35,000 (Field-turf)
All-time Series: Cincinnati leads 29-22-1
Keg of Nails
-Awarded to the winner between Louisville and Cincinnati football since 1929.
-The trophy is a replica of a keg used to ship nails.
-The keg that is used now is not the original. The original was misplaced by Louisville when moving football facilities.
-As of 2009, there are no nails in the Keg of Nails, nor does anyone know if there ever were any in the first place.
-The exchange is believed to have been initiated by fraternity chapters on the Cincinnati and UofL campuses, signifying that the winning players in the game were “tough as nails.”
When the schedule was released for the 2013 football season, most people thought that the AAC title and the league’s BCS bid would come down to Thursday December 5 in Cincinnati, OH. Now that the day is upon us, only 1 team playing tonight even has a shot at getting that bid, and that is Cincinnati. They need some help though. They must beat Louisville, have UCF lose, and still pass them (UCF) in the BCS rankings. With that on the line, as well as the last game in this rivalry for at least a few years, and it being a weeknight game on ESPN, there is no doubt that Nippert Stadium will be rockin’. It has already been announced as a sell out. The school has also decided to make this a blackout game for the fans, which also can make for a better atmosphere.
This will be the best college football environment that the Cards have played in since mid-October, which were the back-to-back home games with Rutgers and UCF. Those were actually decent showings by the Louisville fans. Since then, they have had road games at South Florida and UConn, and dreadful home games (crowd wise) against Houston and Memphis. It will be a good test to play in a loud stadium and take on the “us against the world” mentality.
The game will be big for guys like Preston Brown and Dominique Brown, who are from Cincinnati and originally committed to the Bearcats in high school. When Brian Kelly left Cincinnati for Notre Dame, and Charlie Strong came to Louisville, he was able to convince both of them to join him with the Cards. The local paper in Cincinnati just had an article about Preston and Dominique, and you can read that here.
Been a Great Series
This series has brought us many great moments over the years. My personal favorite was being at the game on November 27, 2004. Cincinnati, like many other teams for some reason, thought it would be a good idea to stomp on the bird at midfield. They then got stomped by the Cards 70-7 and it was pouring down rain for what seemed like the entire game. I just remember being there until the clock hit 0:00 regardless of how much of a blowout it was. Last year’s game in overtime (also in rain) was also a really fun one to be at. Charlie Strong’s first season brought us another good moment in the series.
I expect tonight’s game to be a close one, and one of these teams will make that big play that fans remember for years to come. Which team will keep the Keg of Nails for the foreseeable future?