Lousville Cardinals vs. Kentucky Wildcats Preview: It's Time to See Where These Teams Stand

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

The annual rivalry game serves as a barometer for a Louisville team looking to prove it's Top 10-worth and a Kentucky team looking to see just how far from that it is

Louisville Cardinals vs. Kentucky Wildcats, 12 p.m. ET, ESPN

It might not be too early to write off Kentucky's football season -- at least as far as hopes of a bowl game go. Despite the impressive margin against Miami (OH), one of the worst teams in the FBS, the fact is that the Wildcats still lost to Western Kentucky. This isn't going to be a team that will make a surprise run at the SEC East.

But it might be a bit early to say that Louisville has earned its Top 10 ranking. The Cardinals have won their last two games by a combined 93-14 margin, but those games were against Ohio and Eastern Kentucky. As bad as the Wildcats are likely to be this year, they are not either Ohio or Eastern Kentucky.  (Western Kentucky, perhaps, but not Eastern Kentucky.)

In a way, then, this is a barometer game for both teams. Kentucky will be able to tell just how far it has come in the relatively short time period since Mark Stoops was brought in to replace Joker Phillips -- and, in some sense, how far it still has to go. And Louisville will get its chance to show that it does deserve to be thought of a potential national title contender, even if it needs everything to go just right to get there. I'm not sure this game will do that job.

Louisville 38, Kentucky 10

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