When a 40-game series is divided at 21-19 like the Campbellsville-Taylor County High School football series, that’s truly a competitive rivalry.
No one really knows when they attend a game who is going to come out ahead at the end.
Although Kentucky defeated Tennessee in football in 2011, the Big Orange still has dominated that series. And, other than the states bordering each other, it has not been a true rivalry. Sort of like UK-Florida and UT-Florida and UT-Alabama. Teams have to have a legitimate chance for it to be a true rivalry.
And, rivalries are bigger when they operate in the same conference. Kentucky vs. Louisville will never be as big regionally or nationally as North Carolina-Duke, Michigan-Michigan State and Auburn-Alabama because those games count double — bragging rights and a huge triumph in the league.
Near the tail end of Troy Young’s hoop coaching tenure at Taylor County, the CHS-TCHS boys’ series was tied in their last 140+ encounters.
Former players say that Taylor County did not beat Campbellsville in boys’ hoops until the 1949-50 season. That series actually began in 1940.
The Eagles and Cardinals basically split game in the 1960s, CHS won the first third of the 1970s while TCHS claimed most victories during the Cardinals’ glory run of 1974-83 with four Fifth Region crowns.
Since the tie, Taylor County has dominated the last several decisions.
But again, that’s what makes rivalries fun. Trying to figure out who is going to win.
It also helps attendance, as evident in the last several Battle of the Birds and most recently with the Big Dawg Bowls at Campbellsville University. People show up in huge quantities when they feel like both teams have a shot to win.