Louisville Needs To Fire Kenny Payne Before Facing Kentucky

Timing is more important when firing a coach, and the time is now

Kentucky   s John Calipari and Louisville   s Kenny Payne hug each other at the end of the game.Dec.
Kentucky s John Calipari and Louisville s Kenny Payne hug each other at the end of the game.Dec. / Scott Utterback/Courier Journal / USA
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Kenny Payne and the Louisville Cardinals will face Pepperdine today and that game will be a deciding factor in how long it will take for Louisville to fire him. But Payne needs to be let go before the Cardinals face the Kentucky Wildcats this Thursday.

If Louisville beats Pepperdine today then Payne will likely be kept on as head coach until they lose another game. That game will likely be when the Kentucky Wildcats come to town on December 21st. Even if Louisville beats Pepperdine, Payne should still be fired, because the embarrassment that the Louisville fanbase will feel next Thursday might be the worst feeling ever in this historic rivalry.

The Yum Center could be over 60% blue next Thursday, and if the Wildcats win the game by 20+ points they will give Kenny Payne a standing ovation. Knowing well that he will be announced as fired the next morning. Louisville fans do not want Payne as the head coach and that has been made extremely evident. Kentucky fans do want him as the head coach, just so they can have a free 25-point win every year.

Payne also doesn't seem to understand that Louisville fans do not like John Calipari. I know Payne and Calipari we on the same coaching staff for 10 years, but as one of the most hated rivals in all of college basketball, at least act like you hate the guy while the cameras are on.

I know that is not Kenny's character but fans really do not like to see two rival coaches getting along as well as they do. If the Cardinals get trounced by 30 with 12,000 Kentucky fans chanting "cats, cats, cats" while Payne smiles and gives Calipari a big hug. Athletic Director Josh Heird may fire him in the post-game press conference.

A similar situation comes to mind when Chris Mack was fired mid-season during Louisville's 2021-22 season. Mack was fired after starting 11-9 and assistant coach Mike Pegues took over as interim for the rest of the season.

The game after Mack was fired from Louisville was Louisville vs. #9 Duke at the Yum Center.

The fans showed up for that game, the players were playing with no fear, and for a while in that game you could see a glimpse of what the team really could be. Louisville was down 5 at halftime, and even tied it up at 60-60 with a little over 6 minutes left in that game. Duke eventually won the game 74-65, but the fight and determination from the players, as well as from the fans was really spectacular.

The same thing could happen in this game against Kentucky next week. If Payne is fired before the Kentucky game it could possibly rejuvenize the players and fanbase, at least enough to give the Wildcats everything they could possibly handle.

the fanbase currently does not believe in Kenny Payne as a head coach, and because of that, they don't feel the need to support this team. But if he is fired they will rally around these players, and what better game to show out in masses for than against the Kentucky Wildcats?

Josh Heird has a decision to make, and while Payne is likely to be fired at some point soon this season, it needs to happen before the Kentucky Matchup next week

It needs to happen for the fanbase's well-being and to give them something to rally around. Let's not let the Wildcats take over the Yum Center next week.

Give Kentucky all the hell they can handle, and that begins with firing Kenny Payne on Monday.