The Governor's Cup is a trophy awarded to the victor of the annual college football game between the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville in the state of Kentucky; it is also used as a reference to the rivalry itself. Though the teams first played in 1912, they only played six times until the rivalry ended in 1924, not to be renewed for another 70 years. The rivalry resumed in 1994 with a new Governor's Cup trophy, which has been awarded every year since.
Kentucky leads the all time rivalry with 14 wins to Louisville's 13, although Louisville leads the modern series 13 to 8. Louisville currently has a four-game winning streak in the series. From 1994 to 2006 the annual matchup was always played in the opening weekend of the college football season. In 2007 the game was moved to the third game of the season when played in Lexington but remained the first game when played in Louisville. Starting in 2014, which marked Louisville's inaugural season in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Governor's Cup became the last game of the regular season for both teams to coincide with several other ACC-SEC same-state rivalries.
The 2010 game was the inaugural year for the award. The award is given to the Most Valuable Player on the winning team by the Louisville Sports Commission. It is named for Howard Schnellenberger, who played under Bear Bryant for Kentucky and was Louisville's head coach when the modern football rivalry began in 1994.