I tend to only get to 2-3 games a year in Commonwealth. Some games are planned, some games are last minute “I need to get rid of this seat” drafted replacement selections.
For those of you that are looking for a game or two to venture to this year, I’ve ranked below what should be the best games. If you didn’t get your season tickets or even want to visit an opposing fan base with the team, here’s your chance.
Rankings consist of a 1 (worst) to 5 (best) scale on the following topics:
Winning: The chance I give Kentucky at pulling off the W, since everyone wants to see a win, when they see their team play.
Weather: As a football season spans from Summer into the late-late fall, a mix of conditions can occur. No one looks forward to freezing rain in November or blistering heat in September.
Worth: This one will change depending on the story lines that develop throughout the year, but my judgements were based on 1-Location 2-Atmosphere 3-Potential Game Importance (based on where I think Kentucky will be).
If I’m wrong, there’s always StubHub for you to resell those bad picks.
|09/02/12||at Louisville||Louisville, Ky.||The annual Govenor’s Cup will be held in Louisville this year. At stake, a chance to snap the 1 game losing streak to the dirty birds. With the Cardinals a strong favorite in this match up and the game being held the first weekend in September (likely hot and humid), not much of a chance I want to see it. However, Kentucky must win this one in order to give a fighting chance at stopping the streak of bowl-less seasons at 1 and remember – this is Louisville.
Winning 3 – Weather 3 – Worth 4 = 10/15
|09/08/12||vs. Kent State||Lexington, Ky.||A mere 6 days after a potential 2nd straight loss to Louisville, the warm weather will be relief to the temperature of Joker’s seat. Kentucky will look to get off the home season on the right foot and depending on that Louisville outcome may be looking to add their first W to the season’s record.
Winning 5 – Weather 3 - Worth 3 = 11/15
|09/15/12||vs. Western Kentucky||Lexington, Ky.||Western provided a grinding game last season in LP Field. As the last summer game kicks off in Lexington, the crowd weigh on the Hilltoppers and favor the Wildcats.
Winning 4 - Weather 4 - Worth 2 = 10/15
|09/22/12||at Florida *||Gainesville, Fla.||The Gators look to improve on their sub par 7-6 season from a year ago, which still featured a 48-10 chomping of the Wildcats. Gainesville has always been a tough place for Kentucky, but the streak has to stop at some point, right? If the streak continues and you are there, it’s likely the Gators won’t do too much smack talk and you’re in Florida. If Kentucky wins, take off work Monday, head down to Daytona and have a couple Margarita’s in celebration. This game will be epic.
Winning 2 – Weather 4 – Worth 2 = 9/15
|09/29/12||vs. South Carolina *||Lexington, Ky.||South Carolina comes back to Lexington. The last time Kentucky hosted the Gamecocks, Steve Spurriers lost to the Wildcats. As USC-East comes in as a favorite in the SEC East, it would be a rather large upset if the Wildcats pull of the victory. On the bright side, the game is in late September, which is amazing tailgating weather.
Winning 2 – Weather 5 -Worth 2 = 9/15
|10/06/12||vs. Mississippi State *||Lexington, Ky.||Kentucky will likely look to get off the snide with the Bulldogs trip to Lexington. With the season on the brink, if the Cats stand at 2-3 this is a must win for Joker. If the Cats are at 3-2, this game is huge and will be very exciting.
Winning 3 – Weather 5 – Worth 5 = 13/15
|10/13/12||at Arkansas *||Fayetteville, Ark.||The off season turmoil will have played out on this team by the time Kentucky visits Fayetteville. If the Razorbacks have regrouped from the Bobby Petrino Show this off season, Kentucky stands as a mere roadblock in their way to the post season. If the team has shown weakness and is ill prepared, the boys in blue could pull off a major upset.
Winning 2 – Weather 4 – Worth 3 = 9/15
|10/20/12||vs. Georgia *||Lexington, Ky.||The other Bulldogs come back to Lexington as last season’s East champions. Mark Richt’s squads seem to get better as the year goes on. If the same is true this season, a collective sigh will be heard from Commonwealth as the halfway mark is game behind both teams at this point.
Winning 2 – Weather 3 – Worth 3 = 8/15
|10/27/12||at Missouri *||Columbia, Mo.||Newcomer to the SEC, the latest version of the Tigers will host Kentucky for the first time as SEC foes. Missouri has seen a lot of off-season changes and QB James Franklin is recovering from a shoulder surgery. By late October, Franklin should be 100%… but any lingering effects or new injuries to Mizzu’s key cog could see the Tigers as Wildcat bait.
Winning 2 – Weather 2 – Worth 3 = 7/15
|11/03/12||vs. Vanderbilt *||Lexington, Ky.||Vanderbilt again. At this point in the season, Kentucky usually is make-or-break and this could be the same. Seeing 4 games in the W side means a W against Vandy would be one spot closer to a bowl. A L here is likely a must-have for a post-season spot.
Winning 3 – Weather 2 – Worth 5 = 10/15
|11/17/12||vs. Samford||Lexington, Ky.||If Kentucky can manage to get 5 W’s before this, the bye week may allow for some needed late season R&R&R – That’s rest, relaxation, and recovery. Typically this time of the year the team is banged up pretty badly. If Kentucky is already out of post-season contention, this game will be worthless.
Winning 5 – Weather 2 – Worth 2 = 9/15
|11/24/12||at Tennessee *||Knoxville, Tenn.||The Vols will look for revenge but Kentucky will look for a 2 game winning streak. The season will be winding down and with a W the Cats could easily be looking at a bowl game. At the least, it’s good momentum heading into the off season.
Winning 3 – Weather 2 – Worth 3 = 8/15
Results from Worst to Best:
7 – Missouri
8 – Tennessee and Georgia
9 – Samford, Arkansas, South Carolina, Florida
10- Western, Louisville, Vandy
11 – Kent State
13 – Mississippi State