How big is this week’s matchup? Should we avoid all social media if our team loses? Who should we really dislike for this game? Welcome to a brand new opponent feature of the WBN called “Fear and Loathing” in which we look at the upcoming opponent and tell you what to be scared of and who, if anyone to dislike.
WESTERN KENTUCKY HILLTOPPERS EDITION
What is there to fear about the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers from Bowling Green? Well, if you are coming off a 2-10 season that relegated you to the third best team in the state, there is a lot to be fearful of. But what in this game? Let’s look at a few themes.
LOSING TO A SUN BELT TEAM
First off, losing to a Sun Belt team will not be the death knell for Mark Stoops and his program. Yet a lot of fans have that frame of mind. As a member of the SEC, it is always embarrassing to lose to a smaller conference, but remember that Michigan lost to a FCS Appalachian State a few years ago. And Louisville lost to a Sun Belt Team in 2011. Obviously the huge concern is that the recruits will jump the ship with a loss, but Mark Stoops has made it painfully clear to the recruits what to expect this season. I think the biggest feat is …
LOSING TO WESTERN … AGAIN
At least when Louisville lost to a Sunbelt team, it was to a Florida team. Kentucky can not lose to another smaller state team and ensure themselves of a third place finish in the state. Again. Much of this is Joker Phillip’s fault but the adage is that a bad SEC team should never lose to a good Sunbelt team. Especially two years in a row. Kentucky fans will probably tolerate a 2-10 season again … as long as one of those losses are not to WKU.
THE PETRINO FACTOR
Face it. If Kentucky loses, the feww remaining fans that think UK should have pursued Petrino will be chirping. LOUDLY. As in, did Kentucky make the right hire? Is Stoops the right guy? Keep in mind, it’s just white noise as Stoops is recruiting wiwth the nations best, and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. But a loss to Petrino will give the haters something to talk about for the rest of the year.
In most years, this game would have little to no fear factor. There is however, some apprehension in the Big Blue Nation as while this team will be improved, it may not be in game one. And while losing once to a Sun Belt team can be called an anamoly, losing two in a row is a not very good trend. That is where the real fear lies. That with all the hype and good feelings toward the program, that this team goes out and does not play better than last year.
FEAR FACTOR: 7 out of 10