19 Days to Kentucky Wildcats Football: The LSU Afterglow

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 With another Kentucky Wildcats football season upon us, the staff at Wildcat Blue Nation are digging into their memory banks and recounting our favorite moments in Wildcat football.  Over the next month, we will be looking at these games and sharing our thoughts and memories on them.  It’s not a countdown, but a look back at what has made Wildcats football important to us and what stood out.  Hopefully Mark Stoops and his staff will be able to add a few more special moments this upcoming season.

 Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier in this series, we have looked at the Kentucky upset over #1 LSU in 2007. Certainly that was one of my favorite Kentucky football moments, it also began one of the happiest weeks in the history of Kentucky Wildcats football. After a euphoric Saturday, the reality of the situation kicked in when the latest rankings were released:

 

AP Top 25
RK TEAM RECORD PTS
1 LSU (33) 5-0 1593
2 USC (32) 4-0 1591
3 California 5-0 1475
4 Ohio State 5-0 1420
5 Wisconsin 5-0 1271
6 South Florida 4-0 1203
7 Boston College 5-0 1172
8 Kentucky 5-0 1143
9 Florida 4-1 1031
10 Oklahoma 4-1 992

 

The stage was set for the showdown between Kentucky and Florida in Commonwealth Stadium and for one of the few times since that streak ended, it certainly looked as if that streak could end and that Kentucky was poised to make another big statement in college football. For the first time in years, Kentucky was a viable contender in the SEC East.

 

The wildest race in all of college football this season just might be in the SEC’s Eastern Division. How do you pick a favorite at this point with Kentucky upsetting No. 1-ranked LSU tonight? Florida travels to Lexington next weekend in what should be another classic. The Gators, as talented as they are, can’t afford a third SEC loss and expect to stay in the race. South Carolina and Tennessee each have just one SEC loss, and they square off in two weeks in Knoxville. There’s also the Florida-South Carolina matchup on Nov. 10 in Columbia, and Kentucky and Tennessee meet in the Nov. 24 finale in Lexington. So stay tuned. It’s almost a given that the East winner will have two losses this season with it coming down to the tiebreaker.

 

The ultimate reality of the LSU win came when Kentucky hosted ESPN’s Game Day, which still is the only time ever that Kentucky football has gotten that honor. For the first time since the Tim Couch era, you had the feeling that Kentucky football had arrived.

And on the big national stage, Kentucky proved worthy of their ranking, even in defeat. The 45-37 loss to Tim Tebow and the Gators was disappointing, but it’s hard to forget the game Andre Woodson had as he torched the Gators for 414 yards passing and 5 TD’s.

While in the end, some may look at the Florida loss as a huge missed opportunity, you can not forget the week we all had leading up to that game.

It happened once, and that still gives hope that Mark Stoops and company can recreate that feeling once again.

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Tags: Football Kentucky Wildcats

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