Every few years, someone grabs lightning in a bottle and has a se..."/>
Every few years, someone grabs lightning in a bottle and has a se..."/>

Kentucky Football: Cats Tied For 1st Place in SEC East


Every few years, someone grabs lightning in a bottle and has a season that is either unexplainable, or unbelievable in college sports. Some programs do it more often than others, and some don’t do it at all. Some have to live with those seasons being tarnished by NCAA violations, some take it as a once in a lifetime type of thing.

The NCAA tournament is notorious for it. Teams like VCU, Butler, Morehead, and others have caught fire and gotten deep into the tournament, with last year’s Butler run being the deepest in history. But football has it’s share of unlikely teams as well. Rutgers made themselves a household word back in 2006 when an 11-2 season pushed them to the national scene after a 30+ year absence. Bringing back the birthplace of college football was no easy task, but it also took a bit of luck and timing to capitalize on that success.

So what makes UK Fans envision that the Cats are going to add their names to those teams who come from the proverbial mud to the heights of their conference and maybe even the entire world of college football? Simple. They believe. Every year we get fired up, start talking about the possibilities of overtaking Florida, Bama (its been 15 years since that sweet smackdown), LSU, Tennessee and others, and wait with fervor for the beginning of the season, look for the cracks as we stomp a lower tier team or two into the ground as a warmup for the annual UK/UL showdown, and then hope to build our momentum from there and make it a season to remember for more than just another .500 finish. And this one is going to be no different.

The Cats have a streak going that they would like to maintain, travelling to a bowl game for the last few years, but the fans want more. The Big Blue Nation has visions of bigger bowls, big time victories to remember over foes whom we have not defeated in decades, and possibly even a trip to the SEC Championship game. The SEC West is the home of the newest incarnation of the Legion of Doom, touting it’s place as the toughest conference division in all of collegiate sports, and considering that the SEC East is no walk in the park either, dreams of wins and winning seasons and places like the Gator Bowl, or the Sugar Bowl, and such just are not going to come without a lot of pain and sacrifice, a lot of luck and some impeccable timing. This is all where it stars though. As of today, the Cats are 0-0, tied for first place in the SEC East. Are they on equal footing with the likes of Bama and Auburn, LSU and the Gators? Honestly, no, not even close. The Cats are going to have to fight, claw, scratch and maul their way into that position, if they want to be there for more than the first week or two of every season.

Now, earlier this year, I gave you my prediction for the Cats this season. My personal belief is that we are looking at 6-6 at best, and maybe 5-7. I got hate mail, people offering to do things to me that I did not think physically possible with a laptop, and a boatload of you’re ignorant’s and you’re uninformed’s. That’s OK, because as a writer I know that not everyone is going to agree with me. I want the NCAA disbanded, and almost everyone agrees with that, so, it’s a trade off. I have not changed my prediction, and Paul will be giving you my game by game breakdown in a few days, but I do want everyone to know, that I too sit among those who wait with anticipation for what is to come. But I have learned to love the first 2-3 weeks in the season every year. Because right now, the Cats are in first place and no one can take that away from us. At least not until week four.

I must admit, Joker Phillips, Rick Minter, and Co. have me letting my mind wander a bit. Could a newly infused defense get us over the hump with the Vols? Can Morgan Newton take direction from the coaches and become what all of his potential said he would be? Does Danny Trevathian have one of those “special” seasons in him? And does that young but talented receiving corps understand how important it is that they catch the ball and keep Newton out of trouble? I try not to be pessimistic, but realistic when I look at what is to come for the Football Cats, but it is hard sometimes. After all, year after year of being an “also ran” in the SEC can wear on you. Yes, the SEC is the toughest conference in all of college football. Yes we have five straight National Championships sitting in Atlanta on Mike Slive’s bookcase. And being the premier college basketball program in America does soften the blow sometimes. But I want to see the Cats fighting their way to the top, not because they deserve it, but because they earn it. Let’s make this the year the Cats are in first place in the SEC East the last two weeks in the season as well as the first two. I love my two weeks of heaven in September. I just cannot stand those two weeks of hades on earth come the end of the season.

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