Kentucky Football: The Quest For Respect

Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports


The Kentucky football season is almost here. Everyone is anxiously awaiting the kickoff against the UT Martin Skyhawks at noon in Commonwealth Stadium. Each year UK fans peruse the schedule to see where the wins will come from. Improvement is expected even if it doesn’t translate into a lot more wins. If the Cats finish the season with four W’s it will equal what they have done the past two seasons combined.

We hope against hope that we won’t once again see the same old Cats.

The thing that gives Kentucky fans hope at this point is the rate of success Mark Stoops is having on the recruiting trail. He’s bringing in talent at a level unlike any we’ve ever seen before. It is definitely exciting and encouraging. Fans should be upbeat about it while being patient as they await the process to take shape in all phases.

Outside of the Big Blue Nation all the recruiting buzz isn’t resonating all that much with fans or media of other SEC squads. As we all well know their attention will be forced to acknowledge the process of things coming together at UK when the Cats start grabbing more wins for themselves on the field. Right now the other schools see Kentucky’s improved recruiting and respond with a figurative pat on the head and a “Well good for you, isn’t that nice.” or “Bless their hearts.” (You know how it is here in the South.) Then they go right ahead on and pencil ink in another win for their school over Kentucky.

This is obviously the case for Georgia or South Carolina, teams expected to battle for the SEC East crown. The same is true at Tennessee or Vanderbilt, teams who aren’t at the big kid’s table, if you will. Kentucky is just lumped right in as one of the wins they know they can depend on as they search for six wins and bowl eligibility on their schedule. This is the case despite Kentucky, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt all being given less than on 2% chance to win the SEC East on the SEC Network earlier this week.

It is what it is.

Nothing is given in the SEC, you have to show everyone that you can earn what you get. If things come together like Coach Stoops and everyone hopes those wins will come. With that, the respect will come also.