When you lose for the 25th straight time, you dont have a lot to say. But here are three things:
1. I dont understand how you dont win or lose this game with Randall Cobb’s hands on the ball. After Cobb in the Wildcat took the team to the brink of a touchdown and 2nd and 7 from the ten, he didnt touch the ball on the next two plays. And once again, on third down they ran QB keeper with Newton and not Cobb. I just dont get it. Randall Cobb is the best playmaker on the field. I will take my success or failure on his hands…and once again, that is not what the playcallers decided to do.
2. In reality, the Cats didnt deserve to win. However fortune played into their hands and they had a chance to make it happen. But the reality is that Kentucky was outplayed in the second half fairly substantially. Adjustments were made at the half, and UT committed more to stopping the run and hit big 3rd and longs on offense. After the game, Lane Kiffin said, “its still Tennessee and its still Kentucky.” Unfortunately, at least when these two teams play each other, he is correct.
3. The bowl scenario is wide open. I spoke at length with three of the four bowl guys there (Chik Fil A, Music City and Liberty) and the whole thing is wide open. Two teams are the BCS, Ole Miss in the Capitol One and LSU in the Cotton Bowl. But then there are six teams that are 7-5 and six bowl games. The order could go in any direction:
Chik Fil A
This is important: WHO BEAT WHO DOES NOT MATTER IN THIS SCENARIO. They will go with the teams the various bowls want. Kentucky likely wont be in Liberty or Papa Johns because both are January 2, the same day Kentucky plays Louisville in basketball. The Outback is likely to pick Tennessee for a return to Tampa for the Kiffin boys. That means it is either Chik Fil A, Music City or Independence. My money is on Music City, but I think any of the three are still realistically possible. Either way, we will likely know by Monday.
I am as down about this game as any football game I can remember. They had it…even if they didnt deserve it. I dont know how you dont ride Cobb wherever he takes you. But it is what it is. Still a very good season for this program and it exceeded my expectation. But losing to Tennessee year after year doesnt get any easier.