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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Is the WKU game the most important of the season?

I think most fans are accepting of the fact that this football season could have some rough spots in Mark Stoops first year.  The schedule is brutal, the roster is thin in spots, and a whole new mentality and system is being installed.  I’m not sure there are many games on the schedule where fans will EXPECT a win besides Miami (OH) and Alabama State.  UK is likely to be an underdog in every SEC game, although Missouri may be pretty terrible.  But, there is one game that falls into the middle of all of those categories.  A game where fans will probably expect a win but also is a very loseable game, and that is Western Kentucky.  And unfortunately for Mark Stoops, that game falls first on the schedule.

But the game is important on 5 other levels too:


-It’s no secret that many fans wanted Bobby Petrino as the coach of Kentucky.  I think since Stoops has arrived and we’ve seen such success on the recruiting trail, that hunger for Petrino has died down to nothing.  BUT, a win by Western in that opening game would certainly lead to a lot of fans already saying UK made the wrong choice.  It’s rare a coach has to face off in his first game against a coach with the college success that Petrino has, but also coaching a non-BCS school you are favored over.  It’s a tough situation for Stoops to be in, but also one he could crush by just winning the game.


-You can’t lose 2 straight games to a Sun Belt school.  I don’t care how down your school is.  I did a little research and couldn’t find any instance for any SEC school in the last 20 years who has lost to a Sun Belt school twice.  Add that to the fact of how WKU beat UK last year, plus they nearly beat UK 2 years ago, and it’s becoming embarrassing how this series has gone.  I hate to use the phrase “bragging rights” because I don’t think UK fans ever care about bragging about beating WKU, but you don’t want Topper fans bragging about winning 2 years in a row.


-Look, UL has a better program right now.  That will likely change once Teddy Bridgewater leaves, but for the time being, UL has an advantage.  But you don’t want WKU to take the #2 spot.  And frankly, with another win this year, Western would have some argument they are the 2nd best football program in this state.  And while Stoops is recruiting great outside the state, in-state players would take notice.


-Season ticket sales are up.  Nothing is going to change that.  But since the game against Western is in Nashville this year and not Lexington, a loss would make for an interesting first home game for Mark Stoops against Miami (OH) the next week.  I am not saying that game would not still be a sellout, but it makes it a possibility if UK comes into a mediocre MAC team with an 0-1 record and not a 1-0 record.


-Quite honestly, win or lose, Mark Stoops has the program on the right track.  But if you are at it rationally, UK can lose this game against WKU.  And the problem is the perception outside the fanbase would be damaged right off the bat with a loss.  As Andre Agassi said “image is everything”.  Win that game and the one over Miami, and suddenly you are 2-0 going into Louisville and people take notice.  Go 1-1, and people don’t really care about you so much.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

25 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Is the WKU game the most important of the season?

  1. Info??
    9:21 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    What kind of team does Petrino have in his first year at WKU. Returning players recruiting etc… Just how will they match up with UK compared to last yeare?

  2. marc
    9:26 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    you’re just plain dumb if you think UK fans wanted Petrino here…

  3. KG
    9:33 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    As a fan who thought maybe Petrino would be a great coach to re-build the UK football program (even will all his negative baggage),
    I had no idea who Mark Stoops was. Man,am I glad that Mitch made the decision to go with Coach Stoops. A loss to WKU or anyone else this season is on Joker and not Coach Stoops and staff,IMO.

  4. MattD
    9:40 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    @3. Evidently you didnt listen to the show…. at all during the coaching search. A lot of UK fans wanted Petrino and no one else.

  5. the ghost of Bill Hicks
    9:55 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    #2 – MANY people wanted Petrino.

  6. tom
    9:58 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    1. Excellent question Info. A writer on here should take on that assignment. Instead of just talking about how important the game is…break it down.

  7. bluecreeker
    9:58 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    Last time I looked, UK played football in the SEC.

    It is hard for me to understand why the WKU game would mean anything to anybody in the football world. Yes I know UK should be the dominant power in the State, but that bus has left the station (thank you Mitch) and it will be a few years IMO before UK will be able to compete with Coach Strong down the road. For anybody who is paying attention….Teddy Bridgewater is not “THE” UofL program, and coach Strong is still bringing in some killer talent. UofL is well funded, well coached, well motivated, and they have the “David” chip on their shoulder. Those who think they are going away with Teddy, are just ignorant of the facts.

    Petrino will work magic at WKU for a few years, will erase the bad mojo that comes with his name, and he will move on.

    In closing, I hate losing to UofL, I hate losing to WKU…….but looking forward winning SEC games is all that matters IMO.

    Oh yea…..I would be a better intern than Bryan.

  8. average fan
    10:03 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    Petrino is scum. I can’t believe anyone would want him to coach their beloved team. That being said, UK should easily win. If it wasn’t for four turnovers and inept coaching we would have easily won last year. 17 point win this year!

  9. Delk for 3
    10:05 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    This game is very important. It will hurt our smooth-rolling recruiting train if we lose. Other coaches will use it against us and tell guys, “look, it’s just the same old Kentucky. Coach Stoops won’t do anything different.” If we lose to WKU, it will be imperative that we have some decent wins throughout the season.

  10. RICK
    10:11 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    #7, Not to long ago Ky had won 4 games in a row against the cards,with teams like Ky and Lville in runs in cycles, check it out if you don’t think so. Both teams have years when the other school is better and that will continue.Strong took a chance on Hurtt and Bridgewater and it has paid off for him so far, both should be suspended but thats not my call, so in a year or 2 the card fans will be crying when are we going to beat Ky again just like we Ky fans are crying now. RUNS IN CYCLES FOR BAD FOOTBALL TEAMS.

  11. I hate to be one of those negative commentors that Matt slammed the other day (his criticisms weren’t entirely fair, but a lot of it was), but all this has been said on this site hundreds of times BTI.

  12. Jackson Purchase
    10:35 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    I agree with levels 2,3,5… Bobby Petrino is not a factor, he was never considered by the AD only by a few delusional fans who would stoop to the level of having Petrino as football HC. And I agree with 11 this talking about WKU as an important game again is getting old.

  13. niaps
    11:17 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    I totally agree with #8. UK is much more talented and with the better coaching this will be a much easier game than people think. WKU was just plain lucky last year and if you look at that last play the pass was almost blocked. Cats are 2 and 0 into Louisville game.

  14. jhnny
    11:29 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    “I am not saying that game would not still be a sellout, but it makes it a possibility if UK comes into a mediocre MAC team with an 0-1 record and not a 1-0 record.”

    I’m saying right now that game will not be sold out, regardless of what happens in Nashville. Ticket sales are certainly up- and that is great- but there are still a lot of tickets available to season ticket holders, including large portions of the end zones. Next year may be a different story.

  15. truBLU
    11:29 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    Only idiots and low-lifes wanted Petrino at UK

  16. jubhro
    11:38 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    The next game is always the most important game – Leo Tolstoy – if he commented on sports.

  17. kadizkat
    12:02 pm July 10, 2013 Permalink

    Pigs will fly, UK will win an SEC Football championship, hell will freeze over, I agree with two aritcles in two days by BTI. Just sayin’

  18. WKU fan
    12:10 pm July 10, 2013 Permalink

    #1 This team Petrino has will be way better than last year at almost every position except probably the DL. The #1 rated ILB, a great safety who picked off UK multiple times. Some pretty good DB. Offensively, they should be soild in the running with the depth and experience. WR and TE’s should be good. Once Again a lot of depth, lots of experience in the top not much towards the bottom, but all talented. OL will be good imo. QB play.. Well TBA. I think Brandon will get the job done. Smart, strong arm and good descsion maker. Should be a great game! Go Tops!

  19. mswhel2
    12:13 pm July 10, 2013 Permalink

    I still think the WKU loss last year was a perfect storm. UK had like 4 picks and western needed a trick play dying duck pass two point conversion as time expired to beat us. UK has recruited better than western the past few years and should have superior talent on gameday. But i’m still worried.

  20. JimHarris
    12:38 pm July 10, 2013 Permalink

    I, for one, would have liked Petrino–a proven big time winner. As much as we love the excitement surrounding Stoops and his Ohio recruiting, fact is he’s never coached a major team in a game,much less won games. So, yes, a PROVEN winner was my choice as the only way to win at UK. I’ve followed UK ball since the days of Bryant and seen a parade of new coaches come with high hopes for us all, only to see them leave as losers a short time later.

    Yep, I’d have gone with Petrino if given my choice. Morally he’s no worse than most highly successful people; he just got caught.

    But like everyone else I’m hoping against hope that, contrary to the old saying, doing the same old thing one more time won’t end up with the same old results.

  21. Hafez
    12:56 pm July 10, 2013 Permalink

    Most important game is Miami. It will decide between 1-11 and 2-10 season

  22. SoCal Will
    3:15 pm July 10, 2013 Permalink

    Why waste time burning witches at the stake? Petrino is at WKU and he did nothing that wasn’t consensual. A beautiful younger woman will make a good dog break his chain. The man is as good a game coach as anyone in college. He bent Brooks over and had his way with him in the first rivalry game for both. I am very pleased with Stoops but he had better have the team ready. Petrino will.

  23. RedHawk
    6:14 pm July 10, 2013 Permalink

    I sure am not penciling in a victory over Miami (OH). We could very easily be 0-2 heading into the Louisville game with a big ass whipping staring us in the face.

  24. Dennis Smith
    7:52 pm July 10, 2013 Permalink

    Good article by Bryan and spot on the heart of UK football. But I can’t help but notice it is also a fair amount of back peddlin’ since the grandiose flag waving after Stoop took the job.

  25. Good article
    11:20 am July 11, 2013 Permalink

    #8 “If it wasn’t for four turnovers and inept coaching we would have easily won last year…” That is the most ignorant comment I’ve ever heard. You might as well say ‘If it wasn’t for the other team scoring more points than us last year we would have won guys! We got it for sure this year!’ Point is this article is spot on. WKU is returning a lot and they could very easily beat us. They won last year and played us very close the year before that. and for #1 they are returning Antonio Andrews, one of the best RB/Return players in the nation right now, the #2 ranked inside linebacker in the Nation Andrew Jackson, and the same defensive backs that snagged 4 picks last year. Add in several other returning key players and if you can’t tell, this game spells trouble. I just hope we can pull it out!