Get used to it because we are keeping this trophy for a 5th straight year
That’s right, I am already calling the 2011 contest between UK and UL a win in the Kentucky column. That’s right, I am already moving past this season and into next season. That’s right, without knowing what the final recruit list will look like for the Class of 2011, I am already saying it won’t matter and that Kentucky will beat Louisville again. Is it a completely silly argument to make 360+ days from the game, absolutely. Would you expect anything different from me? I would hope not. But keep in mind I have made two 100% lock picks on this website: UK-Cornell and UK-UL football this season. Both of those worked out OK for us. So, here is why next years game is a LOCK:
1) Randall Cobb
-Yes, he SHOULD be back next year, and that alone means that Kentucky will have the best player on the field, again. Louisville had nobody that could stop him Saturday, and they won’t have anybody that can stop him next year. And there has to be a little extra motivation to beat Louisville 4 years in a row for him, considering the class before him did the same thing.
2) Quarterback Transition
-Louisville loses its top 2 quarterbacks no matter what. Adam Froman and Justin Burke will be gone, and those guys are not exactly world beaters. Left on the roster is Will Stein, a guy who is well under 6-foot tall and not very talented and Domenick Brown, who will be a sophomore without a college snap under his belt. Kentucky will (as of now) have Morgan Newton at quarterback. A guy who has an entire SEC season under his belt, and a somewhat successful one at that. Assuming Newton becomes starter, you have to say that the QB transition for Kentucky will be MUCH more smooth than that of Louisville.
3) Returning Players
-Kentucky has a total of 13 seniors on this year’s roster, while Louisville has 26 seniors. In Kentucky’s 2-deep depth chart going into the game, they will only lose TEN of their top 44 players going into next year, returning 15 starters. Also returning will be the starting kicker and punter. On Louisville’s 2-deep depth chart, they lose TWENTY of their top 44 players for next season, only returning 9 total starters.
-I kept harping on this before this year’s game, and I will continue to say it: Kentucky has gained a significant mental advantage over Louisville in this series. You could tell it right from the opening kickoff. Louisville (especially on defense) looked hesitant and nervous, while Kentucky appeared confident and aggressive. There will not be a single UL player in 2011 who has ever beaten Kentucky, and that has to make them question if they can every time they play. I call it the Kentucky-Tennessee syndrome.
5) Home Field Advantage
-It will have been SIX YEARS since Kentucky lost a non-conference home game when the UL game rolls around in 2011. In conference, that’s a different story. But who cares?