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Does the football season rest on 4 games?

As with most years since the Rich Brooks era, the UK football season usually revolves around only a couple games, if the team’s ultimate goal is to make a bowl.  But, on a season to season basis, those games often switch.  Last year, it was the Mississippi schools that decided the season, and with those 2 losses, it became impossible for UK to have a stellar year.  Our good friends at Sea of Blue released an article by Glenn Logan that says there are 4 games that are the pivotal, make or break, games of the year.  Here is a quick excerpt from that article:

Vs. the Louisville Cardinals, 9/17/2011 — The game is in Commonwealth, so the Wildcats have an edge there, but this is a big-time rivalry and taking anything for granted in this game can be the highway to Hell.

-Win this game, and the Wildcats head into SEC play 3-0 at home against the Florida Gators.
-Lose this game, and that win has to be replaced by an SEC victory. That should tell you all you need to know about the mountain a loss to Louisville lays at the paws of the Wildcats.

Vs. the Florida Gators, 9/24/2011 —Will Muschamp is the newly-minted head coach of the Gators. They have a very young, if very talented squad, and at this point in the season they will still be learning the schemes of the new coaching staff. This is as vulnerable as the Gators are ever likely to be.

-Win this game, and Kentucky not only breaks a 24-game losing streak but picks up their fourth win depending on the outcome of the Louisville game. With FCS squad Jacksonville State still on the menu, Kentucky can almost count this as their fifth win, needing only one more for bowl eligibility. Win this game, and it’s not hard to start dreaming about an eight or even nine win season.
-Lose to the Gators, and UK will likely be either 3-1, or 2-2. 3-1 is no big deal (except for that darned streak), but 2-2 puts them behind the eight ball big time.

At the Vanderbilt Commodores 11/12/011 — As usual, Kentucky’s post season hopes will likely live or die with this game.

-If UK can manage at least 2 wins between Louisville, Florida, LSU, South Carolina, Mississippi St. and Ole Miss, this game puts UK into the bowl eligible group.
-If UK comes into Nashville with 3 wins, this game means almost nothing. If they come in with 4, it is an absolute must-win, because Tennessee is weak enough for UK to beat in Lexington.

Vs. the Tennessee Volunteers, 11/26/2011 — The way I see it, this is the biggest game of the season. It is important no matter what Kentucky’s record is.

-If UK has less than 5 wins at this point, the game is important only for ending the 26-game losing streak, but that is very important indeed. The same is true if UK has 6 or more wins coming in.
-Tennessee is still in a bit of a rebuilding program, but because UK gets them this late in the year, they will either be very tough, or banged up — you just never know. With 5 wins, this game takes on double importance and becomes the nexus upon which much glory or disappointment rests — the 25-game streak, and the post-season streak all on the line.

I think UL and Tennessee are givens, because Louisville will be the first real test of the year, and Tennessee could potentially decide a bowl game or not, plus ending that damn streak.  I am not so sure Florida is a pivotal game, although they do get the Gators when they are slightly down and at home.  And Vanderbilt better be a win.  What are your thoughts?  Which game(s) are the most important in the UK season?

Article written by Bryan the Intern

27 Comments for Does the football season rest on 4 games?

  1. SexnNursinHomes
    4:06 pm August 11, 2011 Permalink

    All of them are important. If UK football wants respect, then they can’t take a Saturday off. Wanna be #1, gotta act like it.

  2. 3 fan
    4:08 pm August 11, 2011 Permalink

    Why even put UF game on there? We aren’t going to beat them. Hell, we can’t beat Tenn. even when they repeatedly shoot themselves in the foot.

  3. Holden McGroin
    4:08 pm August 11, 2011 Permalink

    UT is the only one that matters. The rest would be gravy.

  4. Mr Schwump
    4:09 pm August 11, 2011 Permalink

    Can’t beat Tn until the players/coaches stop choking at crunch time.

  5. UKfanNKY
    4:15 pm August 11, 2011 Permalink

    #1 I like your thinking. IMO I really think we have a good shot to go 9-3 this year!!! CATS RISE!!!

  6. hmmmmm
    4:17 pm August 11, 2011 Permalink

    For a good bowl, this is what we need …

    WINNERS (need all 4): Central Michigan, WKU, Jacksonville St, Vanderbilt
    GOOD CHANCE (need 2 wins out of these): Louisville, OleMiss, Tennessee
    PRAYER (need 1 win out of these): Florida, LSU, South Carolina, Miss. St, Georgia

    That gives us 7 wins and a pretty decent bowl game.

  7. catben
    4:20 pm August 11, 2011 Permalink

    Replace UF and Vandy with the Mississippi schools. WE MUST BEAT UT THIS YEAR!!!!

  8. iWantToGrowUpToBeTheDrewFranklin
    4:20 pm August 11, 2011 Permalink

    We beat Central, WKU, JAcksonville, Vandy, Tenn, and Louisville guaranteed.

    We MAY beat Ole miss, South Carolina, Miss. St., or Georgia. (I say Ole Miss, SCaro, and Miss. St.)

    No way we beat Florida or LSU.

  9. SexnNursinHomes
    4:20 pm August 11, 2011 Permalink

    5- absolutely. I’d love to see a 9 win year and to get rid of this itching sensation in my loins.

  10. Joe
    4:29 pm August 11, 2011 Permalink

    Florida would be great, but I’d put Ole Miss and Miss. St. as more important. I mean, a win vs. Florida would be great… but beating the Ole Miss and Miss. St. type teams is what keeps things moving forward. The recipe for improving is win the games you should win, win more than you lose in competitive games, and pull a shocker.

    Consider– 2006: UK beat the should wins (Texas St., Central Michigan, Vandy, and ULM), and held its own in the competitive games (beat Ole Miss, Miss. St. and UGA, and only lost to USC jr.). If they had knocked off UT, UL, LSU, or Florida, they’d have been in a New Year’s Day bowl game.

    2007: UK beat the should wins (EKU, Kent St., Florida Atlantic, Vandy), knocked off LSU for their big upset, but had some struggles in the competitive games (lost to USC jr. Miss. St. and UT in 4 OT). If they win one more of those competitive games (say UT for instance) they’d have been in a New Year’s Day bowl game.

    So the recipe for 2011– Beat WKU, Central Michigan, Jacksonville State, Vandy, and Louisville. Those are the should wins, although Louisville’s “rivalry” status makes it almost a competitive game, as it could be. Then hold your own in the competitive games- arguably Louisville, Ole Miss, Miss. St., and UT… although what with the 27 year losing streak, you could argue that UT doesn’t fit in the competitive game category. You need a solid 2-1 or 3-1 against that group, if not better. Then knock somebody off- Florida, at LSU, at USC Jr., at UGA, or even UT if you include them in that group. If you follow my formula, UK ends up at 7-5 or 8-4. Even 7-5 with a marquee win probably bumps UK up a level in the bowl pecking order and shows some actual improvement.

  11. Jack
    4:30 pm August 11, 2011 Permalink

    My thought on this is really very simple: Until UK fans and their media quit thinking this kind of nonsense, this program will not “RISE”. Just stop it! All 12 games are winnable, some may be more winnable than others. Get the damned schedule out of your heads and think like this (because it’s true): You play the same opponent every time you step on the field—yourself! Think I’m crazy? Ask yourself this? What if UK’d kicked that chippy FG against UT 4-years ago? What if Derrick Locke hadn’t missed his block against UT two years ago? What if the UK kid had recovered Auburn’s fumble instead of kicking the ball out-of-bounds last year? I repeat: WINNABLE! Be positive and RISE!

  12. UK rifle > WVU rifle
    4:33 pm August 11, 2011 Permalink

    There can be only 1!

    Must beat UT!

  13. Chad
    4:41 pm August 11, 2011 Permalink

    I am not sure why you would put UF on there. We need to beat UL for recruiting and Tenn and Miss schools because we need to be .500 in the SEC

  14. cride3332
    4:43 pm August 11, 2011 Permalink

    Is this not the same thing that is talked about every preseason? When they consistently start playing to win (i.e. 2nd half of that USC game last season) and quit playing not to lose
    (kicking a field goal down 42-14 in the 4th quarter @ Fla) then I will get excited.

  15. Gillespies Tab
    5:00 pm August 11, 2011 Permalink

    #5, havent you learned anything from watching UK football. Doesnt matter what their record is supposed to be, they will lose games they are supposed to win as usual. Everyone always looks at what games could be possible upsets, but never takes into account the games that are going to be possibe let downs. 6 wins.

  16. tbd4567
    5:22 pm August 11, 2011 Permalink

    Leave out FL and insert Miss and Miss ST. TN and Fl are pipe dreams. TN could happen this year if we can get some defensive tackles and a turnover or two. The loss to Miss last year was all about not holding on to the ball. We don’t fumble, they don’t win. The loss to Miss St was about the linebackers being out of place. They form a scrum and leave holes all over the off tackle position all day. They stay in place and Miss St loses. Loss to TN was just from being out coached. Can’t run. Can’t pass. Can’t tackle big runners. Then repeat the above.

  17. TrueBlueFan4Ever
    5:37 pm August 11, 2011 Permalink

    Any good coach will tell you that the most important game on the schedule is the “next” game, so the most important game right now is WKU!! Aside from that, I think the ‘Cats will be better than people think and could go 8-4 or 9-3 and I do BELIEVE that this is the year that the “Little Orange” streak comes to an end!! GO BIG BLUE!! Agree with Jack.

  18. Dave in Kabul
    5:41 pm August 11, 2011 Permalink

    It’s Kentucky.

    Nothing is certain. They could beat UF and lose out. That’s just UK Football.

  19. Catsantonio
    5:41 pm August 11, 2011 Permalink

    UL, Vandy, and the Mississippi’s are always the pivotal games for UK. We can’t say Tenn and UF are pivotal until we beat them more than once every 30 years.

  20. Gillespies Tab
    5:56 pm August 11, 2011 Permalink

    btw…espn a few years ago saying Brohm is a better draft pick then Aaron Rodgers..

  21. MtnCat
    6:09 pm August 11, 2011 Permalink

    Until somebody lines up and beats us they’re all winnable. Build winning momentum each week and then lay the wood on the visting Gators and see what those new scoreboards will really do. After we beat Florida, those Mississippi schools won’t look nearly as big. Vandy thinks they can every year but that thinking is going to change. Tennessee’s reign is over. Conference foes will come to dread the trip up north. These Cats are dangerous, especially at home. Time to tee it up and kick some balls!

  22. Hard Hittin' CAT
    7:42 pm August 11, 2011 Permalink

    How about we end both streaks this year?!! UF goes down and the Volunqueers do the same. Can I smell an 8-4 season?? I think so. Go get that SEC title CATS! I’m wit ‘cha.

    GO BIG BLUE!!!

  23. whip out ya big ten inch
    8:18 pm August 11, 2011 Permalink

    I agree with #1 they’re all important and I don’t know how everybody else feels,but I’m sick of talking about 5,6,or 7 wins every season I want a SEC Championship WE NEED 4 AND 5 STAR KIDS THAT CAN PLAY FOOTBALL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. Football Man
    9:41 pm August 11, 2011 Permalink

    beat the 2 miss. sch’s
    beat L-ville
    beat Tn.
    6-1 @ home w/that one being a chance to end Fla. streak.
    2-3 on the road w/a chance to pull a surprise.

    8-4 Get’s a Rise…..That’s what she said

  25. ky1der
    11:45 pm August 11, 2011 Permalink

    Can we just kick the ball. Let’s hit somebody.

  26. Cale Barr
    4:30 am August 12, 2011 Permalink

    #8 I actually think we’ve got a better chance to beat UF at home than USC on the road.

  27. Cale Barr
    4:34 am August 12, 2011 Permalink

    #23. You might as well just move on to watching some other program then because we have no consistently won 6-8 games a year for enough years to expect to all of a sudden compete for a SEC championship with teams who are national championship contenders. We need to continue to be consistent for the time being in hopes of boosting recruiting and with a boost in recruiting trying to take it up a notch. We’re still 3 steps up the ladder away from winning a SEC championship. And hell if you want a SEC championship you might as well want a national championship. That ain’t gonna happen overnight. Maybe in 10+ years if we keep up the pace and stay competitive in recruiting will be one step away. Lots of things have to go right though.