Why send players to the NFL when we can bring the NFL to them? In the annual reminder of Kentucky’s futility in the SEC that is the NFL Draft, Wildcat football fans are afforded the opportunity to relive the season – usually in the form of highlight reel plays against them. It’s hard to see a player selected from the SEC whose highlight reel doesn’t include a few spectacular plays against Kentucky to be broken down by draft analysts in front of a nationwide audience and it’s hard to see a player taken in the draft who isn’t from the SEC. Once again, the Southeastern Conference leads all conferences in draft choices through the first three rounds with 16 players. Alabama accounts for five of those players alone and are one of seven SEC teams to have a player chosen thus far. The ones without? Auburn, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Florida and our Cats.
I don’t know if there is a precedent for this in any sport, but the SEC’s current domination of all things college football is almost comical at this point. The last six BCS champions, a constant parade of top talent to the NFL and a reputation for strong and fast play has set the league apart from all competitors. Now with the four team playoff likely to come into effect, we could see a new level of domination. I couldn’t imagine any less than two SEC teams making it to the top four in the foreseeable future. Alabama – LSU could become an annual thing. It’s scary to consider.
While the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M means that there are two more football programs better than UK now in the SEC, it also means that we might be able to avoid the Alabama’s and LSU’s on a more regular basis. At this point, without MASSIVE overhauls and a lot of time, it doesn’t seem plausible that UK could become a top team in the SEC. I love UK football and want to see the team do well but seeing the kind of talent showcase the SEC puts on during the draft is so disheartening. I wish there was a surefire answer for how we can turn it around, but coaching changes, recruiting steals and the like all seem irrelevant when compared to the juggernauts of the league.
The ceiling for this team may be what we saw with Andre Woodson and company and honestly, I’m fine with that. Those teams were a lot of fun. The Louisville game, the LSU game and the first Music City Bowl were some of my best memories associated with Kentucky football. Let’s get back there through some real honest recruiting. Say it with me, Joker: ‘I can’t promise you’ll be the best, but you’ll certainly get to see the best. Welcome to the SEC.’