It is a testament to what a big deal the win is on Saturday that here in the middle of the biggest two weeks in recruiting for UK basketball and directly prior to the start of the basketball season, the masses are talking Kentucky football. Saturday’s win over Georgia was exciting for two reasons. First, absent a meltdown of massive proportions, Kentucky is headed for a bowl game this year and Rich Brooks will be back in Lexington next year. Regardless of what many of the Brooks detractors (of which I have been one) have had to say, this win came about at a time that is crucial for the state of the program. Making a bowl game this year is something this program needs, and so long as a win can be pulled out over Louisiana-Monroe, that should happen….get a win over Vandy and you have a guaranteed winning season. As Borat would say, that is niiiiiice.
Second, this win showcased something that we have been long overdo for here in Lexington…..a game where we played a top team and did not look physically overmatched. On Saturday, the players from Georgia did not look like they were on another level athletically from the Cats. This is a HUGE difference from year’s past and is a compliment to this staff’s recruiting efforts. When a lower teir team upsets a better team, it is usually because of turnovers, the other team making mistakes or a remarkable performance by guys stepping up. This game actually had little to do with any of these. Kentucky just played well, made the plays when they had to and put together a complete game plan (offensively AND defensively) that pulled it out. That is new and important.
Ultimately some naysayers are giving the view that the Cats are getting way too excited about beating a down Georgia team. To those people I say, SHUT UP! To be a Kentucky football fan is to deal with more than your fair share of loss and heartache. When you look back at Kentucky football, you remember all the close losses (how many of you thought Georgia was going to drive for a winning TD at the end….I did) and the lackluster performances. This is a GOOD win. The best win of the Rich Brooks era and one of the best wins of the decade for the program. Rather than reviling in the fact that this means the program isnt good, celebrate it. If you cant find happiness in this, then there is no reason to cheer for the Cats.
Finally, props to Rob Gidel. On our show, he picked this game in the pre-season as a UK upset. He deserves the credit now.
Big night tonight of news, look for it….