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Western Kentucky or Tennessee? Gotta pick one, who ya got?


A caller raised an interesting (and difficult) question for Kentucky football fans during this morning’s radio show. It went like this…

If Kentucky could win only one of the two games — Western Kentucky or Tennessee — which would you choose?

The most popular response was Western; Matt said over 75% of the responses on Twitter were for the Hilltoppers. Matt and Ryan also went with the crowd and took beating Petrino over Butch Jones, if they had to pick one of the two games.

I, however, am going the other way. I’m taking a win over Tennessee. Here’s why…

A loss to Western in Stoops’ first game would undoubtedly suck, yes, but I think it would eventually be forgiven considering it’s the first game for a very young and inexperienced team learning a brand new system under a first-time head coach. The Petrino talk following that game would make us want to rip our eyelids off, but Big Blue Nation could easily move past that loss if the Cats are competitive against Louisville and show progress throughout the season.

If Kentucky beats Western in the opener, we celebrate for a week and move on because it’s Western. Kentucky should always beat Western.

A win over Tennessee, on the other hand, does wonders for recruiting and builds momentum going into the offseason. What do you think will carry more weight in recruiting as signing day approaches? A win over a Conference USA team in August with a loss to Tennessee in the season finale? Or the other way around: a win over Tennessee — an SEC rival and a school Kentucky competes with in recruiting — on Senior Day, with an early season loss to WKU?

I’m taking the win over Tennessee, celebrating it all winter, and tolerating the Petrino talk for a couple weeks in September.


Listen to today’s podcast at

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

66 Comments for Western Kentucky or Tennessee? Gotta pick one, who ya got?

  1. CatsFanInKnoxville
    1:02 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    Not even close. I’m taking a win or Tennessee any day. I live amongst ’em…gotta beat TN.

  2. hersheyisabear
    1:02 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    I disagree. You have to beat Western. No other way around it.

  3. MustangCat
    1:05 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    This question should be posed “who would you rather LOSE to”?! A loss to WKU would be 100X tougher to swallow then a loss to UT. No contest.

  4. Al/in/Indy
    1:07 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    Same here, WKU. Just another win over Petrino no matter where that POS coaches.

  5. Dr. Dru
    1:07 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    Going with Drew here … a win over the dirty balls vols will go along way with next years recruiting class – especially now that we are competing against them for numerous recruits. And we have a whole lot of ground to make up in the series.

  6. TheBigToe
    1:07 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    The question is bunk because we are beating both of them.

  7. The Herd
    1:08 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    Tennessee going down is always great. We have struggled many years to beat the Vols. Recruiting for the CATS would be much greater on our behalf. Some believe Petrino will actually pull some recruits from the CATS in the future. The way I see that is only for a short time. Petrino will be moving on, and then the well lets just say, “Western will just be Western”.

  8. sterve
    1:11 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    A loss to TN would be more respectable. Plus, we’re all pretty used to it. It would hurt WAY less. We need to beat WKU. It’s Western for Christ’s sake.

  9. ReedyCreekBuc
    1:11 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    That is Joker Phillips thinking Drew! We want to win every week!

  10. RD
    1:12 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    Short term, WKU. Long term, Tennessee. Overall, Tennessee by a long shot. I agree with Drew on the recruiting aspect of it. The sting of losing the first game will wear off by week three.

  11. Gail the Snail
    1:12 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    Already laying the ground work eh Drew? WKU will beat UK, and Stoops will lose to the man Mitch should have hired, the man that 90% of the fanbase wanted. And it will look bad, very bad. Adios in 3 years Mitch, can’t say I’ll miss you.

  12. Geil the Snail
    1:12 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    Already laying the ground work eh Drew? WKU will beat UK, and Stoops will lose to the man Mitch should have hired, the man that 90% of the fanbase wanted. And it will look bad, very bad. Adios in 3 years Mitch, can’t say I’ll miss you…

    1:13 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    Gotta beat the Vols! If we lose to Western its early in the year and we have games to make it up. Lose to the Vols, last game of the year, after likely losing other SEC games and its a long, long off season!

  14. Honky Kong
    1:15 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    BOTH !!!!

  15. Jeffrey
    1:21 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    @ 12: You’re an idiot, YOU wanted Pertrino, everyone else is happy with Stoops. What has Pertrino bought in for WKU? What has Stoops brought in for UK? UK = top 30 recruiting class. WKU = somewhere between 90=105

    And before you give anyone the “stoops” has no experience BS. Yes, no experience as a head coach, plenty of experience with turning school around.

  16. Bluerthanu
    1:24 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    Totally agree, beat the vols every single day of the week and twice on Sunday.

  17. @TheSirRandall
    1:24 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    You always take a win over the Low down dirty snitches!! I can’t stress that enough

  18. Caneyville Cat
    1:24 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    Gotta beat Western to keep fan base support going or it will be just like last year, but like Drew said you gotta beat the pee orange guys to the south for the big time recruits year in and year out. So really both are for the long term effect.

  19. Bald Guy
    1:27 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    Small faith… typical basketball fan. I believe the basketball only BBN fanbase is worse than anything in the city of Louisville. We are going to a bowl game this season. Have a little faith in the new regime… this group had the talent last year to win more games they just got coached in to losses. WKU is in the bag… UofL will be the upset and I can’t wait to hear their fairweather fans. How is a team that barely won 7 games in the weak Big East ranked preseason #9? A Florida win in a meaningless Sugarbowl cannot carry that much weight… Anyway, we got 7-5 possibilities, toughest schedule in America, and an exciting new regime. Down the road in Da Ville there are high expectations, investigators, and pre maddonas…

  20. J.A.
    1:32 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    Vols, in the big picture it’s not even close. in my opinion we will win both games anyway but if i had to choose it would definately be Tennessee. Our recruiting rival the next 5 years or until stoops or jones goes to nfl will be against Tennessee. Tennessee and Vandy are the biggest games of the season.

  21. Free Bradley Manning
    1:33 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    I’ll go with the Volunturds 100 times out of a 100.

  22. Wildcat Bob
    1:34 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    At first I was definitely going with Western. Have to start on a good note. But Drew has changed my mind with his points on Tennessee. Nicely done, Drew, nicely done.

  23. J.A.
    1:34 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    if we lose to WKU, there is time to recover. If UT beats us then we are setting the bar for the next 20 years. And my least favorite song is rocky top. I hate puke orange.

  24. Bmac
    1:35 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    Sorry but even joker could luck up and beat Tennessee in one game. If you want to ever become a quality SEC program you have to start with never losing to the teams you are supposed to beat. Losing to an SEC team is not going to make your program a laughing stock, having a player on a team from a lesser conference look at the camera and say “They s’posed to be SEC?” will.

  25. pre maddonas?
    1:37 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    19 – pre maddonas? Seriously? Try prima donnas. The phrase has been in use for centuries and has nothing to do with Madonna.

  26. R U serious
    1:39 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    This makes me chuckle. If I was WKU I would print this and post it in every players locker and say the media in Kentucky doesn’t think much about their team winning.
    How does KSR come up with these stories? That would be a better question.
    I say they buy used alcohol and have a shot a minute contest, the loser writes the next story.

  27. Hate em both
    1:43 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    17. So who’s your vote for lol?

  28. tltaworl
    1:44 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    26, KSR came up with this story by listening to the radio show. But the used alcohol thing may apply to Corey’s posts.

  29. rab
    1:45 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    I ask you this simple question: How are you going to feel after beating western? meh. How are you going to feel after beating Tennessee? Burning couches in the street excited. The question is not who would you rather not lose to the most, the question is who would you rather beat? If you say you’d rather beat Western than a rival who has pounded us into oblivion over the last 20 years, you seriously need evaluated. Well, that and you are probably still stuck on petrino’s pork sword.

  30. Real UK Fan
    1:52 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    Let’s just take what we can get. A win in either game is not guarateed. I would be thrilled just to win one of them. Winning both would be just outstanding.

  31. Dee
    1:56 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    Beat UT all day long and twice on Sunday…Like SexinNursingHomes does his “parts”….

  32. 1-11
    1:57 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    Western and UT will be too much this year
    Joker did not leave much talet
    This great coaching staff can do a lot, but asking them to beat Western is aksing much too much

  33. So it goes like this
    1:59 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    #BeatSouthCarolinasAss/#Punch Spurrier

  34. Warren
    2:07 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    Has to be Western Kentucky. Gotta win the first one. IF we don’t win, it will be due to a lack of talent; we have the better coach.

  35. bigbluerexfan
    2:12 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    Program cannot afford to lose to Western Kentucky 2 years in a row. Loss to Western would be hard to take. Beat both next year.

  36. JoAnne
    2:17 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    Do you think for a minute that Western and their greasy Italian coach Petrino is gonna beat us? Hell no

  37. Laker Cat 18
    2:29 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    I’m taking a Tennessee win for two reasons. One, a WKU loss would be a fluke. May happen once every ten times. Two, Tennessee is an extra SEC win that would be more important. For UK football, I’d take a big win over a bad loss. I would have a different view if it were UK basketball.

  38. Catsfan
    2:29 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    You guys amaze me with your logic. I totally agree with #29, we need to beat TN.

  39. UK Freshmen
    2:35 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    I’m thinking with this years team, UK will take whatever wins can be scrounged up. If there will be one.

  40. bigblueclint
    2:35 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    I go with WKU this year. Get off to a good start and build on it. We’ll worry bout UT later in the year. Go Blue!

  41. WildcatByTheGraceOfGod
    2:43 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    I think you have to start off on the right foot this year. With the hype all spring/summer I think you have to take the Western game.

    But I also think only choosing one is total BS.

    Beat both their A$$’s this first year in!!! I personally think we are in far better shape to beat any of the other first year coaches on our schedule this season. While we looked beyond dismal last season, there was still enough talent to be competitive until they shutdown on the Joker. So I think we’re actually better than most believe we are….

    Lets just go out and shock the world!

  42. Wildcatsteeler
    2:46 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    Very easy one. It’s Tennessee.

  43. Poppschmidty
    2:51 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    I’d rather lose to Western that UT any day of the week. Having recently moved from the glorious town of Lexington down to the booming city of Nashville my already strong hatred of the University of Tennessee has almost tripled. The other day I was wearing one of my UK shirts and some guy looked at me and said, “You know you’re in Tennessee, right???” I responded, “Yes, but you realize you’re in the Big Blue Nation.” He called Cal a cheater, I reminded him of Mr. Pearl’s BBQ. In the end result, a victory of the Vols did earn Joker 1 more year to attempt to kill the program, so that should hold more water than a win over upstart Western team any day of the week.

  44. outsider looking in
    2:54 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    36 – Yes, yes I do think WKU will beat you, and you are foolish if you don’t consider it a strong possibility. Of course, WKU shouldn’t have ever won it last year, and UK should have won their 9th bball championship, and yata yata yata. Typical UK fan who went down to Keeneland and borrowed a pair of horse blinders. Can’t ignore the facts, WKU is a talented squad and there is a very good shot UK loses this game. It is certainly not “in the bag” like 19 and you seem to think.

  45. Eazy E or Eric Wright it's all the same
    2:57 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    Tenny all day!

    (Ignore the trolls and they’ll go away. Feed them, and they’ll come back every day wanting more)

    I’m ecstatic about our future on the gridiron. Stoops’ mindset coming in was to change the culture of Kentucky football, first and foremost. He hired a young, energetic staff who have done an incredible job recruiting, weeding out the bad seeds and getting the state excited about football again. But I also realize Stoops has never been a head coach in his life, and there have been very successful coordinators who have struggled to make the transition to HC. It’s silly to even try to compare Stoops and Petrino. Petrino proved at Louisville and Arkansas that he can compete for BCS bowl bids with mostly 2 and 3-star kids. I think he might’ve cracked the top 25 once in recruiting back in ’09 if memory serves correctly. Regardless, Petrino is an offensive genius who’s shown the ability to develop players and get the most out of them. No matter what you think about him as a man, the bottom line is that he is an excellent coach. Stoops is almost the polar opposite of Petrino. He’s a players’ coach and defensive genius who has proved early on that he can recruit with the heavyweights of college football. Who’d ever dream that Kentucky FB would ever sniff finishing up with a top 10 class? If we ink Elam and Berrios, I think that would be good enough to sustain us just within the Top 10. I’ve heard several former Joker players from the defensive side of the ball say that Stoops has been the best teacher that they’ve ever had. Leadership seems to come naturally to Mark as it did with his brother, Bob.

    I just hope fans temper their expectations out of the gate as things are likely to get very ugly in SEC play. All I ask to see is improvement from the team throughout the season and our players giving it everything they’ve got on and off the field.

    Brick by brick!

  46. catastrophe
    2:59 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    37 – “I’m taking a Tennessee win for two reasons. One, a WKU loss would be a fluke. May happen once every ten times.” Actually, I believe that would make it 2 out of 4 times. But hey, you’re a UK fan so you probably aren’t that great at math, I understand.

  47. LoganBleedsBlue
    3:09 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    Completely agree with this post

  48. ribin
    3:31 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    Screw the question — Let’s win them both !!! GO CATS!!!!

  49. 2step
    3:32 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    Definitely prefer a win over UT. Not even close.

  50. Laker Cat 18
    3:34 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    46. I have two degrees. One of them being an engineering degree. I think I’m pretty decent at math. If you’re referring to WKU’s record against UK, I have no idea because it’s irrelevant to me because I (like many others) still consider WKU a mid-major. However, I do know that UK leads the all-time series with Louisville 14-11 and that Louisville is 2-4 in the last 6 years against the Cats. I’m assuming you’re a dirty bird with nothing better to do or a WKU fan with little man syndrome making an attempt to toot your own horn. Good luck with that.

  51. CatsFanFrankfort
    3:37 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    The first reaction was to say UT. But given the context of losing last year to WKU, we HAVE to beat them this year. Look, I get that a Tennessee win would be huge for next year, but I think we are ok on the recruiting front. Beating Western in our first game is monumentally important. Stoops’ philosophy is all about competing with the ‘big boys’ of the SEC, and that’s fine. You may argue that beating UT is a step in the right direction. It is; no argument there. But how can we do that if we cant even beat Western Kentucky? It would be laughable to think that ANY other SEC school would lose to Western. Two years in a row would be devasting and kill a lot of the positive momentum generated this off-season. Losing to Tennessee would be bad because it would the end the year on a down-note. But if we HAVE to lose, (while beating WKU, as is the premise of this post), it wouldn’t be that bad. Especially considering that we have other winnable SEC games in Missouri, Miss. St. and possible Ole Miss or Vandy. Getting another SEC victory while winning the first couple of games of the season would still go a long way even with a UT loss.

  52. BBN_Clay
    3:41 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    TN for sure! Much bigger win! Plus who gives a damn about WKU?? They aren’t a rival or anything. UT blows. Hate that “puke out of a pumpkin orange”

    3:44 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    And Drew, you are EXACTLY correct in your logic. A Tennessee win THIS YEAR, would be far better for the program than a win over WKU, especially if WKU beats UK and the following week they beat UT!! Yes WKU plays UK and then UT, back to back. Take the UT win, THAT’S the one that really matters.

  54. CatsFanFrankfort
    3:50 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    That said, if I HAD to choose just one, I would take the UT win over the WKU win, ONLY IF we started picking up steam late in the season and are able to pull off another SEC win or two….then it would look way bigger and it would be seen as a sign that we have a TON of momentum around the program. If we can go 3-2 to close out the season, that would look GREAT for the future of the program. But otherwise, we cant compete in the SEC unless we beat the teams OUTSIDE of the SEC, especially ones that are not national contenders as Louisville is. That’s the bottom line.

  55. catastrophe
    3:54 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    50 – All I know to say is…
    1) I apologize for hurting your feelings, that was pretty immature of me.
    2) I really think UK will actually be pretty good this year, beating both WKU and UT.
    3) Both 1 & 2 are lies.
    4) Your a puss. Don’t be so butt hurt when somebody has a difference of opinion.

    And just by the way, I was referring to the WKU-UK record. A win this year by WKU would put the series at 2-2 which I believe would make WKU fans the same, not the “little man”.

  56. [email protected]
    4:07 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    55 Learn the difference between you’re and your and maybe, just maybe, someone will think you’re intelligent enough to have a conversation with.

  57. Katman
    4:14 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    Win over TN is huge and western doesn’t matter. TN is neck and neck with KY in recruiting. Plus But h Jones played Ky for TN to get more money. Kick his Ass!

  58. PuddingTime
    5:02 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    Tennessee. How is this even a question? Who cares about WKU?

  59. Matt
    5:41 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    This is what bad football teams talk about, can’t beat both teams? What a joke, and will always be a joke of a program! Kensucky Wildcats!

  60. Boomerball48
    7:13 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink


  61. Bourbon Town Cat Fan
    8:09 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    Western, that game will set the tone for the rest of the season, a loss there and we’re looking at a season similar to last years.

  62. Laker Cat 18
    9:33 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    55. Puss. That’s a big boy word. I’d place you in the 13-15 year old range. You may be in a little over your head here on KSR. Good luck to your Hilltoppers. They apparently do have testicles after the biggest win in WKU history.

  63. Tampa Satchel
    10:40 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    This is a non-question. UT without a doubt. Who cares about WKU unless you’re from that region?

  64. Mars Bonfire
    12:09 am August 9, 2013 Permalink

    Excellent question, but as for me i would take the pump in the road for a victory over the Vols.

  65. Yep
    4:45 am August 9, 2013 Permalink

    If there is ever any real hope of playing for the SEC Championship someday, beating Tennessee year in and year out is the end game for our program.

    What kind of mullet head thinks beating a meaningless instate rival is more important than beating a conference rival?

  66. UKPride
    10:38 pm August 9, 2013 Permalink

    The real question is what are we going to do when WKU beats both us and UT? Just think the crap we will hear when they lead the SEC East.