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.