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Who should be our SEC “constant rival”?

Earlier today, Drew told you how the SEC caught coaches off guard by tossing out the conference schedules discussed last month and starting from scratch in hopes of achieving “competitive balance.” While we won’t know the complete schedules until next month, we know this: Kentucky’s “constant rival” may no longer be Florida, and one of our five home-and-home series will be Vanderbilt. So, this begs the question: who should be Kentucky’s “constant rival” in the SEC? Let’s look at the contenders:

Vanderbilt: Although the ‘Dores will be down this year as a result of losing pretty much their entire team, the program is always competitive, and Bill Dauterive Kevin Stallings is a pretty awesome villain. Add in their bizarre opera house of a gym and the growing animosity between Kentucky and Vanderbilt fans and you’ve got a pretty great rivalry.

Tennessee: Man, I hate Tennessee, because first of all, it’s Tennessee. The low-down dirty snitches were definitely more fun to hate when Bruce Pearl was strutting the sidelines, but perhaps Jarnell Stokes and his promises to beat the Cats will pump some bad blood back into the series. Cuonzo Martin seems likeable enough, but there is history there: Tony Harris, Ron Slay, Bowser. Just thinking about it gets me riled up.

Florida: The Cats were originally paired with the Gators as rivals before the league switched it up, so odds are they’ll be matched with someone else, but it’s hard not to make this list without including Florida. The “spurned lover” Billy Donovan drama back in the day worked the Big Blue Nation into a frenzy, and although most Cat fans seem to have gotten over that, there have been many hateable Gators over the years to stoke the fire, including Matt Walsh, Joakim Noah, and Teddy Dupay. Chris Walker committed to being a Gator on Sunday morning, and didn’t waste any time promising fans a National Championship. He’ll have help from fellow top 2013 recruit Kasey Hill, which means the next few years will include some classic Kentucky/Florida games in Rupp and the O’Connell Center.

Arkansas: I wish. Can we resurrect the Arkansas teams from the mid-90’s please?

The smart money’s on Tennessee, but after #OccupyMemorial, I can’t help but hope for Vanderbilt. You?

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

41 Comments for Who should be our SEC “constant rival”?



  1. TheLaw
    4:05 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    I gotta hope for UF. I think we will win every game regardless of who we play, and since UF is the most likely to be competitive each year I’d rather have those wins on our resume.



  2. ukfan
    4:05 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    Vandy.



  3. Mack
    4:10 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    I “hate” Tennessee, the school not the state. But after the last few years I would go with Vandy and Stallings, easy guy to hate no matter the players.



  4. bmt22033
    4:11 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    “Chris Walker committed to being a Gator on Sunday morning, and didn’t waste any time promising fans a National Championship. He’ll have help from fellow top 2013 recruit Kasey Hill, which means the next few years will include some classic Kentucky/Florida games in Rupp and the O’Connell Center.”

    Ummmm, no. It most likely means there will be a *couple* of good games in the 2013 season. Walker and Hill will probably both be one-and-done so unless Billy D. starts bringing in the 5 stars on a yearly basis, I wouldn’t count on many “classic” games.



  5. rainman
    4:14 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t think there will be one, or needs to be one!!
    It’s pretty obvious Ky. is the only school in the SEC
    who takes B-Ball serious! So our rivals will come from
    outside the conference!! IMO!!



  6. Kidnut
    4:16 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    This time last year Jarnell Stokes was in high school, imagine how good he is going to be when he learns to practice.



  7. Kidnut
    4:19 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    Hey Kevin Stallings, Bill Self in on the phone…he says he can hook you up with his guy



  8. asdf
    4:19 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    If there has to be one, Florida is the obvious choice. Vandy and UT have each other in-state. We and Florida neither have an in-state rival, and are the two most prominent basketball programs in the conference. It’s a no-brainer.



  9. Bicycle Seat Sniffer
    4:20 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    Vandy. Their time at the top of the SEC is done. Like the NCAA Tournament, I want the easiest route for our guys. I think that will be Vandy year-in and year-out from now on.



  10. shorthop69
    4:20 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    None of them, obviously.



  11. Bob Sugar
    4:24 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    Let’s mark somebody our equal and call them macaroni! This is the rubbish produced by the guys on madison avenue to sell car insurance or cell service ad time. The SEC has always had a revolving “bull in the ring” feel for Kentucky, with each school challenging UK ove rhte years. But the notion that we need to establish an exclusive rivalry with another school just for spectacle is utterly outrageous. Kentucky is the class of the league and always will be. The days of stealing a quality win in conference vs. the wildcats are over. There is no one who can compete with the champs.



  12. Han
    4:25 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    Why would anyone want to play in that joke of a gym at Vandy? Especially since we have a young team every year with a bunch of guys who’ve never played there.



  13. jimlowe7
    4:30 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    You conspicuously left out SC and GA (ROFL of course) but I wondered if you FORGOT to consider our new-kid-on-the-block Missouri or left them out on purpose too?



  14. sgsdfg
    4:31 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    They’ll wind up nixing the idea because the other schools will not like that one school will be singled out for an extra sellout game every season.



  15. OldManinBlue
    4:31 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    Tennessee



  16. Mrs. Tyler Thompson
    4:32 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    13 – I think a rivalry has to have some kind of history to go with it. Maybe in 20 years.



  17. Will S
    4:37 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    It’s kind of weird that this question even has to be asked. Aside from the SEC, who does UK consider their true rival? Louisville? Duke? Indiana? Could it be possible that your 3 biggest rivals are all out-of-conference? Weird.



  18. here we go again..
    4:40 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    #11 You wrote “the notion that we need to establish an exclusive rivalry with another school just for spectacle is utterly outrageous”. If you think that, then no wonder you don’t get it. The SEC is not scheduling this way to create “spectacles”. The point is the SEC added 2 teams and rather than increasing the conference schedule to an unwieldy # of games, the 2 team rivalry is just a way to allow SEC schools to keep the OOC schedule intact. In other words, wouldn’t you rather pick an SEC school to play twice in one year in a home and home series than to have to, for example, eliminate the Duke, Maryland, Notre Dame, or Louisville games just to accomodate a round robin type of conference schedule? Oh, I forgot, you only want to play beatable teams so you don’t want to play those type of teams and, GASP, risk a loss! smh



  19. VinDatuk
    4:44 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    17 – We don’t consider Duke a rival. UNC is much more of a rival since we play them nearly every year. Do we hate Duke? Yes. Are they a rival? No.



  20. Keith Olbermann
    4:47 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    NCAA sanctions should be UK’s constant rival.



  21. Value RX in Bell County
    4:57 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    Tennessee!We live in southeastern Kentucky and we can’t stand those orange fools.



  22. gog8ors
    4:59 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    Calipari probably went crying to the SEC asking that Florida not be UK’s permanent rival especially now that it looks like Florida is loaded for the foreseeable future. Donovan has served notice that he is to be reckoned with and Florida plays second fiddle to no one. Go Gators!



  23. TheDecker
    4:59 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    USA down 4 right now…I don’t really understand it…they’re obviously struggling, why wouldn’t you put Davis in for a spark?



  24. T-bone
    5:04 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    It should rotate every year.



  25. Eh
    5:08 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    19) we? speak for yourself.



  26. ransmith
    5:09 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    Florida is who should be the constant rival. More consistently a strong team over last decade, has won 2 national titles in recent years, still recruits quality players, is the game that will be the better TV game, etc.



  27. FLCATFAN
    5:28 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    Going back in history to the 60’s….you would have to say Tennessee is the rival, but if you go with the last decade is is clearly Florida. Either will do, but I would say Florida makes for the best games and TV revenue.



  28. enes
    5:31 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    Do you get extra credit if you beat your conference established rival? This is such a stupid idea it must have come from the NCAA. Fans and players create a rivalry.



  29. blueblood
    5:34 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    #22 what are you smoking? Cal is 6-1 versus UF so far. I seriously doubt Cal is afraid of UF. Congrats on getting (2) guys that are from Florida. The recruiting dominos are going to fall for UK in upcoming months. Enjoy that smugness for now.



  30. goose41
    5:41 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    missouri



  31. goose41
    5:42 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    but mainly what #28 said ))



  32. Digger Phelps
    5:44 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    Listen to me. Listen to me. LISTEN TO ME, this is important…it should be Vandy. Show some respect, don’t ruin this for Vandy.



  33. Cooter
    6:21 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    Depends on geographical location. In the northern or western part of the state you will get varying answers. In the Southeastern part of the state it’s Tennessee! We hate them pumpkin puke low down dirty snitching sumbitches!!!!



  34. Duke Sucks
    6:27 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    No way #19 is over 25 or he would know not to make such comments. Hell ya Duke is a rival and we hate them two. I would rather loose too UNC twice so we could beat Duke once. I don’t like UNC but I do respect them. I have NOTHING for DUKE.



  35. Chef1205
    8:06 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    I vote Florida…everytime those 2 meet, its a good game. And as for #22, stop drinking that Florida swamp water, it affects your knowledge of reality and judgement…John Vincent Calipari does not have to ‘cry’ nor bow down to anyone. Also make sure you remember your words when we play…I sure will.



  36. Serdi
    8:56 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    Tennessee. It’s Tennessee. One of the longest standing series in college basketball period

    Secondly but from strictly a love of basketball, a fan base and school where basketball is #1, it is Vandy.

    Florida is the current flavor of the month just like Miss State was during the Babe McCarthy era, just like LSU was during Dale Brown, etc, etc, etc.

    Tennessee the disliked rival. Vanderbilt the respected rival.



  37. BsbCoach
    10:36 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    It has to be Tennessee! Anyone saying otherwise must be under 30yrs old. Florida has only been a good rival while Donovan has been there. Vandy, really good rival as of late. But UT…they have always been a hated rival, regardless of who their coach is or who there players are. The names change but the hatred remains the same. While other schools (Vandy & Fla.) come and go, Tenn is always there.



  38. Rae
    10:38 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    22. Florida plays second fiddle to no one, hmm? What about the last three years?

    And I know this is a relatively new concept for you, but don’t get too attached to Walker and Hill. They are good, which means they won’t be there long. The most they’ll play UK is probably 4 times, if they turn out like you hope they will, and that’s if we meet in the tourney. UF isn’t loaded, by UK standards, and definitely not for the foreseeable future. You’ve got one year with two top 10 recruits.



  39. Ok-cats-computer
    12:31 am July 25, 2012 Permalink

    I selfishly want it to be Vandy, because I live in Bowling Green and Nashville is an easy drive for me. Tennessee would be the historical rival for UK and is the closest SEC school for most citizens of the Commonwealth. However, it would be most beneficial for the program to make Florida our designated SEC rival. We have a history of good games with Florida in the last 20 years (people forget about the Kruger teams from the early ’90s). Further, Florida is the state with the second greatest number of strong basketball recruits. It would serve our program well to have a game in Florida every year.



  40. xcoach
    1:36 am July 25, 2012 Permalink

    If you really go by the term rival it has to be Tennessee. The history between the two schools is must longer, the hate is bigger and it’s Tennessee. Vandy is a school I like to see succeed as long as it’s not at Kentucky’s expense. Florida’s rival status is just a recent thing. Come on man… it’s Tennessee! I hate their guts!



  41. Poco Chang
    7:51 am July 25, 2012 Permalink

    If the SEC makes it’s choice based on true rivalry, it has to be UT. If the SEC chooses UF it’s because of TeeVee and/or trying to make UK play the toughest possible road game every year. There is no rivalry with UF.

    #39 UK doesn’t need a game in Florida to recruit Florida.