There’s a lot at stake in Lexington Saturday night for both teams.
The Golden Eagles have a new coach from the SWAC and they haven’t defeated an SEC school since 2000. A win would give them the momentum needed to win Conference-USA, as was predicted by the league’s media and coaches.
We are much more familiar with what’s at stake for Kentucky. A loss won’t be the end of the season, but it’s pretty damn close. Hugh Kellenberger, the sports editor of The Clarion-Ledger in Mississippi, has a much more passive aggressive take on the kind of pressure Kentucky faces.
For about the umpteenth year in a row, this is expected to be the season where Kentucky puts it all together and gets back to a bowl game (something it has not actually done since after the 2010 season). And the Wildcats very well may because it has nonconference games against Austin Peay and New Mexico State, and Kentucky’s place in the SEC East means games with Vanderbilt, Missouri and South Carolina.
At some point the law of averages says Kentucky is going to figure it out, and maybe it is truly better than Southern Miss – Vegas believes so, installing UK as a 6.5-point favorite.
Those are jabs at Kentucky. To be fair, we would say the same thing about our Cats, but only because they are our Cats. We can be self-deprecating, but it’s not cool to hear it from someone else.
Although, the grander point of the Clarion-Ledger column is to note how far Southern Miss has come — they have a real chance to beat an SEC team and will have the best quarterback, linebacker and (arguably) lineman on the field.
Out of line, or fair? You can decide by reading the column.