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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Why does Florida Losing Streak not Hurt as Much as UT?

1984-2010: Kentucky loses 26 consecutive games to Tennessee

1986-2012: Kentucky loses 26 consecutive games to Florida

On the surface, those 2 streaks are equal.  Kentucky has lost the same amount of games.  Those 2 programs have been nationally dominant for much of those 26 years.  13 games were lost at home and 13 on the road in both series.  Certain coaches have tormented the Cats (Phil Fulmer and Steve Spurrier).  But I feel if you ask most fans, they will tell you without hesitation that the Tennessee streak hurt them much worse, and gave them a greater sense of embarrassment than the Florida streak currently does.  And I think an obvious reason is that Tennessee is a border state and UK fans have to mix with UT fans on a much more regular basis than they do Florida fans.

But at the end of the day, is one streak worse than the other?  Take a look at how those 26 years went:

CLOSE LOSSES (7 points or less)
Tennessee: 8 times
Florida: 5 times

BLOWOUT LOSSES (21 points or more)
Tennessee: 11 times
Florida: 14 times

Those 2 stats right there, I think, give a greater explanation as to why the rivalry with Florida doesn’t hurt as bad at the one to Tennessee.  Frankly, Kentucky has hardly ever been close to beating Florida, and have experienced more serious blowouts as well.  Only 5 out of 26 years has Kentucky been within 7 points of the Gators.  3 fewer close games and 3 greater blowouts lead fans to not care as much.  I think most fans feel Florida is just a different level of program, while Tennessee was more obtainable.  And the fact that Kentucky was able to end that streak, without a QB, somewhat verified that belief.

But now we come into this year.  Same 26-game streak.  A Florida team with a struggling offense, much like Tennessee in 2011.  A Kentucky team with questions at quarterback, much like 2011.  Game being played in Lexington.  A fanbase looking for reasons to be motivated.  Often times, things don’t work out like that in sports.  But who knows, maybe 26 is just the lucky number for Kentucky football.

But the bigger question: Does the 26-game streak with Florida not bother you as much as the 26 losses to Tennessee?

Article written by Bryan the Intern

24 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Why does Florida Losing Streak not Hurt as Much as UT?

  1. Doppleganger
    9:06 am September 20, 2013 Permalink

    Proximity. That is the main reason that that UT losses sting worse than UF. UT is a “rival”; it is a border battle and just seems more important.

  2. Facts
    9:07 am September 20, 2013 Permalink

    Is that headline written in English? God, this site is going down the tubes.

  3. Tee Martin's Ghost
    9:16 am September 20, 2013 Permalink

    Having lived in KY, TN & GA, 3 things come to mind….

    1) Proximity – being neighbors, you are close enough to come in contact with obnoxious UT fan frequently, thus elevating the level of disdain for UT (UF fan is just as obnoxious but rarely ventures far enough North to be heard from)
    2) Recent Success – barring this year, Florida had operated on a much higher football plateau than UT for the past 15 yrs. UK is an afterthought while UT has battled UK for the 4th/5th position in the SEC east. Middle brothers pick on the baby, not on the older sibling.
    3) UT fan makes UT easier to hate. Seeing UT fan lose is almost as fun as watching UL fan lose… Nothing beats watching a herd of Ghetto Hilbillies “gangster-pout” after a Louisville loss!

    Go CATS!

  4. Go Ahead Call Me A Troll... cause you commenters all can't handle contrary opinions.
    9:17 am September 20, 2013 Permalink

    In my opinion, even though some (most) of you aren’t going to like it… it’s because more often than not Tennessee is on a similar “level” as Kentucky as far as performance. However with Florida, they are more often than not on whole different level as far as recruitment and performance in the upper echelons of the SEC. I’ll hang up and listen.

  5. MattJonesKnowsFootBall
    9:19 am September 20, 2013 Permalink

    “A Florida team with a struggling offense, much like Tennessee in 2011.”

    Not even close. Muschamp > Dooley. Florida has something UT didn’t have in 2011, which is going to win them man games—defense, a really good one. The Gators D has speed—sideline to sideline, a dominating d-line, and corners and safeties that are going to have a day if Smith and Whitlow telegraph passes like they did against the dirty birds. Florida’s defense has me worried. I have seen mock drafts have as many as, 8 players being drafted—pretty good considering you only play 11 guys at a time. Cats are also killing themselves with penalties, which is something that can be cleaned up if they play smart. There is no reason to be last in the conference in penalties. Combining penalties with young players, and depth issues, makes pulling an upset even more difficult.

  6. btowncatfan
    9:23 am September 20, 2013 Permalink

    Can’t say it stings less no matter the opponent. At this level no team should lose that many consecutive games to anyone. With Stoops at the helm, this streak will end soon.

  7. Geography
    9:25 am September 20, 2013 Permalink

    It’s more because of geography than anything. Tennessee is closer to Kentucky than Florida is. Therefore, Kentucky fans tend to see, and know, more Tennessee fans than they do Florida fans. Also, Florida produces more football talent than any other state other than Texas. I may have made that last sentence up, but it has to be close. The point is, Kentucky shouldn’t be able to recruit as well as Florida due to the general location to the top talent. However, there is no reason Kentucky can’t bring in the same type of talent (or better) than Tennessee, given that they are so similar in location. In other words, we have a better excuse to explain why Florida is always so much better, but with Tennessee, there is no excuse.

  8. Musehobo
    9:31 am September 20, 2013 Permalink

    No, it doesn’t, and you nailed early on in the article.

    “And I think an obvious reason is that Tennessee is a border state and UK fans have to mix with UT fans on a much more regular basis than they do Florida fans.”

  9. Josh
    9:31 am September 20, 2013 Permalink

    #4, You nailed it exactly.

  10. UK Terry
    9:36 am September 20, 2013 Permalink

    Rocky Top Tenn-uh-seeee!! Woo!!!! Enough reason for me.

  11. Craig
    9:43 am September 20, 2013 Permalink

    Tennessee hurt more for the reasons others have stated. But at this point, I really, really want to get Florida because it is the LAST remaining streak. We have to get this monkey off our back soon to start building ourselves into a respectable program.

  12. BluKudzu
    9:45 am September 20, 2013 Permalink

    26 in a row to anybody is unacceptable. It stings just as bad to have the nations longest losing streak to any team. We don’t need to be anybody’s dog. I hate that effen gator chomp as much as I hate hearing “Rocky Top”.

  13. Big Blue B-Rad
    9:54 am September 20, 2013 Permalink

    Someone earlier mentioned that it had to do with the talent level UF has, and I completely agree. I’m surprised 5 games have been close in the Florida streak. Typically when we play Florida, the game’s over by halftime. With Tennessee, the games were much closer at the end of the streak. These were games that UK had a chance to win and choked it away. That’s why the UT streak stings more.

  14. Bill
    9:54 am September 20, 2013 Permalink

    Living on the border in Middlesboro we are not only closer to Knoxville than Lexington, but UT football fans make up maybe 30% of our populace. This causes the rivalry to be more intense than anywhere I know of. People here care more about wining the UT game than the L’ville game. Some people would rather go 1-10 with a win over Tenn than 4-7 with a loss to Tenn. With regards to the Florida game/streak, it’s not even close.

  15. Taylor
    10:09 am September 20, 2013 Permalink

    Being born in November 1986 the Tennessee streak hurt more because UK had never beaten UT in my lifetime. Now the UF streak still hurts but at least I was alive the last time we won.

  16. Alex
    10:41 am September 20, 2013 Permalink

    You’ve pretty much hit it, but I think it stems from the number of times UK “should have” beaten each team, either because we were actually in the game or were supposed to be competitive going in. There were a lot of UT games we felt good about in the days before or as they were happening. The same isn’t true of the Florida series. With a couple of notable exceptions we’ve always been stomped, often because they were way better.

  17. goUKats
    11:07 am September 20, 2013 Permalink

    Easy to see why these losing streaks are so long.UK hired coaches better suited for Pee Wee Football during the streak.And fans were content to watch mediocre football until Joker came along when fans decided no more.

  18. gokycats33
    11:23 am September 20, 2013 Permalink

    The streak to Tennessee hurt me more, mainly because I live just outside of Knoxville. So, of course, most of my friends are UT fans, and they would usually just chalk up a win against Kentucky, because of the streak. In fact, one of my friends got married the day the streak ended, and I was supposed to go to the game, but had to be at her wedding instead. Needless to say, I had my phone and kept checking the score, until I was able to find a TV at the place they had the reception. Made the reception for me just that much better when we finally ended the streak!

  19. KY Girl
    11:36 am September 20, 2013 Permalink

    It’s amazing that Kentucky even thinks of Tennessee as a “rival.” Would anyone get married in KY during the Louisville game? Probably not. But no one in Tennessee thinks twice about missing the UK game. I hate to say it, but UK has been irrelevant for so many years that UT generally overlooks them. Just like Florida does.

  20. jpg
    12:31 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    For me, the UT series stings more because UT has not been some spectacle of football success the the 10 years. UK had sooo many games where UT would force a fumble or get a pick in the red zone, in which UK would lose late in the 4th quarter.

    UT has not been on some crazy higher football level, but Florida has. UK fans accept the Florida streak for what it is, while the UT streak just frustrated Cats fans because it would always be some late shenanigans that cost UK against a UT side that was not too much better.

  21. Smoky
    1:50 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    Kentucky fans calling Tennessee fans “ghetto hillbillies” is rich considering most rankings put you below them in every quality of life and education measurement known to man.

  22. gobigblue!
    2:54 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    Living in Louisville as an alumni of UK and huge lifelong fan, it was always UT until the Sugar Free Bowl happened last season! At this point, just end the streak against the gators, watch Muschamp get fired afterwards, and Fla will come pluck Chawley and his ridiculous core values out of the kung fu grip of Jurich.

  23. Raywick
    3:36 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    Tennesee sucks and it always sucks to lose to Tennessee. I hate Tennessee. I hate to lose to Florida, but do not hate Florida. Nothing sucks like Tennessee. Get it?

    5:23 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    Tennessee is a rival…Florida isn’t. I mean sure, we hate the Gators, but not like the Vols. Not until basketball season.