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UofL has Bama, Who Should UK Play in the Non-Conference?

Coach Stoops ain’t scared of NOBODY, “Come at me bro.”

Coach Stoops ain't scared of NOBODY, "Come at me bro."

Coach Stoops ain’t scared of NOBODY, “Come at me bro.”

The big story of the day is the unofficial announcement that Little Brother will take on the Crimson Tide in the Citrus Bowl in 2018 to kickoff the college football season.  The Tide will likely Roll, but you can’t deny that it’s pretty cool, and a big step for a program that has given away tickets at gas stations in my short lifetime.

I know Kentucky has a tough enough schedule as it is, but if the Cats’ upward trajectory continues under Mark Stoops, I’d like to see the Cats add another big school to the non-conference schedule.  Here are five games that I could see happening.


Even if they only had Antwaan Randle-El, those games were a lot of fun in the 90s.  If we can’t have them on the basketball schedule, we should have them on the football schedule.


We’ve always wanted to see the football, men’s and women’s basketball Triple Header, and there isn’t a more compatible school than UConn.  The women’s team is ALWAYS the team to beat in the country, we have a grudge to settle with the men’s team for back-to-back Final Four losses, and their AAC-caliber football team is a beatable, yet formidable, opponent.


I know it didn’t work out well the first time around, but not much in the Joker Phillips era did.  Western is even better than before, so what better way to prove how far you’ve come than by beating down the Toppers?


Mark Stoops would LOVE a chance to take his alma mater down.  Even though they’ve been on the decline in recent years, beating a Big Ten team is still satisfying.

Ohio State

It would never happen (because if you thought UK liked easy non-conference opponents, look at Urban Meyer’s schedule) but it would be pretty awesome.

1.  Shutting their fans up for the foreseeable future would be amazing.

2.  The Horseshoe would be a cool place to watch a game.

3.  If it’s at a neutral site, you still get the pleasure of watching their amazing band.

4.  The Ohio kids on the roster would play OUT OF THEIR MINDS. 

5.  If you can beat them in recruiting, why can’t you beat on ‘em on the field?

Ohio State is the optimum opponent, but who would YOU like to see on Kentucky’s non-conference schedule?

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

48 Comments for UofL has Bama, Who Should UK Play in the Non-Conference?

  1. chief_cat
    8:07 pm July 31, 2015 Permalink

    What about Maryland, Penn State, Clemson, West Virginia or Virginia Tech as possibilities?

  2. fatbrat
    8:16 pm July 31, 2015 Permalink

    Renew the series with Va. Tech

  3. MikeUKFan
    8:25 pm July 31, 2015 Permalink

    IN no particular order. Florida State, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas, Ohio State

    • fatbrat
      8:42 pm July 31, 2015 Permalink

      Lets try to get in the Music City Bowl first.

  4. Bluecat15
    8:26 pm July 31, 2015 Permalink

    Play sec opposition all year. Big deal ul plays in weak acc. Glad they have at least 2 games a year

  5. Avoid UCONN. They have the revenge factor. They might still be angry about Mumme trying to run the score up on them.

  6. Recruiter
    8:45 pm July 31, 2015 Permalink

    If we can beat Ohio State in recruiting? WAIT. WHAT? Apparently you don’t know much about college football. When did we ever beat Ohio State in recruiting? Plus, they have the #1 recruiting class, they are the reigning national champs, they are preseason #1, their stadium is almost 3x the size of ours, and their fan base is easily twice the size of ours. But yeah, keep making ignorant comments about beating them in recruiting and on the field.

    • Calm down dude. We all know OSU is a big Kahunna. I don’t think he meant it to that extreme. We have beaten them for *some* guys they were after. That’s all he was saying.

    • smackdab
      6:06 am August 1, 2015 Permalink

      thats what i came here to say, in no way have we ever beaten out OSU in recruiting. I don’t think its smart to start saying things like that either… i wouldn’t want to start any smack talk between OSU and the recruits in Ohio. I know when Warren committed the people over at Eleven Warriors came to our boards just to see if we were talking trash like that, and they seemed very surprised and happy that our fans were just ecstatic to be getting the guys stoops is getting us and no one was trashing OSU. Anyways, just my 2 cents.. thats like miss st or California saying they’re beating UK in basketball recruiting.

  7. Mateo jorge
    9:12 pm July 31, 2015 Permalink

    I think Duke or UNC. They would be a fairly evenly matched opponent and it would great to start a rivalry on the turf. I would also consider a UCLA or Kansas matchup. I think it would be nice to see perennial basketball schools face off. Maybe do a opening week kickoff classic where teams rotate playing each other every year.

    • SEC
      9:29 pm July 31, 2015 Permalink

      Lets play other basketball schools, aka, schools that also suck at football.

    • I like the UCLA idea because of the recruiting base in Kommiefornia and the pub it could bring!

    • Mateo Jorge
      11:26 pm July 31, 2015 Permalink

      You’re right, we should schedule OSU and Oregon instead. That way we can certainly go 2-10 every year. If we had an easier conference schedule that could guarantee some wins then we should schedule tougher out of conference opponents. Facts are that we need wins and FCS schools do nothing for any D-1 school so why not schedule a game that is competitive but win-able?

      In my opinion we are helping each other out.

    • I’m not saying play a UCLA next year. I’m saying to do it once we have a (hopefully) stable program.

  8. west-cat
    9:14 pm July 31, 2015 Permalink

    Lets show the brand out west. Home and home against Arizona, Bosie St or Washington.

  9. Tom Bradley
    9:18 pm July 31, 2015 Permalink

    I really like the WKU idea.

    Also, is Ben Roberts crazy? What the hell is this website?

  10. Brutus The Barber Beefcake
    9:23 pm July 31, 2015 Permalink

    No mention about the passing of Roddy Piper. Sad!

  11. Ben
    9:25 pm July 31, 2015 Permalink

    Duke,North Carolina,Oklahoma,and Florida State (Ohio State would be awesome)

  12. Urban Meyer
    9:26 pm July 31, 2015 Permalink

    Why don’t you inbreds stick with Indiana. They were one of the worst teams in the B1G last year, but somehow still managed to win the SEC East at the same time. LOL. Excuse me now, I need to polish my National Championship Rings.

    • Mateo Jorge
      11:35 pm July 31, 2015 Permalink

      Right, because you really helped your team win a NC. If it wasn’t for the big12 not having a championship game the big ten would have been left out. That’s neither here nor there, point is, your a loser that has nothing better to do than post on other teams boards.

  13. Hilltopper
    9:32 pm July 31, 2015 Permalink

    Yeah, let’s lose to WKU again! We have to prove we are the third best team in the Commonwealth, yet again.

    • Ballercat
      1:22 am August 1, 2015 Permalink

      UK would smack the intestines out of WKU now. The Joker era is long gone. WKU fans can go back to trying to cook meth.

  14. NotSatire
    9:32 pm July 31, 2015 Permalink

    Oregon or Ohio State. Take along Papaw Brooks.

  15. Bullitt County UK fan
    9:37 pm July 31, 2015 Permalink

    Cinncinatti is a formidable and also an easy to schedule school we could start a series with and also fire up the Ohio kids.

  16. Oh, and no, no more Western Kentucky.

    • Big Bloo
      10:17 pm July 31, 2015 Permalink

      Go home, troll. STOP POSTING HERE.

    • Troll? You know I’m not that. I haven’t posted anything that would make me that. I just have no reason to believe we have anything to gain by playing Western after losing to them twice. We’re playing EKU this year.

  17. My Opinion
    10:31 pm July 31, 2015 Permalink

    My vote would be home and home border wars: UVA, VA Tech, Marshall, WVU, Cincy, OSU, Purdue, IU, Notre Dame, Illinois, and Northwestern. I would be on board for a road trip.

  18. Franklinstein
    11:40 pm July 31, 2015 Permalink

    I hope we play at Washington. My disability checks tripled so I can follow the Cats anywhere

    Three goggle

  19. Pdelli2
    11:54 pm July 31, 2015 Permalink


    Close proximity. Both teams have passionate fans. It would be a great rivalry…just like basketball.

    • Junior
      1:04 am August 1, 2015 Permalink

      WVU and call it the Deliverance Bowl

  20. CB3UK
    12:09 am August 1, 2015 Permalink


  21. Grateful Cat
    1:54 am August 1, 2015 Permalink

    WVU, Cincy, Indiana are the obvious no-brainers.
    However, I’d love to see UK play Notre Dame.

  22. jellyroll
    2:22 am August 1, 2015 Permalink

    Duke AND North Carolina

  23. smackdab
    6:08 am August 1, 2015 Permalink

    A home and home with Toledo, just so i could see the game.. Vince Marrow would probably like it also.

  24. Tug River Cat
    7:48 am August 1, 2015 Permalink

    Since we take turns playing Duke, Mich St, and Kansas each year why don’t we alternate playing them in football as well. This year we’d play Duke.

  25. mjb
    7:58 am August 1, 2015 Permalink

    In the past we have played regular season games with Penn State, Oklahoma, Clemson and others but I would prefer to get Indiana back on the schedule.
    If you want to reach/dream for some others (home & home) then I would choose Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan or Duke.
    Also, play football on Saturday and mens/womens basketball doubleheaders on Sunday in November.

  26. UK Grad 81
    9:01 am August 1, 2015 Permalink

    I would like to start playing Penn State. They were all games I will never forget.

  27. dshwildcats
    9:03 am August 1, 2015 Permalink

    Several posters have already mentioned teams we’ve played in the non-conference portion of our schedule in the last 40+ years: Penn State, Oklahoma; Clemson: VA Tech; WVU; Maryland; Baylor, etc. I’d be fine with any team from a Power 5 Conference; but from a geography standpoint, schools like WVU, Cincinnati, Indiana, VA Tech, etc., seem to make the most sense.

    Playing ND would be fun, but getting a game/series worked out with them at this point in time would be next to impossible. They generally play two or three Big 10 schools a year. They already play USC, Stanford and Navy every year. They have games in the next two to three years with Texas, VA Tech and UGA. Not to mention, they now have to play 5 ACC teams a year. Just don’t see this one happening, even though it would be great.

  28. Mike Brown
    9:14 am August 1, 2015 Permalink

    We need our shot at one of the two Chic fil a games Labor Day weekend in Atlanta. UNC, Duke, Clemson, VA Tech would all be great draws. We miss Catlanta!!!!!

  29. 8 god
    9:47 am August 1, 2015 Permalink

    WHY would we even consider scheduling OSU. Think about it for a second.

    If you don’t think they would eviscerate us, you’re wrong. They picked apart an ALABAMA defense. They get the best talent not just in Ohio, but in the country. That would be s bye week for OSU and a guaranteed loss for us. We play an impossibly harder schedule than them; we need the wins.

    If you think it would “fire up” Ohio recruits, you are missing that Ohio recruits will have some major second thoughts when they see the Bucks light us up for 60 points. Come on, people. Would we schedule Bama or Auburn or LSU out of conference?

  30. dshwildcats
    10:10 am August 1, 2015 Permalink


    I agree, brother! Playing in Atlanta on Labor Day weekend would be awesome! In order for that to become a possibility, I think we’ll have to string together two or three pretty decent seasons. I honestly believe those decent seasons are coming, but only time will tell.

    8 god,

    While I don’t believe scheduling OSU at this point in time would be a good move; if Coach Stoops continues to build the program over the next three or four years, I wouldn’t object to playing them in Columbus, or a neutral site. Yes, Ohio State is one of the “big boys” of college football. And yes, we’ve had very little success since Bear Bryant packed his bags for College Station. But, the college football landscape is much different than it was 30, 40 or 50 years ago.

    Our rival Louisville is a perfect example of the changes. I grew up a Kentucky Football fan in Louisville in the early and mid 70s. Louisville routinely played schools like Drake, Chattanooga, William & Mary, Boston U., etc. in a minor league baseball stadium. If they had 10K in attendance for a game, it was a very good Saturday night (I attended some Louisville Football games back in the 70s)! They gave away free tickets at the local “Convenient” stores. Fast forward to 2015, and they are opening their season with Auburn in Atlanta. And, we find out yesterday that they will open the 2018 season against Alabama in Orlando. Things can change! If Louisville can be successful in football, Kentucky should be able to be just as successful, if not more.

  31. RockyMountainWildcat
    10:20 am August 1, 2015 Permalink

    Home and home with CU-Boulder, so that I can go to Boulder and mock all the hippies and trustafarians when we win.

  32. Rixter
    5:11 pm August 1, 2015 Permalink

    I’d like to see us schedule a second game each year against Louisville. The only thing better than beating them every year would be beating them twice every year!

  33. Reese Davis
    5:58 pm August 1, 2015 Permalink

    We’d get destroyed by Ohio State, I don’t care how far we’ve come.

  34. dshwildcats
    6:50 pm August 1, 2015 Permalink

    Reese Davis,

    While playing Ohio State the past 3 or 4 years probably wouldn’t have been pretty, you just never what can happen on a given Saturday. Yes, their program is, and traditionally has been, better than Kentucky’s. I don’t think anyone’s arguing that point. But, even great programs have seasons, or specific games, where they struggle. Over the past few years, the Bucks have had some close calls with Northwestern, Purdue, UAB, California and UCF. Last season, a Penn State program still rebuilding after NCAA probation took OSU to OT.

    Eight seasons ago, we witnessed a much less talented Kentucky team take down the #1 team in the country on a magical Saturday afternoon/evening. Better teams/programs do lose to inferior teams/programs. It’s just part of college football, and it happens every year. And it’s not like Kentucky’s kids are not used to playing the best teams in the country on a regular basis. A regular season game with the Buckeyes is highly unlikely. But, if the opportunity presented itself three or four seasons down the line (assuming the program continues to improve under Coach Stoops), I think most Kentucky fans would embrace it, myself included!