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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: How Important Is a Big Margin in the 1st Game?

Kentucky takes on Toledo on August 31st and I don’t think there are many people who think the Cats will have much trouble against the Rockets.  But just how important is the result, and more specifically the margin of victory, in that first game of the season?  Below are each opening game result since 1990 separated by the the margin of the game.  Those in bold were bowl teams:

BIG LOSSES (MORE THAN 14 POINTS)
2012: Louisville 14-32 (finished 2-10)
2006: Louisville 28-59 (finished 8-5)
2004: Louisville 0-28 (finished 2-9)
2003: Louisville 24-40 (finished 4-8)
2001: Louisville 10-36 (finished 2-9)
1999: Louisville 28-56 (finished 6-6)
1996: Louisville 14-38 (finished 4-7)

SMALL LOSSES
2016: Southern Miss 35-44 (finished 7-6)
2013: Western Kentucky (finished 2-10)
2005: Louisville 24-31 (finished 3-8)
2000: Louisville 34-40 (finished 2-9)
1995: Louisville 10-13 (finished 4-7)

SMALL WINS
2017: Southern Miss 24-17 (finished 7-6)
2015: UL-Lafayette 40-33 (finished 5-7)
2011: Western Kentucky 14-3 (finished 5-7)
2010: Louisville 23-16 (finished 6-7)
2002: Louisville 22-17 (finished 7-5)
1997: Louisville 38-24 (finished 5-6)
1994: Louisville 20-14 (finished 1-10)
1992: Central Michigan 21-14 (finished 4-7)
1991: Miami (OH) 23-20 (finished 3-8)
1990: Central Michigan 20-17 (finished 4-7)

BIG WINS (MORE THAN 14 POINTS)
2018: Central Michigan 35-20 (finished 10-3)
2014: UT-Martin 59-14 (finished 5-7)
2009: Miami (OH) 42-0 (finished 7-6)
2008: Louisville 27-2 (finished 7-6)
2007: Eastern Kentucky 50-10 (finished 8-5)
1998: Louisville 68-34 (finished 7-5)
1993: Kent State 35-0 (finished 6-6)

Of the 11 bowl teams since 1990, six of the eleven won their opening game by at least two touchdowns and 8 of the 11 won the game.  If UK were to lose against Toledo, the chances of making a bowl should be in question.

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Article written by Bryan the Intern

9 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: How Important Is a Big Margin in the 1st Game?



  1. KyZoneBlitz
    10:35 am July 2, 2019 Permalink

    Lose against toledo?… Not happening brother, 4 years ago, maybe, but the talent and depth have both increased immensely, and where it matters most, the trenches. Oline/Dline will be top-5 in the SEC, then RB/LB will also be elite, those positions are recipes for success. This team is built to compete for the East, contending with Florida, Georgia, Toledo won’t be a problem…



  2. Headhurts
    10:40 am July 2, 2019 Permalink

    That’s the old way of thinking, this is a new era in KY football, let’s act like we belong.



  3. Smyrna_Cat
    10:47 am July 2, 2019 Permalink

    Geez. Talking about losses already?



  4. Smyrna_Cat
    10:48 am July 2, 2019 Permalink

    It doesn’t seem the numbers make a lot of difference, does it? I just want us to play well … and win, of course!



  5. DavidP19
    10:48 am July 2, 2019 Permalink

    As a Toledo native and UT alum ( as is Vince Marrow ) from a time when they went 35-0, I look forward to this game. Back then, it might have been an interesting game. No longer. I am excited by the way the Cats have been trending. Keep it going.



  6. bluecorvettecat
    11:22 am July 2, 2019 Permalink

    Don’t take Toledo lightly – The MAC is for real – Toledo almost beat Ohio State at OS several years ago – lost in last minute
    Terry Wilson better be passing a lot better or our run priority offense in in trouble.



    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      12:11 pm July 2, 2019 Permalink

      You beat me to it. I don’t know if they’ll be any good this year, but the MAC has had at least 1 or 2 good teams per year it seems over the last few years, and Toledo was up there at least once or twice.

      I don’t know if the Rockets are in the upper tier this year, but we’ll see. I just hope the players don’t take them lightly. Having said that, I don’t believe the offense will totally open the playbook. We didn’t look good against EMU last year at all, but then we beat Florida and destroyed the most physical team of all time Miss. State. I think they were playing close to the vest with EMU. I hope they won’t have to as much this year. Part of that was getting Terry comfortable I think. Hopefully that’s not a factor this year.



  7. notFromhere
    5:07 pm July 2, 2019 Permalink

    Just want to see them come together and not make little mistakes. If they are playing within thems3lves and the system, the score will take care of itself.