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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Is This Schedule Going to Break Our Hearts Again?

Mark Zerof | USA Today
Mark Zerof | USA Today
Mark Zerof | USA Today

The last 2 years of UK football has been BRUTAL.  In both years Kentucky showed early promise to have a big year only to fade and fade badly in the 2nd half of the season.  Pretty much all of Mark Stoops embarrassing losses have come in the 2nd half of seasons.  The schedule overall toughens up with the addition of Alabama this year but I think we could be in for another heartbreaker if things don’t change for Kentucky.  Why?  Here’s what worries me:

-Cats have tough opener but one they should win if they are worth anything.  They are more talented than Southern Miss all over the field, first game of the season, and at Commonwealth.  I have a gut feeling that in Year 4 of the Stoops era the Cats are going to be impressive and win that game by 17-20 points.  Soooooo, as fans, I think we easily come away from that game thinking this team has potential.

-UK travels to Florida.  Automatic loss, right?  Maybe but I don’t think we need to see a win in Gainesville to stay impressed with this team.  2 years ago UK should have won the game down the in Swamp but blew it late.  Didn’t mean we thought the team was crap.  If UK plays the Gators close, it only strengthens this team is pretty good.

-Easy wins over New Mexico State and South Carolina and the Cats are 3-1 with a close loss to Florida.  Again, fans are pumped.

-They get thrashed at Alabama.  No harm there.

-Another easy game (at least on paper) at home against Vanderbilt.  Now UK sits at 4-2 with only losses at Florida and at Alabama and a 2-2 SEC record.  Cats look bowl-bound.

Again, take a look at what point in the season we are again. 4-2 OR 6 games total OR the 1st half of the season.  In Stoops last 2 years UK has been 5-1 and 4-2 at this point in the year.  Now, continuing with why the schedule worries me with the results of the past couple years:

-I think the make are break game on the schedule is Mississippi State at Commonwealth, not at Missouri.  This is a game that UK SHOULD win.  The Bulldogs are the worst team in the SEC West and you get them at home.  They no longer have Dak Prescott.  And it’s a game that historically the Cats lose.  If UK is able to get this win, then I’m sold this will be a good year.  But if UK was to lose here, suddenly you are 4-3 with road games to come.

-At Missouri.  A game everybody thinks the Cats could win.  And they certainly could.  But if they were to lose to Mississippi State, then suddenly UK needs this game for a bowl.  And UK hasn’t shown the ability to play a clutch game in the past.

-Georgia at home and then at Tennessee.  In 3 years, UK is 0-6 against those 2 teams with a combined score of 278-102.  That’s an average of a 30-point loss.  OK, so let’s say they lose those 2 games.

-Austin Peay is a win and now we are 5-6 again, which brings us to…..

-at Louisville.  I was at the game last year and the tension of that game was so obvious from the fans and players.  That team just wasn’t ready to win a big game, even with a 21-0 lead.  The hope of course is that UK already has 6 wins locked up by this game but if they don’t and if UK had lost 4 of 5 games coming into Papa John’s, what do you think the mentality of the fans would be?

And frankly that is what worries me.  What worries me is this fanbase is starting to break away from support of Mark Stoops.  The season ticket sales prove that.  The early part of the schedule gives Stoops and Co. a chance to really get off to a nice start to the season.  But we’ve already seen it and it has only broken our hearts 2 years running.  I am very worried it could be 3.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

11 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Is This Schedule Going to Break Our Hearts Again?

  1. TurnerTheBurner
    8:14 am August 11, 2016 Permalink

    The UK/Miss. St. series is 22-21 in favor of Miss. St. UK historically loses that game?

    • BluKudzu
      8:19 am August 11, 2016 Permalink

      No, clearly as defined by Drew, he is a pessimist and therefore the worst type of fan. All he needs though is a drink of Bourbon and he will have us winning 7 and going to a bowl.

    • BluKudzu
      8:30 am August 11, 2016 Permalink

      Just curious. When was the last time UK beat Mississippi State?

    • BluKudzu
      8:40 am August 11, 2016 Permalink

      Nevermind, Mississippi has won the last 7 games against UK and 16 of the last 24. That is enough information for me to understand the term “historically”, when utilized in the description, of losing to an opponent. To some people, their lifetime is the barometer used when describing such things. I am cool with it.

  2. Badboy
    8:35 am August 11, 2016 Permalink

    The first game against So. Miss will show us what kind of team we have. This is an easily losable game and in no way is a big win. SC and MSU are not guaranteed wins either. We will lose at UL for another 5-7 season. Nothing has changed.

  3. scorpiocard
    8:57 am August 11, 2016 Permalink

    Ok…so here we go with the moderation thing again. My post is not offensive (to a reasonable person) and is NOT a troll post, so lets go ksr and put it up for discussion.

  4. fauxbobknight
    9:04 am August 11, 2016 Permalink

    there are no guaranteed wins when it comes to UK football.

  5. Sentient Third Eye
    9:45 am August 11, 2016 Permalink

    Miss St just had their Tim Couch finally graduate. They will come back to Earth hard now, and we will likely be able to have more success against them for the next several years.

  6. 2Dogs
    9:54 am August 11, 2016 Permalink

    The author of this article lost all credibility when he deemed any UK game an easy win.

  7. deltasig41
    10:32 am August 11, 2016 Permalink

    Where Kentucky has struggled is in those “toss-up” games. There are certain games on the schedule every year that are basically guaranteed wins. There are certain games that are basically guaranteed losses. Then there are 3 or 4 games that are toss ups…THese are the games Kentucky has been unable to find a way to win, and will ultimately spell Mark Stoops’ legacy at UK.

    This year, there are really 5 of those games, IMO. At Florida, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, and at Missouri. All winnable. All losable. Assuming Kentucky beats Southern Miss, New Mexico State, and Austin Peay, and assuming we lose to Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and UofL, we have to win 3 out of 5 in that block of games to make a bowl. In recent years, we’ve always lost at least one game we should have (could have) won. Or we’ve won a game none of us expected, only to lay an egg against a lesser opponent (LSU/Mississippi State in 2007). This season, if we have a chance to win, we have to take advantage of it.

  8. 3 fan
    11:58 am August 11, 2016 Permalink

    BTI’s concerns about the fan base are spot on. I think a vast majority of fans are back into “wait and see” mode. A loss to Southern Miss will cause a full riot in the fan base.