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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: UK Football’s First Step? Beat Mississippi State and Vanderbilt


Along with UK’s 5/6 SEC East opponents every year, UK has also played Mississippi State every single season since the league expanded before the 1992 season.  I think it is safe to say that for the 2 divisions, the weakest teams historically are Vanderbilt in the East and Mississippi State in the West.  Doesn’t mean those programs haven’t had good teams/seasons during the last 23 years or that Kentucky hasn’t been a worse program at certain times that either.  But it simply means that over the course of the last 23 years, those are the worst programs in their respective divisions.

With that said, there is so much talk about how Kentucky football can make this work.  We’ve completely blown chances against Florida and Auburn already this year, but let’s be honest, those are elite programs.  Maybe not great teams this year, but elite PROGRAMS.  Kentucky is trying to build an elite program.  And the first step in doing that is beating the bottom feeders of your league year in and year out.  For Kentucky, they get lucky.  They obviously get Vanderbilt every year but also the worst team in the West too.  They got the best draw of any team.  What have they done with that?  Very, very little.  Since 1992, take a look at how UK has done against those 2 opponents:

(out of 23 seasons total)
Beat both Vandy and MSU: 5 times (2006, 2005, 2002, 1998, 1996)
Beat Vandy, Lost to MSU:8 times (2014, 2010, 2009, 2007, 2004, 2001, 1999, 1997)
Beat MSU, Lost to Vandy: 3 times (2008, 2003, 1993)
Lost to both Vandy and MSU: 7 times (2013, 2012, 2011, 2000, 1995, 1994, 1992)

*those in bold were bowl-eligible years (*2002 won 7 games but was bowl ineligible)

Year in and year out, Vanderbilt and Mississippi State are the 2 worst conference opponents on UK’s schedule.  And only 5 times in 23 seasons have they been able to beat both in a season.  That completely hamstrings you from having big seasons.  Kentucky may have already shot themselves in the foot for a big season with the home losses to Florida and Auburn, but if they want to turn this into a good season, they need to beat both of these teams.  Unfortunately MSU has become quite a good team the last couple seasons but once Dax Prescott leaves that program will slide back down.  Even still, this is a WINABLE game on the UK schedule.  Ranking the most likely wins, Mississippi State was near the top of most people’s list.  UK needs to convert this game to make up for Florida or Auburn.

Mark Stoops is currently 1-3 against Vandy and Mississippi State.  For the future, winning these 2 games is a must.  If this program wants to be taken seriously at all, step 1 is not losing games you should win.  Saturday could be the start of that.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

16 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: UK Football’s First Step? Beat Mississippi State and Vanderbilt

  1. carvingitup
    8:13 am October 22, 2015 Permalink

    Don’t leave out Tennessee in your ramblings! If we can stop the UTK running game we can win. All focus needs to be on MSU, we need this game in the worst way!

  2. 8 god
    8:36 am October 22, 2015 Permalink

    BTI, you suck.

    8:41 am October 22, 2015 Permalink

    I am an ardent UK Football fan from way back (1976 Peach Bowl team)…this team makes someone on every team they play look like a Heisman candidate. There is no way in hell they stop Dak Prescott and MSU. Would love if they could, but reality is a bitch…ain’t it.

  4. STEVE!
    8:57 am October 22, 2015 Permalink

    BTI, it’s probably not good logic to say that MSU and Vandy are the two worst teams over the past 23 years, then point out that we are 21-25 against them during that period.

    • rockatao
      1:23 pm October 22, 2015 Permalink

      not to mention that we are 8-15 against Miss St

  5. asdf
    8:59 am October 22, 2015 Permalink

    Tennessee is a team we need to start at least breaking even with over a ten year period. Truth be told, we’ve had the better team at least five out of the last ten, but we’ve won only once (in a year when we clearly did not have the better team, ironically). There is no reason to keep laying eggs against a program that is so very similar to our own.

  6. Maxwell
    9:01 am October 22, 2015 Permalink

    Yes it’s true that generally speaking, Mississippi State is the worst team in the West, they are not this year. They are a good football team and there is a reason that we are an 11 point dog on Saturday. Is there a chance we pull it off? Sure. But it’s unlikely. We can’t beat Auburn at home, we ain’t stealing one in Starkvegas.

  7. Tommycatsfan
    9:04 am October 22, 2015 Permalink

    MSU may be worst team historically in West, but they are light years ahead of UK. Kentucky and Vandy are the SEC bottom feeders. Slice it and dice it all you want. That’s the reality. UK will get rolled Saturday. Prescott will run and throw for 900 yards.

    • UKBlue1!
      9:55 am October 22, 2015 Permalink

      Since Mullen’s arrival UK has fallen way back of MSU. MSU is now a mid level SEC program that is on verge of becoming a upper tier team. I think UK will keep MSU under 500 yards but I don’t know if our offense will be able to do anything.

    • Dude
      10:10 am October 22, 2015 Permalink

      Tommy, you should probably not watch UK football anymore. It’s apparent it upsets you way too much, and your feelings can’t handle it… Just move on.

  8. Dieter
    9:57 am October 22, 2015 Permalink

    There is definitely a certain perspective taken in this post. I don’t think “most people” view this game as a “likely win” as BTI suggests (or at least those that know anything about football). Miss St. is coming off one of their best seasons in history, possesses the #1 or #2 QB in the league, has a solid amount of experience, and get the Cats at home. I think they are the clear, if slight favorite in this game. I’ve worked in college football and know what tough games look like. This is easily one of the top 3 most difficult games on our schedule. Given UGA’s recent slippage, maybe the toughest. I agree that Miss. St. is the best team in the West for us to play year in and year out, as they are historically the worst. However, I disagree that UK fans have viewed or should view this as a “likely win” vs. this year’s Miss St. squad. It will be a major test and slightly unexpected success if they get the win.

    • Dieter
      10:02 am October 22, 2015 Permalink

      I will also add that our match-up with Miss. St. is logical as one of the SEC’s cross-divisional made up rivalries. Above all, these games should be historically competitive and given our record against other SEC squads, I’d say we’ve made this one relatively engaging.

  9. Fanman
    10:49 am October 22, 2015 Permalink

    Until UK proves to me that they can break down and tackle a running QB we will not be winning games with these types of QB’s. I hope they prove me wrong.

  10. Troll
    10:51 am October 22, 2015 Permalink

    Miss. St by tree fiddy…..

    • TroLLoL
      11:11 am October 22, 2015 Permalink

      Wait, what? Are they playing Louisville?

  11. James
    6:22 pm October 22, 2015 Permalink

    Why will MSU necessarily slide once Prescott leaves? Mullen has built a solid program.