I recently came across a satirical column about the 50 states walking into a bar together. The guy who wrote it breaks down the personality of each state and how they would act in this bar gathering.
His breakdown of the Kentucky character is as follows:
“Kentucky stands nervously, deciding whether to join the Midwest clique or the Deep South clique, knowing wholeheartedly it would not be fully accepted by either. It chooses to stand next to North Carolina and Arkansas, quietly nodding and laughing on the periphery of the Deep South clique.”
It got me thinking though about Kentucky and where it stands in the SEC from an athletics standpoint. While I understand what the writer is trying to do by tying Kentucky, North Carolina and Arkansas together in this piece, let’s take North Carolina out of the equation as they are in the ACC (for now). Arkansas has a strong football history, something that allows it to fit in well with the SEC and the conference culture.
But, as we know the football history isn’t there for Kentucky. Yes, that can change and does seem like it’s changing with each passing recruiting season and the way Mark Stoops is trying to turn this thing around. But, where do we fit if the SEC walks into a bar together? Do we have a true conference rival when it comes to football?
Now, part of me feels wrong trying to answer this as I didn’t grow up in Kentucky but rather as a transplant. So, I’ll throw this out to the comment section, especially those who have spent the majority of their lives in the Commonwealth. What would it take, if anything, for Kentucky to shed this label of stuck between the Deep South and Midwest, especially from an athletics standpoint?