Today's word is "attrition." Kentucky moved up 4 spots in both national polls this week, even though the Wildcats did not play. Thanks to ... attrition. And as the season plays out, more teams will fall by the wayside. And if UK finishes 11-1, there won't be three other teams besides Georgia more worthy of a playoff spot. Should Kentucky demolish teams like it did vs. LSU, then there will be no denying Big Blue its rightful spot among the final four. I'm sorry,but a two-loss Alabama team is not better than a one-loss Kentucky. Especially if Bama loses to UGA, in similar fashion as UK, in the SEC championship. Perhaps a Big Ten team will emerge from the attrition which is coming over the next few weeks among those teams. Or Oklahoma will continue to survive modest opponents. And maybe Cincinnati will finish unbeaten with its soft schedule. But not all three. And among the one-loss teams, none will stand taller than UK, whose lone loss came at unanimous No.1 Georgia. Yes, even Ohio State's loss to Oregon - at home - is far worse. What this article fails to acknowledge is today's word - attrition. And Kentucky is about to rise up the rankings into a playoff spot because of it. Just watch and see.
This is the best team UGA will face all season. There, I said it. Rodriguez is the best running back UGA will face all season. Kentucky's O-line is the best UGA will face all season. Kentucky's defense is the best UGA will face all season. Those who doubt UK's defense need only know Florida was held to 3 second half points, and stopped on 8 consecutive and goal plays. UGA will not be able to duplicate this, mark my words. Stoops has bred a culture of winning at Kentucky. Barring injury or bad refs, this game will not be a UGA blowout. Prepare for a classic in Athens this Saturday.
Who do you trust? That LSU running game? Orgeron's decision-making? Or Mark Stoops and his shutdown defense?
You'll be sorry you did. Games aren't played on paper. They're played on the field. That's where Stoops wins, and coaches like Mullen lose.
What's a school supposed to do? Spend more than $250K on security on every game versus a ranked opponen to control hundreds, if not thousands, of fans? Or pay the fine on the occasion of an upset? Doesn't take a finance degree to know the answer.
16 points is plenty when Kentucky's defense shut down SC for all but one drive. On the other hand, Florida's defense has been generous with the likes of Florida Atlantic and South Florida. That "ain't gonna cut it" Saturday in Lexington. Before last season's cooties, Kentucky covered the previous three meetings vs. Florida. Kyle Trask and Kyle Pitts are gone. Kentucky stops the run. Ask Tyler Badie and Kevin Harris. Florida will leave Lexington 3-2. Kentucky will finally have its best game, and win by double digits.
Mullen doesn't know Kentucky by name, but he knows they're No. 1 in the SEC East standings.
Too premature to judge a 4-0 Kentucky team. I would argue Levis and Robinson make UK better at the QB and WR position. And Kentucky's O-line and D-line are just as good. Perhaps you think highly of the 2018 Wildcats because they beat Florida in Gainesville. But for Kentucky fans, this year's edition is at least on par. The 2018 team had trouble vs. Central Michigan the week before beating Florida. But to be perfect thus far, with so many turnovers, UK is right on track for a repeat of 2018. Maybe better.
You were saying? "South Carolina won't score any more vs. Kentucky than it did against Georgia." Stoops is every bit as good a defensive coach as Smart. If newcomers Cohen, Levis, and Robinson can continue to gel, then UK is Georgia's greatest rival.
In basketball, teams have all season to mature and peak in March. In football, there is little room for error. Kentucky is undefeated. It doesn't matter how. It doesn't matter why. All that matters has a perfect record - with so much room to improve. So if/when UK plays its best game, then the Cats can indeed beat anyone. Yes, even Georgia. Now that Clemson has been outed as mediocre at best, the Bulldogs no longer have a signature win. In fact, their putrid offense vs. Clemson means only their defense is elite. And here's where I mention USC scoring 13 on UGA, while only managing 10 vs. Kentucky. Stoops brand of football is seldom pretty. But it continues to be successful. Don't let style points get in the way of proper perspective. Kentucky is still on track for a monster season.
South Carolina won't score any more vs. Kentucky than it did against Georgia. And that means the Wildcat offense won't need to score much to win big. I predict a 38 - 13 drubbing, as UK has its best game yet this season. Essentially what should have happened vs. Missouri - without offensive turnovers. If the Kentucky offense plays clean, South Carolina has no chance.
At what? Water polo?
Agreed. How do you rally kids to play a team that hadn't beaten an SEC team since 1958? Tell them they would be the first? These kids want to beat the best, not avoiding losing to the FCS.
Nothing LSU has shown makes them a favorite in Lexington. And Florida didn't so much play Alabama close, as the Tide took the final three quarters off. If fans show up - and they will - the Cats match up just fine with both LSU and Florida. But Columbia comes first, and taking care of business there is paramount. I predict UK will have its best all-around game yet vs. the Gamecocks, winning 38 - 13.
Ah, perspective. Well-written, well put, and we'll see if it holds true. While Levis and Robinson have been amazing, they are still first year players at UK with Stoops. So they need to be allowed a learning curve. The same is true with new starters on defense and special teams. It did indeed used to be frustrating how UK seemed to play to the level of its opponent, like EKU. Now, this is acceptable - as long as the Cats raise their level to the likes of LSU and Florida in the coming weeks.
Not with real money. Cats will have their best game yet in Columbia.
Very insightful, with regard to how effective Rodriguez has been with relatively few touches. And not to have to rely upon him,thanks to a stout passing game, means defense must pick their poison. But this Kentucky team will move the ball and score regardless.
Kentucky goes bowling - and wins its bowls - because of its defense. Stoops was arguably the best DC in the nation when hired by UK. Kentucky's success is predicated on defense. So to have an effective - and efficient - offense is very encouraging. BTW, the Wildcats are one of three teams to be in the top 15 in offensive and defensive efficiency. Liam Cohen put up points in the NFL. He will continue to guide the UK offense to success in the SEC. Even with first year players like Will Levis and Wan'Dale Robinson. The learning curve has proven not nearly as steep as it might.
You are sorely mistaken. Missouri will win at least 7 games. They are a solid team.
Then why are losers like Miami and North Carolina ranked?
Kentucky gave Mizzou ten points by fumbling on the goal line and missing a medium range field goal. The refs gave no one any points. Tiger fans should be thrilled it wasn't a blowout.
UK will go 3-1 or better in that stretch. None of those 4 teams are demonstrably better than UK. Only the road game at UGA should even have UK as underdogs. But even that is a winnable game for this stout Kentucky squad.