Our two Power 5 state football programs enter the week with two different missions and in two different places. For UK the program is alive with enthusiasm. The Cats are coming off a big road victory against South Carolina. This week the team tries to vanquish its biggest windmill in the Florida Gators. Many in the media favor them to do so after last week picking against them.
Commonwea…er…Kroger Field is a sell out. The environment will be a wild one. BBN is smelling blood and possibly a breakthrough for its beloved gridiron squad.
Meanwhile, Louisville took its momentum heading into last week and let it slip away like so much air in ones clasped fist. A Gameday visit, a sellout, a blackout, and a visit from the defending champs amounted to little but despair for the Cards. A fan base that hoped changing defensive coordinators would solve its defensive woes saw nothing to support that hope as Clemson gashed the Cards time and again. Even Lamar Jackson looked sluggish at times while still amassing super human numbers.
This week, UofL gets a breather game in Kent State followed by Murray State the next week.
And this is the problem for UofL. One second you are the it program, the next second you are out of the spotlight watching your rival become the focus of all the national attention.
Worse for the Cards, between now and the UK game not much is left to gain any of that attention back save one game versus Florida State.
Like last year, UofL for all the talk of ACC greatness still is handicapped by its ACC schedule. Last year as the team was driving for a national playoff spot, it lacked the opportunities to impress. Games against Wake Forest, NC State, and Virginia just won’t do it. Not last year, and not this year.
Meanwhile, the SEC even as it is not as strong as it once has been has names that excite. Is Florida the Florida of the Spurrier era? Not even close. But a win over Florida would be huge because…it’s Florida. Replace that with Tennessee or Georgia or even Missouri or Mississippi State or Ole Miss and the theme remains.
So what is a UofL fan to do? The answer is simple. Root for Kentucky. I don’t mean change allegiances. But wish success for UK all the way tot he end. UofL will win out if they beat FSU and even if not will be no worse than 9-2. But voters won’t be impressed likely. What they need is a highly ranked UK squad to face in the season finale. Sans FSU it is the only marquee clash they would have left.
It’s unfortunate, but true. The comparison between UK and UofL football really is a tale of two schedules.