Yesterday, we dealt with the other side of this coin, why Kentucky will win the Governor's Cup. There were plenty of reasons, but not all of them good reasons -- I'm not at all sure that Joker Phillips managed to slip Jobu's rum to Charlie Strong, and Randall Cobb and André Woodson sneaking into the lineup seems a bit too backhanded for "Mr. Clean" Phillips -- but they were something.
So today, we'll look at the other side of the coin -- why the Louisville Cardinals will send the Kentucky Wildcats back to Lexington 0-1. Obviously I don't like looking at the game from this point of view, so if my commentary seems a little other than totally objective as I lay out the points, well, you'll know why.
Kentucky will lose because:
- Louisville comes in with a higher ranking
Louisville had a better year than Kentucky last year, albeit in a weaker conference. While it's difficult to reconcile strength of schedule with record, Louisville deserves credit for finishing the last, and probably toughest, half of their season 5-2.
- Louisville has the home field advantage
Even though home field hasn't meant much in this series, it never hurts to have it. The biggest fear of coming in both higher ranked and with home field advantage is overconfidence, and we addressed that before, but you can't say that you'd rather play on the road than at home.
- Kentucky has almost always struggled against dual-threat quarterbacks
For some strange, karmic reason, Kentucky has never been able to deal well with dual-threat quarterbacks. The closest it ever came was against Heisman trophy winner Cameron Newton in 2012, where the Wildcats managed to only lose by a field goal, and held Newton to only 408 total yards.
- Charlie Strong wants Louisville not only to win, but to blow UK out
Privately, Strong has been trying to sell the idea that UK sucks, and Louisville is a national power that nobody knows about. If he manages to close that sale, perhaps Louisville will play above their heads.
- Louisville returns 10 starters on defense
You can't say that is a bad thing for a defense ranked 17th in the nation last year.
- Louisville's fans are confident
They know they are going to beat UK, just like they knew they were going to beat UK in the Final Four this past season.
- Kentucky's students won't buy season tickets
You just know that means Kentucky's team won't win. After all, the students are supposed to be smart, right? Right? Ahhh...
- Louisville has recruited slightly better
That's what Rivals says, anyway. More 4* and 5* players equals more wins, right? Just ask Ole Miss...
- Louisville thinks it's a football school
Don't look at me. That's what they think!
- Louisville is so naturally superior because they are an urban school
Just ask their fans. They'll tell you.
Let's face it -- little is expected of Kentucky this year. Really, the national media expects less than little, they expect absolutely nothing. Many pick Kentucky to manage 3 wins or maybe 4 if Vandy or Mississippi St. has a bad game. Nobody expects this UK team to go to a bow game, or manage any impressive upsets. Beating Louisville might not accomplish the former, but it certainly would the latter.
In closing, I will mention that "they" felt exactly the same way about the 2006 team, and André Woodson, 2006 quarterback, is now an assistant at UK this year.