After listening to weeks of radio and television commentary, and reading what there is to read on the Internet, I wanted to make one point that I feel is important, and that few have made anywhere else.
UK has gained such momentum since Stoops was hired that people have no idea what to do with it here in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Some are still doubting, others are riding the fence as they always do this time of year, some are high as kites over the prospect of the Cats winning SEC games again, and others are cautiously optimistic of future results without giving up on this season.
Far be it from any of us to judge those that do not share our outlook, but I would like to ask one thing of everyone no matter what the outcome may be.
When you see the final score on the scoreboard at Commonwealth Stadium or on your screen, please remember your thoughts at the beginning of the season after UK lost to the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, or those of last season after the crushing at the hands of Vanderbilt.
What I'm talking about here is the big picture.
This game is a game UK shouldn't win. Just like the UL game and those to follow the Florida matchup, UK should not be expected to win these games based on what transpired last year and the players lost in transition to this year. A new scheme on both sides of the ball. A tougher schedule. Rebuilding...
None of these negative thoughts and expectations are unrealistic. They just aren't. They also aren't conducive to growth. What they are good for is perspective.
UK is not expected to win this game. Florida is a 13 or even 12 point favorite. Others, given UK's current record and situation, as of right now, would also be expected to beat them by such a margin. Freeze this knowledge and this moment in your memory no matter the outcome tomorrow. It's critical that you do so.
If UK, somehow, even comes close to beating Florida, it will not change your perspective. You will be able to see the outcome for what it is, win or lose. If they get a lead, if they come close to winning, or if they lose by a less exciting margin, do not lose sight of the good things in this game or the ones to follow. Let them give you hope, as they should, since there are no reasonable expectations that would project UK as the winner of any SEC games this year.
If UK wins, it does not mean they have arrived. It means they are getting better. It means the staff and the team over-achieved for one game. Enjoy it for what it is, be it a loss or a win. Look for the good. Cheer for the good. Forget the last play. THIS is football, and UK is on the verge of something great every moment that passes.
If UK loses a game that might seem like they should've won, remember that THIS game is not one of those games, no matter what the final score. UK should NOT win this game, but may do so in spite of that.
Every game is a sum of its parts, not merely the result of the last 2 minutes. Each game is the sum of what came before it, sometimes years before it. BY ALL MEANS get caught up in the moment, if there is cause, but do not let it blow up your perspective and appreciation for what is made of what should be or have been a really rough season. UK should have a hard time scoring. They should have a hard time stopping the Florida offense... just like Appy State should have against Michigan a few years back. Realistically, that's where UK is right now by comparison.
Remember this moment, but in the meantime... .... GO CATS!!