clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Kentucky (and SEC) football is here!

Ok, ladies and gentlemen.  It's time for us to act like a true SEC member, face facts, and get ready for some FOOTBAW!  I refuse to be the only blogger at an SEC blog who doesn't quiver with anticipation when it comes time for the first weekend in September, so dadgummit, I'm gonna quiver like every good Southerner (yes, I count myself a Southerner) should when it comes to gridiron season in the South.

Look, I know here at Kentucky, we are all about basketball.  But for the next six weeks, we are going to have to content ourselves with little dribs and drabs of basketball news, and lots and lots of football.  We have a great team (as Kentucky teams go) this year, and we need to get ourselves behind them.  They have been hitting it hard out in the heat while we are comfortable in our air conditioning, and the least we can do is talk about our Gridiron Felines and our SEC brethren.  So 'round here, at least, we will.

It's time to have a look around the SEC and see what our fellow friends and (hopefully) victims are saying.  First stop:  Kyle King at Dawg Sports.  Kyle takes a look at the early, early games in the SEC and handicaps them.  While he's at it, he goes on to rip several teams (including UK, somewhat justifiably) for scheduling opponents as weak as minnow tinkle:

Eastern Kentucky at Kentucky: Finally, we get an S.E.C. team that went to a bowl game last year and has the guts to open the season with a genuine opponent! Kudos to the Wildcats, who have had the courage to open the autumn with their in-state rivalry showdown every year since 1994. The S.E.C. is full of such out-of-conference classics for local bragging rights as Clemson-South Carolina, Florida-Florida State, and Georgia-Georgia Tech and this annual showdown is beginning to claim its rightful place alongside these highly anticipated contests. Once again, the battle to be the best in the Bluegrass State is on between Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky . . . wait a minute. That's not right. I'm thinking of Louisville. Yeah, that's it . . . Louisville is Kentucky's in-state rival, right? Well, who the heck is Eastern Kentucky, then? What's that? Eastern Kentucky is a Division I-AA team from the Ohio Valley Conference? Oh, for crying out loud, people! When Kentucky gets done winning, the U.K. athletic administration needs to apologize to Truzenzuzex, who's been doing his darnedest to get revved up for Wildcat football and deserves better treatment than this.

Well, Kyle, I wish they would apologize for this one, but so far, no joy.  Anyway, we here in Kentucky can be shameless opportunists sometimes.  We are still figuring out this whole "football" thing after, oh, I don't know, 120 117 years or so.  Bear Bryant may be turning over in his grave because of a I-AA on our schedule, but if we manage another bowl this year, it might put a smile on his face.

Jon at Fulmer's Belly is all a-quiver, and has every good reason to be.  Unlike UK, Tennessee will be taking on the California Golden Bears at their place, and because the Vols treated the Bears to a dose of Daniel Boone love in Knoxville last year, the Yogis figure to be in an ugly mood.  Cal is good this year, and Tennessee is wounded due to LaMarcus Coker being suspended for this game due to substance abuse personal medical issues.   Keep in mind, folks, that Coker has 4.3 speed in the 40.  As far as I know, he is the fastest back in the SEC, and the Vols are going to miss him.   But Cal is also down a running back -- Will Ta'ufo'ou (jeez, what a moniker) is down with a knee injury till mid-September.  Toss up, but I give the edge to Cal this time.  I gotta admit, though, I will be cheering for the Vols.

There are only two other competitive games coming up in the SEC this week -- Georgia hosting Oklahoma State and Ole Miss at Memphis.  I'll deal with Ole Miss vs. Memphis first -- on paper, this looks like a dead draw.  Ole Miss looks better by the tiniest of margins, but I'm going to call it for the home team and hope I'm wrong.

Oklahoma State and Georgia also looks close on paper, but Georgia is likely to be too tough between the hedges for the Cowboys.  Georgia's offense is expected to improve this year, and Oklahoma State's defense will have to be twice as good as it was last year to keep this from being a rout.  I figure the Cowboys can't get it done down in Athens -- it's just too tall an order.  Paul Westerdawg at Georgia Sports Blog has the skinny:

The biggest wild card in the Georgia vs. Oklahoma State game is the new defensive coordinator for Oklahoma State. It's very difficult for a team situated that close to the fertile Texas recruiting soil to have talent as bad as their stats were last year.

The Oklahoma State defense finished 2006 ranked near the bottom of every major defensive statistical category including:
Rushing Defense -72nd nationally (146.7 yards/game)
Passing Defense - 84th (217 yards / game)
Scoring Defense - 82nd (25.62 points/ game)

Well, that's all I have time for now.  We'll take a look at the Wildcats' first contest in a short while.