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The Optimistic Kentucky Football Fan

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UK fans should be thrilled with how far these Cats have come since a horrific start to the season.

Kentucky v Missouri Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

This has been quite the roller-coaster season for the Kentucky Wildcats.

It's hard to find many programs who've had so many different emotions as this team has endured. It started off shaky, got real hot in the middle, but has died down as of late.

For me, there are absolutely no complaints, and I'll tell you why.

  • The Cats are 5-5 (and about to be 6-5)

Whether it's pretty or not, UK sits at 5-5 going in to week 11. Some may say that this is disappointing since the Cats should have beaten both Southern Miss and Georgia. But that 5-5 record means a lot more than just being .500. Throughout these 10 games, the maturity level of this team has increased ten-fold.

The Cats have put up a fight in nearly every game, even when things started off so horribly. The resilience and never-give-up attitude of this team is amazing. Games like Mississippi State and Vanderbilt are proof that no matter how many punches this team takes, they will get back up and continue to swing.

  • Coach Stoops silenced the critics

The teams play is a direct result of how Mark Stoops and his staff has embedded their attitude towards their players. The Cats are no longer a team that is going to roll over and give up. Fans can look at the Tennessee game for proof, being down by 20 with eight minutes left to play, it would have been easy to just give up.

Instead, they kept fighting to the very end. It's those kinds of games that show off the coaches' mindset and if the players have bought in. Even when they are losing, they still refuse to give up.

Stoops will be leading this team to a bowl game for the first time in six seasons (yes they are going to beat Austin Peay). He has made Kentucky competitive again in four years, a year earlier than what he himself predicted.

  • The Cats are bowling because of great SEC play.

No matter how you may feel about the season, at the end of the day, all we as fans have asked for from this Kentucky team is to get to a bowl game. Austin Peay hasn't won a game all year, and that isn't going to change.

UK has done something this year that hasn't been done since 2006, and that is win four SEC games. That is tough, no matter what year it is.

At the end of the day, I am happy. The competitive spirit of this team is second-to-none, it is what has kept them in almost every game they have played. I can sit back and appreciate how good of a year it has truly been.

It gives me great hope that next year, we will begin to see these baby steps pay off. But until then, enjoy the rest of the year, and make it out to the bowl game, wherever it may, be to show these Cats some appreciation!