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Kentucky Wildcats Football: Tune out the Naysayers

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The Kentucky Wildcats are winning. Have fun and don’t listen to the critics.

NCAA Football: Kentucky at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

One of John Calipari's favorite sayings is "I'm not letting them steal my joy." He is talking about his plethora of critics (ahem, Pat Forde) that love to try and drag him down in the face of overwhelming success.

One of the things that the Kentucky Wildcats football hasn't had historically is success. But we are experiencing it now as Mark Stoops has this team in uncharted territory. With a 5-3 record (4-2 SEC), the ‘Cats are sitting alone in second place in the division with Florida holding a not-so-secure lead at the top with some tough games ahead of them.

It isn't a pipe-dream to imagine the Wildcats winning the East and playing the winner of the West in the SEC Championship game. There is still work to be done. Kentucky needs to defeat Georgia and Tennessee, and Florida will have to drop some games, but it is possible.

While we as Kentucky fans are celebrating and on top of the world, guys like Brett McMurphy from ESPN are all too happy to whiz in our Cheerios:

And that my friends is the height of snark. National pundits and rival fans aren't giving Kentucky any credit. Instead of focusing on the fact that the ‘Cats are winning games, they would rather focus on the quality of opponent.

Yes, the SEC East is down a bit, and Mississippi State is a shell of it's former Dak Prescott self, but that doesn't matter because the Kentucky of old would have still lost close games that they are now winning.

Let us not forget how we were all feeling after that uninspiring 0-2 start. That's now gone. It's guaranteed that Kentucky will go to a bowl as they still have Austin Peay on the schedule. Most of us, myself included, had this team written off as a three or four win team.

But thanks to Mark Stoops taking over the defense, the genius of Eddie Gran's restructured offense, and guys stepping up all over the field, Big Blue Nation is believing in a brighter future.

This is how programs are built, folks. You take the wins where you can get them. You take advantage of teams that are down, and you leapfrog them. You have to establish an identity and learn to win games. It's a culture and an image change. The players and the coaching staff are believing, and so are the fans. Who cares what the others think?

Usually, the bad things happen to us. But with Georgia at its weakest point in a decade and Tennessee facing a disastrous collapse, why not feel good about things breaking in the right direction for your program?

Don't feel bad about beating bad teams. Feel good about winning football games and taking advantage of the opportunities that are given.