Over the past few weeks, I have been looking at the 2017 Kentucky Wildcats football season and while halfway through, I have the Wildcats going 6-0. In other words, I have Kentucky Football not just winning but winning every single game.
Yup. Every. Single. Game.
Social media has not been kind to my prognostication skills and I have gotten suggestions that range to I am a victim of heat stroke in sunny Florida to that I have been hacked. Or that I am just plain dumb.
Regardless, Kentucky starting out 6-0 is a view point that I have. It is still July so I feel pretty good about it as of now, but like in so many seasons past, this could collapse horribly.
I do not feel that happening this year. Every statement I have seen about this team suggest a certain type of swagger that Kentucky football has. It is a very optimistic feeling and while we have had it before, it just seems fresh. I know that I am basing a lot of a feeling of hope, but this schedule is designed for Kentucky to get off to a very strong start and hopefully compete for an East title. This year.
That said, there are a couple of tough games for Kentucky. I think the South Carolina game has the potential to be a major dogfight and this could very well be a loss. That said, Kentucky has won three in a row in the series and the Wildcats have more overall talent on the roster.
I think that Kentucky has more talent and experience at almost every position and the big key will be how well the Wildcats defensive line can do against the Gamecocks offensive line, which is still somewhat a work in progress. Circle this as a game that can be a big game for Matt Elam to make a statement and prove a lot of his doubters wrong. I still think Kentucky will win this game, but being on the road will always make me a little nervous.
Speaking of road games, I realize that Southern Mississippi beat Kentucky last year. And that this game will be on the road this time. That has been brought to my attention, trust me.
I am also aware that QB Nick Mullen, most of the offensive line, and half of the defensive starters are gone as well. There are simply too many question marks about the Golden Eagles in week one to make it two in a row over the Wildcats. Plus, Kentucky has the issue of revenge on their mind as this team was humiliated last year.
I am also well aware of the 30 game winning streak that Florida has over Kentucky. I am also aware that the Florida defense will probably be at its most vulnerable point in the past decade. The Gators also have question marks at quarterback and the offensive line. These are all battles that Kentucky can win in this game and to be honest, this streak has to end at some point.
Last years blowout loss to Florida was probably one of the more upsetting losses to me in recent memory. Kentucky, for the first time in several years, had battled Florida tooth and nail for the previous two meetings. The total collapse last year was not only disappointing, but it was unacceptable and Mark Stoops deserved a good bit of the criticism he took last season.
A funny thing happened after that Florida game. This Wildcats team battled back and showed a fight they had not had since the Rich Brooks era. They learned a lot from the Florida loss and this team found themselves. And there is nothing they want more than to finally put this streak to be in Kroger Field.
It's a leap of faith to pick this team starting out 6-0, but I am taking it.