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Kentucky successfully made it through Stage 1: Stage 2 begins vs. Florida

This game will decide a lot in the SEC East.

Jason Marcum - Sea of Blue

Kentucky Wildcats football has expectations in 2021, and they are high and lofty, though attainable, goals that the program needs to keep moving forward under Mark Stoops.

While different fans have different goals (Just make another bowl!) (Atlanta or bust!) (College Football Playoff!) (Just beat Florida for crying out loud!), I think the vast majority of us would be disappointed if Kentucky can’t get at least this far:

  • Finish at least 3rd in the SEC East.
  • Win at least 9 games.
  • Go to the Outback Bowl or better.
  • Don’t lose to an inferior opponent.

That’s the floor, and it’s pretty high. Of course, while we know that Georgia’s, um, pretty good, we want to win the East and go to Atlanta for the SEC Championship. Their season has four stages, like American Ninja Warrior, and if they make it through them all, they’ll do just that, as crazy as it might sound. It sounds unrealistic, but they’ve already successfully made it through Stage 1!

  • Stage 1: Beat Missouri and South Carolina to finish September 4-0
  • Stage 2: Beat either Florida, LSU, or both to go to Athens 5-1
  • Stage 3: BEAT GEORGIA
  • Stage 4: Don’t lose more than once down the stretch to finish 10-2

Also like American Ninja Warrior, Stage 3 will without a doubt be the hardest. But even with all the fumbles, interceptions, defensive slumps, and the Chattanooga scare, they’ve passed Stage 1 unscathed.

Now it goes to a whole new level. This two-game homestand is huge, and UK cannot lose both games if they want to have a truly special season. As crushing as a loss to Florida would be tonight, it will not doom Kentucky’s quest for the East as long as we bounce right back to beat LSU.

I don’t want the LSU game to be an elimination game, though. I want to beat Florida and pass Stage 2 tonight. I want Georgia to find out that from now on, the road to the SEC Championship game runs through Kentucky as much as it runs through them.

In 2018, the Cats had our breakthrough 10-win season because they finally shook Florida off their backs. Let’s do it again tonight.

Go Cats!