When your favorite college football team is having a great season, you start to become very interested in several other games each week even if you’ve never watched them play a game in your life before or don’t even know either team’s mascots.
That’s because when your team is good, the success of their season can be helped or hindered by all the other teams in several ways. For example, UK wouldn’t be ranked #8 in the AP poll right now if Baylor, Texas A&M, Notre Dame, and others hadn’t taken losses to lesser foes in the last three weeks.
Likewise, the SEC standings determine who goes to the championship game, who gets the best bowls, etc., so what happens each week to UK’s conference foes is extremely important as well.
Cheer for these outcomes this week—it’ll only help the ‘Cats:
1. Tennessee loses to Florida for conference loss
Now that UK has beaten Florida, they are really no longer a significant threat to the Wildcats in the standings, as the head-to-head tiebreaker should keep Kentucky ahead of the Gators for the rest of the season if UK plays like a contender. The only significant threat left to hinder a winner-take-all Kentucky vs. Georgia showdown for the East is if Tennessee beats Kentucky in the head-to-head later this season and prevents the ‘Cats from overtaking them in the standings. While the Vols could lose twice in their games against Georgia and Bama and UK only lose one to Tennessee but still win the East, Rocky Top losing to Florida would make things much easier. Plus, it would make UK’s Florida win look even better.
2. Top-7 losses (especially Clemson)
Wouldn’t it be great if more teams ranked ahead of UK lose and the ‘Cats get to climb even higher in the polls even though they’re only playing Northern Illinois this week? It sure would, but the Top 7 aren’t playing very tough games this week. The closest ones are probably Clemson at Wake Forest and USC at Oregon State. But hey! It could happen, right? I mean, this is college football we’re talking about.
3. Ole Miss & Arkansas
The Rebels will probably take care of business at home this week against lowly Tulsa, which is what Kentucky wants. Lose that and not only would a win next week not look as good over Ole Miss but UK will also have to face an angry Rebels squad determined to bounce back. The game will be difficult enough as it is, so let’s hope Ole Miss has the highest ranking possible to maximize gains from a win and minimize losses from a loss. Might as well root against teams ranked 9-15 also so Ole Miss can move ahead of them.
As for Arkansas, this is kind of a silly thing, but not only would it be super fun if they keep winning against Texas A&M this week and eventually dethrone Bama as they take the SEC West, but if UK wins the East, then they can play Arkansas instead of the Crimson Tide! I know, I’m getting too far ahead of myself, but a worthy opponent taking Alabama down would be good for the ‘Cats in other ways probably, besides just be really fun. Alabama vs. Georgia: Round 927 gets old, y’know?