By LARRY VAUGHT
It’s finally here.
This is the day long-time Kentucky football fans have been waiting on a long, long time. Kentucky hosts Georgia at 3:30 p.m. on CBS-TV with the winner earning the right to play in the Southeastern Conference Championship game.
Kentucky is 7-1 overall and 5-1 in SEC play. So what if the Cats are a double-digit underdog. They have been an underdog in every SEC game they have won this year.
Kentucky is ranked No. 11 nationally and was ninth in the first college football playoff ratings. However, the respect is still not there nationally.
I was driving home from Wandale Robinson’s commitment announcement to Kentucky and just happened to hit the Will Cain Show on ESPN Radio when he was talking college football.
He said he expected Kentucky to get “donkey stomped” by Georgia and just wrote off the Wildcats.
If Kentucky wins this game, just get the check ready to send to the SEC for fans storming the field. It won’t matter what UK does security-wise, the fans are coming over the all and through the security troops.
But even if Kentucky doesn’t win, this week has verified what I have always believed — Kentucky is a football state. I have seen it for years on Friday nights at high school games. I’ve seen it for years when Kentucky fans kept supporting the Wildcats, including many, many lean years.
Kentucky-Duke basketball has been Page 2 news this week even though the game is Tuesday. If Kentucky beats Georgia today, UK-Duke will be Page 2 news until Tuesday — and that’s no disrespect to basketball. Kentucky basketball has been good a lot. Kentucky basketball has won championships and played in a ton of huge games.
Kentucky football hasn’t had a season like this since 1977 — and the Cats were on probation that year. The Cats had a chance for 2007 to be special but couldn’t close the deal after an overtime win over eventual national champion LSU.
That’s why this is rare territory for Kentucky football and why fans have been savoring every moment all week. The passion being shown by this week should give UK football recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow more reasons to show recruits and their parents about why they should come to Kentucky.
Georgia might win but I can’t believe they are going to “donkey stomp” Kentucky.