Because of math, Kentucky needs to win six games this football season in order to make a bowl game. So, let's assume my time circuits are on, my flux capacitor is fluxing, and my DeLorean just hit 88 MPH.
I'm back. Kentucky won six games. Now, let's see how they got there.
Game 1: UT-Martin Skyhawks (Home)
This, just, it's a win, okay? Let's not spend all day on it. I'll put it like this: if the Cats don't win this game then I obviously came back on an alternate timeline, like Doc and Marty did in 1985A and the Hill Valley Clock Tower, which was struck in the famous 1955 lightning storm at precisely 10:04 PM, looked like this:
Game 2: Ohio Bobcats (Home)
Bobcat is just a fancy word for wildcat, but Ohio U, under Frank Solich, has given some traditional powers all they wanted, nearly beating Ohio State a couple years ago and for realsies beating Penn State two years ago. But just, we're getting to six, so we're beating Ohio.
Game 3: Florida Gators (Swamp)
Slight step up in competition here, as Kentucky travels to the Swamp to take on Will Muschamp's Florida Gators. Will Muschamp is coaching for his job this season, and when he's not coaching for his job he looks like this:
This season, when he is coaching for his job, we're gonna be like:
Florida is going to be stifling on defense this year, and after getting rid of their two coaches with Kentucky ties, Brent Pease and Joker Phillps, on the offensive side of the ball, their offense can only get better. But. It's been pitiful the last two years, even the year they went to the Sugar Bowl and then the season just completely stopped, nothing happened, there was no Sugar Bowl or anything. Also, I'm not inclined to pick Kentucky to beat a team they haven't beaten since the Berlin Wall was an official line of sovereign demarcation.
Game 4: Vanderbilt Commodores (Home)
Vanderbilt is just not allowed to be good at football any longer. It's a paradox, like a when Doc and Marty had to avoid their future selves when they went back to the 1955 Enchantment Under the Sea Dance at Hill Valley High School. James Franklin : Vanderbilt :: Eric Taylor : East Dillon. If that analogy doesn't make sense to you, then stop reading and start binge watching Friday Night Lights. I'll wait.
Now let's go beat Vandy!
Game 5: South Carolina (Home)
We don't have a very good track record against South Carolina or Steve Spurrier the last decade and change. That's the bad news. South Carolina is going to be really good this year, so good, in fact, that I think they'll win the SEC East going away. That's the bad news. Yeah, this is bad news-bad news.
Game 6: University of Louisiana-Monroe Duck Dynasties
This is what football people who repeat each other all the time call a "get right game." It's a fancy way of saying you just got the brakes beat off you, which South Carolina is very probably going to do to us in Commonwealth. This is an important game, though, as it's the deep breath before the plunge which is our second half schedule. The offense needs to come out and light Commonwealth up because the game time for next week is TBD, and if the Cats are 4-2, having just (Blake) Boned ULM and Snodgrassed all over their backs, there's a good chance we'll be going into Death Valley under the lights.
Game 7: Louisiana State University Tigers (Death Valley)
I'm just going to be honest: LSU terrifies me. They always have, ever since Saban's LSU team embarrassed Oklahoma in the 2004 National Championship, and while the Tigers under Les Miles aren't quite as efficient in their annihilation of your spirit as Saban's teams, they make up for it with an abundance of enthusiastic savagery. If you're a girl, think about it like this: Alabama is a grown-up vampire, like Edward Cullen. LSU is a new vampire, like one of those new vampires in Twilight.
Look, 2007 was awesome. I watched it from a 2-inch screen at a wedding reception, but this game is a loss. We're just not there yet.
Game 8: Mississippi State Bulldogs (Home)
This is the game I'm most looking forward to seeing besides Louisville, Tennessee, LSU, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. A lot of you are correctly pointing to this game as pivotal one, not just for the season but for the Mark Stoops era. Kentucky needs to win this game, and I think they will. A lot of it, as with any game at this point in the season, is going to depend on health. Dan Mullen has possibly his best roster from top to bottom in his tenure, so this game, ostensibly one of the "easiest" on the SEC schedule, is likely to be determined by who has Za'Darius Smith and Bud Dupree. We're at home, we owe MSU from 2007 when that hapless Sylvester Croom team came in and beat the Woodson team in the slop, and we're going to win a really ugly, undisciplined football game under the Commonwealth lights (I hope).
Game 9: Missouri Tigers (Away)
Missouri is weird. It's nondescript school in a nondescript state (seriously, what is Missouri famous for? We have horses and bourbon and college basketball and fried chicken, but what does Missouri have--the St. Louis Arch? I think of that as a St. Louis thing, and I think of St. Louis as its own entity, independent of Missouri. I'm surprised Illinois hasn't annexed it yet because what are you gonna do, Missouri?). But they straight whipped us last year, and yeah, they lost 12 starters if you include the quarterback, which you shouldn't because Maty Mauk was really good, but the best WR from that team, Dorial Hyphenatedlastname is now at Oklahoma because Bob Stoops is all: that guy was really good, here, Mark, I'll take him so you don't have to play him, and Mark Stoops was all: thanks.
The Cats are gonna beat this team, yeah, in Missouri.
We did it, that's six! You can stop, handsome!
Game 10: Georgia Bulldogs (Home)
Kentucky has enjoyed a modicum of success against UGA through the years, and you know what? There's no real reason to think that, this year, with Patrick Towles and Heard and Kemp and Clemons and Blue and Za'Darius and Bud Dupree and the game being at home...there's no real reason to...if you think hard about it...we, I mean...could we not win this game? Yes, we could not win this game. In fact, we won't win this game. Georgia's gonna be good, and you typically wanna get them early in the year when half their players are suspended.
Game 11: Tennessee Volunteers (Neyland)
If this game was at home I'd say we could win it, but it's not and just like I said with Florida, I'm not inclined to pick the Cats over a team that has beaten us 28 of the last 29 years. If we win it, I'm gonna talk crazy sh!t to my cousin who's a Tennessee fan, and I'll feel great about it. But we won't because we'll be looking ahead to Rivalry Week.
Game 12: Louisville Cardinals (the abomination next to Churchill Downs)
Bobby Petrino, who still goes by Bobby despite being old enough to commit adultery and get publicly busted and privately busted up, is back with Louisville and OMG there hasn't been anybody so Louisville at Louisville since Rick Pitino and Chane Behanan and Kevin Ware and my neighbor's son with the Budweiser tattoo who's a fourth-year sophomore in the "business school." So, zero years. If you ask most college football fans and pundits, Petrino is an offensive genius. His teams put up a ton of points and they do it in different ways. They're as likely to grind you down on a 15-play drive as they are on an 80-yard bomb which leaves you wondering how that guy could've got that wide open. But.
They're in the ACC this year, and while the ACC still isn't the SEC or B1G or Big 12 or PAC-12, it's a damn sight better than the Metro Conference and the Big East and that intermediate conference they played in last year, and for the first time in the history of the two schools--or 1994--they'll be meeting for the last game of the year. This matters because it will be the first time the University of Louisville, which stuffs a sock in its Lucky Jeans and calls itself Alabama, has ever (!) had to endure the grind of a real conference schedule. Additionally, I'll never pick Louisville to beat Kentucky in anything ever. Win.
Next up, read about the return of the Power K.