I first had a clever little Louisville vs the SEC paragraph typed up to begin this, but I scrapped that and will just dive right into what I am thinking. UK football fans…ease up a little bit and relax. Look, I am happy that UK is landing some actual D1 talent. None of our wins over you have ever really meant anything when it comes to our strength of schedule. Your biggest bowl in recent years is the Music City Bowl or the Liberty Bowl. So could we really be pumped about having that W on our schedule? I want you all to be competitive. I want UofL to beat UK by 20-30 of course, but then if UK makes some noise in the SEC? Then good for us! But it never seems to happen.
This will be the easiest year for Stoops to recruit. He has plenty of playing time to promise these guys, and they haven’t played a game yet, so the upcoming 3-9 or 4-8 season hasn’t been seen by these recruits as of yet. He can tell the players “Come play in the best football conference in the nation, and you will compete for playing time right away.” So what’s the problem with that? You are in a league with teams who have these kinds of classes every year, and their depth charts are full of 3, 4, and 5 star guys.
The reason that Charlie Strong was able to rebuild here, and yes I can say it, is that he had a team in a weak Big East. So we were able to squeeze out 7 wins each in his first 2 seasons. And in those seasons, some very important guys got very important playing time. We never really got dominated if we did lose. The SEC is a different beast. This season, UK has a 5 game stretch of this: vs Louisville, vs Florida, at South Carolina, vs Alabama, at Mississippi State. Um, not exactly facing UConn or South Florida there. I have no problem saying that. Will be tough growing pains to lose games by 20-30 points while being physically dominated in the process.
I am going to use another SEC team as an example of why you shouldn’t start talking smack just yet. And this team is near and dear to my heart since I lived there for 4 years, so I hate to even do it, but I need to. Using Rivals team recruiting rankings, in 2010, Auburn had the 4th best class in the nation. In 2011, the 7th best class. And in 2012, the 10th best class. So it was a lot of those guys that were on that 3-9, 0-8 SEC team from last season. So having the big time classes does not mean much if they are not coached well. So let’s see how your staff does with the talent first. Louisville has been getting 3 star players like crazy and getting the most out of them. Other than Brian Brohm and Michael Bush, most of our biggest Orange Bowl players were 2 or 3 stars. Charlie Strong has easily gotten the most out of every player since he has taken over too. So the ratings may look nice and it’s fun to talk about in the summer time when nothing is played, but easssssyyyyy. Chillax for a bit.
Now I will go back to what I said in the beginning. It won’t bother me if UK ends up being a decent team. It makes it more fun as a rivalry. Just as long as we still win the game, it won’t upset me if UK makes our win look better by knocking off a couple big teams the rest of the way. I just think fans need to relax a little and stop acting like this is the year. This will definitely NOT be the year for UK. And the more that your players and recruits are focused on UofL, the more confident I am that Bobby Petrino will begin 1-0 at WKU, because you know he wants that game bad! Remember, that is who you play first, since your AD likes to play us 3rd, which is a great spot for a rivalry game to be played!
No need to worry about our recruiting. Strong and company have been able to get guys from Florida to come up to Louisville, KY and play in the Big East. Now he will be selling the ACC and playing in their home state, and that little Sugar Bowl win against the mighty SEC. So our recruiting will be just fine.
Until then, tune in and catch our baseball team in the College World Series!
Actually, you know what? Go ahead and get excited early UK fans…