Day After: Ole Miss Loss

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I thought we were passed this. The depressing Sunday after an awful Kentucky football loss. Yesterday’s game wasn’t only a let-down, but it was a game you needed/should’ve won. Good thing is, we as a fan base should be used to this. We thought we were passed this, but hey, we’re not.

Kentucky came into this season with a lot of hype. Probably the most since the 2015 season. Rightly so since the Cats have one of the best O-Lines in the country, a stacked running-back room, a QB with a ton of talent, but a lot to prove, and a promising defense with a good mix of experience and very talented youth.

The “talking season,” as Mark Stoops calls it, saw Kentucky earn their first preseason ranking since 1978. Although the ranking came because the Big Ten and PAC12 weren’t playing, the ranking still meant something. It meant for the first time since Mark Stoops has been in Lexington, the Cats were finally getting some national attention.

The one difference about this season is that there’s a little thing called a pandemic going on. Changing the way every American lives. Changing how every sport is played. Shortening Kentucky’s season by two games, making every game an SEC opponent.

People often complain about the “cupcake games” at the beginning of a season. Those games are boring to watch, but are great warmups for the power five teams. Giving them an easy win, preparing them for better opponents in the future, and giving second and third-stringers quality minutes. Well, we didn’t get those this year and we all saw the negative impact against Auburn.

Kentucky always has a lot of rust in the opener, but normally ends up winning the game, which is all that matters. We saw the rust last weekend, but Kentucky was playing the eighth best team in the country. Not a directional school. Thus making the rust more obvious and us fans not being able to okay it with “oh well, we won the game.”

Not great, but not the end of the world. Maybe even a good thing, right? You really quickly see what you need to improve on.

The one bad thing is Auburn got thumped by Georgia yesterday. I’m hoping that’s just an early sign of how difficult an all-SEC schedule will be. Mostly just to make myself feel better.

The Cats had ten SEC games. Five games you should lose and five games you should win. Well, one of the games you should’ve lost, you lost. Now one of the games you had to win, you lost, yesterday’s game against Ole Miss. Now you’ve got a problem. You’re 0-2, when at worst, you should’ve been 1-1.

Even though Mark Stoops is the second best coach Kentucky has ever had, his tenure has been filled with a lot of disappointment. In Stoops’ seven seasons, four of them have started with a lot of promise and have ended with disappointment. 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Now you can add 2020 to that list.

Five out of seven seasons.

The Cats were supposed to make a serious run at winning the SEC East. Now, with an 0-2 start, you’re going to have to do a lot just to finish the season 5-5. By the way, that would be a great season. A .500 record in the SEC is something Kentucky has achieved only twice in 20 years. But now, 5-5 is not guaranteed. At all.

The preseason hype was at an all-time high. Now the hype is gone and the fan interest will decline a ton. With the way the schedule is, things won’t get any easier from here. Kentucky could easily start the season 0-5, because the next game you should win isn’t until Missouri. The Cats have three ranked opponents before then. Mississippi State, Tennessee, and Georgia. Oh boy.

This has happened too many times in the Stoops era. A lot of hype and promise seems to always end in disappointment.

Now we’re back to square one.

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