No football game is played in a vacuum. Every game occurs in a context. The context for today’s UK game against Kent State couldn’t be more interesting.
The University of Louisville was unimpressive last week. In fact, if UK looks good today, I think it’d be reasonable to say that the Wildcats have an edge next Saturday at home, no matter what the rankings say. (Don’t worry — those of you concerned, for whatever reason. I’ve decided I need to pick the Cardinals regardless. I don’t think it’s right to pick someone all season, then switch during game week. But more important, I don’t want to deprive a state full of Wildcat fans the hard-earned right to give me hell if UK wins!)
Nonetheless, look at what has happened around college football today. U of L wasn’t the only unimpressive ranked team this week. West Virginia looked bad. Ohio State wasn’t dominant. Michigan was — oh, that’s right. Michigan isn’t ranked. Nebraska was so-so.
The point is this — the gap between ranked teams and everybody else isn’t so great. And as a team that has established itself as one of the better “everybody else” teams to this point, UK ought to sense the possibility.
But there is the matter of beating Kent State. UK could be “up” for this team and still have to fight it out in a close one. Kent State is pretty good.
On the other hand, an impressive win by UK would be legitimately impressive against the Week 2 backdrop that we’ve seen so far, and would set up some very interesting speculation for the week to come.