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Cats Look to MAC to Get Season Rolling

Kentucky miamiWhen we selected the sort of coverage scheme for this here blog, we pondered long and hard about whether or not covering both BSU and Kentucky would pose any conflict. When the rubber hit the road, in our mind, Kentucky and BSU don’t stand much of a chance of playing each other, they don’t compete for recruits, they are not at odds with each other for national championships, and in essence, they both sort of float along in the college football universe totally unrelated to each other. Hence, the UK affinity on this blog along with our undying devotion to Ball State.

However, this weekend gets about as close to conflicted as we get around these parts. On one hand, I relish when a MAC member knocks off a BCS conference school. It elevates the status of a conference that BSU may win, elevates the status of a team that BSU may beat, and creates that sort of rising tide that lifts all the ships in the harbor. Last season when Toledo beat Michigan and Ball State beat Indiana and Bowling Green upset Pitt, the entire conference got a bit of a boon. This season, the MAC gets their shot against the reining king of college football, the Southeastern Conference.

SEC-MAC battles of 2009 include Ball State’s trip to Auburn, Eastern Michigan’s trip to Arkansas, and Ohio’s journey to Rocky Top. But many fans are pointing to Saturday’s contest between Miami University and Kentucky as the best shot the MAC has of dethroning the King. And that’s where our usual MAC love gets put to the test.

For Miami, the situation dictates far more celebration than the other MACies going to war with the SEC. Questions about their opponent, and the status of UK as a second-tier SEC football school all make many feel like Miami has a shot. Normally, the fans grudgingly accept their pending whoopin’ by counting in advance the large paycheck the administration will get. Believe me… we’ve done it quite a few times. But listening to the media, the MAC fans, and the Miami faithful, it’s almost as if they feel like a win is not only possible, but semi-probable. Are we missing something? Are we simply viewing this matchup with Big Blue shaded glasses?

For Wildcat fans the world over, the far reaching theme appears to be dread about when this new found success on the football field is going to wane. The sort of  “It can’t last forever, the other shoe has to drop, it won’t be long till we’re back on the bottom” doom and gloom that has been the norm for years in Lexington. Is it really that bad? Is Kentucky simply destined to be mediocre for all of eternity? Is this the sports karma penalty we pay for having a basketball program at the top of the heap? Or is it simply a fanbase that doesn’t know how to win, doesn’t know how to react to success, and doesn’t know how to prolong it?

This Saturday will tell us much about what to expect for this coming season. Now is the opportunity to erase some of those questions, eradicate some of those doubts, and announce to all around the program that Kentucky football is still on track to make history. It’s an opportunity for Brooks and company to unite this fanbase yet again and to bring some semblance of togetherness as we move toward the gauntlet known as the SEC. Wins, unlike anything else, certainly make a believer out of Big Blue faithful. Ask Rich Brooks.

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