Photo by Keyli Chisesi (Go Big Blue Country)
If you ask the long-suffering Kentucky football fan what the definition of a successful season is, they would tell you 6-7 wins and a bowl appearance. With a victory on Saturday night vs. Tennessee, the Wildcats can achieve just that. However, the majority of the fanbase will not be satisfied with 6 wins but it is the first step to what could be a great end to 2017.
For the Wildcats to achieve the best season in 33 years, they must find a way to defeat a mediocre Tennessee team on Saturday. 1984 was the last time Kentucky football ended the regular season with at least 8 wins and that is something within reach this season. However, the first step is to pick up a sixth victory and solidify bowl eligibility.
Traditionally, the Wildcats achieve Bowl status in the last two weeks of the season, usually a victory over Vanderbilt or a non-conference opponent. Remove year one for Stoops and each of the last three seasons came down to the final two games with the Wildcats searching for a sixth win. A promising 2014 season ended with losses to Vanderbilt and Louisville and 2015 came to a close with another heartbreaking loss to the Cardinals. They finally broke through in 2016 with a victory vs. Austin Peay and an upset win at Louisville.
Saturday has a chance to be a big night for Kentucky football. Make no mistakes about it; even though Tennessee is at a low point, a victory would go a long way. A win would move the Wildcats to 6-2, which would be the best 8-game start since the 2007 season and that team will be in attendance for the game, as UK is honoring the 2006-2008 Bowl championship teams.
A win would also keep the hopes of a better than average season alive, as winnable games vs. Ole Miss and Vanderbilt are on the horizon. With that being said, Kentucky has to take care of business at Kroger Field on Saturday. This is one of those opportunities that Kentucky lets slip away more often than not and a loss would give the fan base another reason to break away.
For now, the talk of 8 wins or 9 wins should be put to rest. The main goal for Kentucky is to get that sixth win and Bowl eligibility, because without it, fans will be left wondering what could have been, again.