But, as we all found out last weekend, stats mean nothing on each and every given Saturday. Florida was not even expected to compete with the Tennessee Volunteers, who had shown in the first few weeks that they were just about as good as everyone had expected them to be. Despite a sloppy performance against Middle Tennessee State, everything had been going according to plan.
With a home match up against the flailing Florida Gators, who had been absolutely manhandled by the Miami Hurricanes (of course, who haven't they manhandled) and a sloppy less than Gator-esque performance against Ohio (Ohio has a football team?), the Volunteer roll was, and rightly so, expected to continue its momentum.
But then the rains came, and with rain, so comes the unexpected. Last night the unexpected came with the rain in an upset of Florida State at the hands of Louisville, who had been manhandled by the University of Kentucky at the beginning of the season. The same was true of the UT Florida game, as a close one turned real ugly, real quick when Tennessee decided that it no longer wanted to complete a clean handoff.
In turn, the game ended with a dominating score of 30-13, and Florida again looking like it was on the top of the heap in the SEC.
Not so fast. There were many fortunate happenings in that game for the Gators, and it could have very easily been a defeat instead of a going away win. There are still some question marks going into this game, that seem to have all of a sudden be forgotten by most of the media, and Florida themselves. Florida is succeptable to giving up the run, Florida does have a terrible time keeping Grossmans jersey clean (and yes Rex does have a sprained knee, which I am sure Dewayne Robertson is aware of) and they are having a terrible time with linebacker play.
Of course, these faults have been ignored for a very good reason, they are playing Kentucky. Although this years UK squad has been anything but a Kentucky team, Florida has completely dominated this series for a decade. Florida has not only won these games, they have embarrassed the Cats in every way imaginable. How can mass media forget the fact that the Cats are losing to the Gators at an average of around 30 points for the past 10 years?
Not everyone has a chance to see Kentucky week in and week out as the Wildcat faithful does. They do not see this team make up in heart what they lack in talent. They do not see the chip on the shoulder that they make so apparent on our "sister probation team" Alabama. If 'Bama can play on a mission, why in the world is Kentucky not?
So there it is, the absolute key variable in this game. Florida is coming off a huge victory to Tennessee, being huge underdogs, and playing to that role well. Now, not only are they the favorites, but they are the favorites against a team that they are used to manhandling, and it is that fact that could lead them to defeat. It is what led Florida State to defeat, and it is what could allow the Commonwealth of Kentucky to do what it has never done before.....look better in the game of football than the boys down south.