DEMAREE: Kentucky's 2008 Upset Special

While waiting for the annual college football magazines to hit the stands--which generally pick the Wildcats to finish either fifth or sixth in the SEC Eastern Division--the more astute football fans are perusing the 2008 football schedule to speculate on what teams' final records will be. While I'll stop short of predicting UK's full schedule-yet- I will tell you what their major upset will be.

It's a little early for this writer to predict Kentucky's final results, given the unsettled questions on the offensive side of the ball. As the summer progresses, perhaps we will have a little better handle on the situation. But for the purposes of this article, we will be focusing on the 2008 UPSET SPECIAL.

We haven't done this since 1998 and 1999, when in another publication that we co-published; this writer picked upsets in back-to-back years over LSU and Arkansas respectively. Now that UK seems to be positioning itself to be a similar threat, lets do it again.

The University of Georgia Bulldogs will be the best team in the SEC in the 2008 season. At least one publication will pick Georgia to be the national champions next year. However they will not win the SEC because of their very tough schedule, perhaps the toughest in the nation.

The Wildcats will upset Georgia at Commonwealth Stadium.

"But Mister Writer, you are taking on the best team in the SEC and quarterback Matthew Stafford is going to be a junior." Well let me make the case.

The Wildcats have had upsets of major proportions two seasons in a row – Georgia in 2006 and LSU in 2007. It is true, some cynics may say that was a down Georgia team that Kentucky defeated in 2006. We say, not so fast. The Georgia Bulldogs started off the season 5-0, then went 1-3 before coming into Commonwealth Stadium and suffered an upset. But they rolled into Auburn University the next Saturday and scorched the Plainsmen 37-15 – then beat their in-city rivals Georgia Tech 15-12 – then beat Virginia Tech 31-24 in the Chick-Fil-A-Bowl to finish the season 9-4. The 2008 Georgia schedule sets up for another ambush at Commonwealth Stadium with the Bulldogs featuring phenom running back Knowshon Moreno.

Georgia fans and players are just like anywhere else. They peruse the schedule and pick probable wins. It matters less how well Kentucky is playing at the time, due the tradition, respect, and just name in the college football world, Kentucky will go in the pre-season win column.

Much like Kentucky last season, even though they had played well prior to the Mississippi State game and even though they had gotten beat up due to the rough schedule, the players thought they would win because of the name they think they should defeat. Until such time as the Cats build a reputation, the Georgia's of the world will always look at Kentucky as a win.

Prior to coming to Lexington, the Bulldogs will have been to LSU and to the Gator Bowl respectively to play an emotional game against a very good Florida Gator football team - this, after having played a very tough schedule before that sequence of events. In essence, the Kentucky tilt will be the third straight week on the road with a game at Auburn on the horizon after the Cats.

My bet is the sight of the blue and white doesn't pump up the Bulldogs regardless of what the coaches says leading up to the game.

Along with 18 Georgia players on the UK roster, the Bulldogs are the logical choice for the third upset in a row for the Wildcats. Something else to consider from the Georgia natives on UK's roster, then redshirt freshman Trevard Lindley had seven tackles and the game-clinching interception against the Dogs in the upset, and then sophomore Braxton Kelly had a game-high ten tackles in the victory.

Why not Alabama, Florida, or Tennessee? Though Alabama will be stronger in the second season with head coach Nick Saban, and their quarterback Joe Parker Wilson needs to be more consistent, but that game is on the road. The very strong Gators have Kentucky as their homecoming game. And Tennessee is on the road and that's a tall order in the SEC.

So the pick here for the 2008 Kentucky upset special in the University of Georgia. Sorry about your luck Georgia Bulldogs!

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