Now they hold their breath and wait for the inevitable surge.
It came in the form of 24 consecutive points in a 45-17 win that gave the Wildcats a 5-0 record and 10 wins in their past 11 games.
This is definitely not the
After last year's 8-5 finish,
topped off by a convincing win over Clemson in the Music City Bowl, the
standards and expectations have risen considerably for the Wildcats. On the
heels of dramatic wins over
"I'm not sure we had our ‘A' game today, particularly on the defensive side of the ball," Brooks said. "On the other hand, we did a number of things that I can't be unhappy with what we accomplished today."
Week by week, Brooks continues to sound like the person least surprised by the Wildcats' rise over the past two seasons. Now he's joined by his SEC peers in his reaction to the program's success.
"You could see it coming,"
Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnson added, "You can see over the past few years their talent has been upgraded."
"It's not surprising at all,"
At the same time, the Wildcats are more than just a bunch of guys throwing and catching passes for big plays and touchdowns.
While allowing 23 points and more
than 400 yards per game doesn't look all that impressive on paper, the Wildcats
made the necessary plays to beat both
On the other side of the ball, the Wildcats are rushing for more than 225 yards per game and giving the Wildcats both balance and big plays.
"We knew they were a good football
Who knows how long this will last.
For now, though, the Wildcats are looking at the possibility of their best season since they went 9-3 in 1984 or even 10-1 in 1977.
"They're a veteran club," Richt said, "that has enough talent to win the Southeastern Conference this year."
For all those possibilities, the
Wildcats still have plenty of hurdles in their way, starting with Saturday's
game at 4-1
It's hard to imagine
"Now we're done with nonconference and sitting here at 5-0," Brooks said. "We won all of them at Commonwealth and one on the road, and now it really starts. We've positioned ourselves to have an opportunity to do some pretty exciting things but we've got a lot of tough games ahead of us, obviously."
Richard Scott is a Birmingham-based sports writer, author and featured columnist in Tiger Rag. Reach him at email@example.com.