Sunday, October 3, 2010

Gap Closes on Cards and Cats records this season...UK fans claiming they've been "Kragthorped"

In another great weekend of football for me, my Packers and Louisville Cardinals both eeked out wins over lesser opponents, and at the moment (3rd qtr in Bears/Giants game, Giants up 3-0) my hated teams have all lost, as the Wildcats dropped a heart-breaker to "elite SEC" giants Ole Miss. While it's still very possible the Bears pull out this one against the Giants, I'm going on the premise that my teams won, and my teams rivals gives me joy, get off my back.

Louisville went into the game at Arkansas State a whopping 4.5 point favorite...hey, it's the era we are in thanks to one Steve Kragthorpe. Not only are we playing AT a small, terrible team's venue, but we are barely favored...and the team coached by SK last season barely beat this same team at HOME last year. Fast forward to this year and if you watched the first half of the game (online) then you were feeling pretty great about the capabilities of the team, even if they are playing a (should be) lesser opponent (nevermind they are the 5th ranked offensive team in the country).

In the end the Cards got up big by the half, and don't seem to possess the "killer instinct" necessary to put someone away in the second half. They let the Red Wolves back into it before kicking a field goal and getting an interception to seal the game with a 34-24 victory.

The Packers did virtually the same thing against a Shaun Hill led Detroit Lions team today. They had a decent lead, and then couldn't stop Detroit in the 3rd or 4th quarters. Statistically, the Lions beat the Packers in almost every category. If the game had gone on for a couple more minutes, the Lions could have pulled it out.

On to Kentucky/Ole Miss. As Boogiewoogie pointed out in an earlier column, the Rebels had 2 just daunting losses, one being to FCS school Jacksonville State. They aren't a very good team, even playing in the SEC. Kentucky was hungry coming off a stinging loss to Florida, and needed this win badly to get to that "next level" as a team that they and the fanbase desire. That just didn't happen.

I didn't see one second of the game, so I can't say what the issue was, but I will say that I did notice the Cats were down by 22 points in the early part of the 4th quarter and cut it to 7 by the end...maybe that's some sort of "moral victory" they can take with them...although it has been brought to my attention that "UK doesn't celebrate 'moral victories'" so take that for what it's worth.

Some UK fans are already claiming they've been "Kragthorped" by the hiring of Joker...I guess the honeymoon is already over. Others aren't so quick to jump the gun, but are however saying they may have been "Tubby'd" again, this time in football. As a fan of a team who coined the term of being "Kragthorped" I'd like to tell the Cat fans, that they definitely haven't been decimated to the level that he did U of L, so they haven't been Kragged at all...instead they look to be pretty much what I (and a lot of people UK fans also) said when Joker was hired...pretty much the same team.

I get that the fanbase is hungry, and desires to jump to the "next level" as a team....but why was Rich Brooks celebrated and lauded over as the head coach with a LOSING record, both overall (39-46) and even worse in conference play (16-39), and Joker isn't even given much of a chance after only 5 games? Brooks routinely lost to Florida AND Ole Miss in these fashions, and the fans could overlook them and just wait to take down lesser SEC teams such as Vandy or Mississippi State, while knocking off their 3-4 (depending if UL was coached by Petrino or Kragthorpe) nonconference teams to get to 6-6 or 7-5 and make a Tennessee Bowl Game. They LOVED it...but all of a sudden once Brooks is gone, it isn't good enough anymore.

Wildcat fans LOVE to point out the fact that they play "big boy ball in the SEC" anytime they compared UK and Louisville over the last few years as to why their record wasn't as good; and all of a sudden now they want to take down the likes of Florida and Alabama? That is a lofty task for any coach. I guess that is sports nowadays though, Joker came in riding a decent team with high expectations, and is doing about the job I predicted he would. I think he is a good coach and given time, can improve the Wildcats...but I just don't see the Cats ever getting an 11-1 season and a BCS game.

Strong seems to be meeting my expectations as well...I predicted a victory over Kentucky, but that was just mere hopefulness, and other than that, I had the Cards winning the other games we have won, and in my mind getting pounded by #25 Oregon State. They actually almost (and SHOULD HAVE) pullled out the Oregon State game, so maybe by the end of the season, Charlie will have exceeded my expectations...let's hope so.

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