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Could Lightning Strike A Second Time For UK After 41 Years?
41 years ago, I was witness to the best UK football team of my time as a member of the Big Blue Nation. That team was led by Derrick Ramsey on offense and Art Still on defense. For those current members of the Big Blue Nation who missed that season, invest about 15 minutes of your day and watch this video. I promise you will not be disappointed.
10-1, Ranked #6 in the poll and not eligible for a bowl due to NCAA sanctions imposed a year earlier. That winter, 1977-78, was one of the best basketball seasons of my life, ending with the Cats hanging the banner for #5.
The 1977 football Cats got stronger with each passing week. After stumbling and giving away the magical opportunity of an undefeated season in week 2 at Baylor, the Cats traveled to Happy Valley and beat Papa Joe Paterno's perennial football power Penn State. Upon returning home, I witnessed the Cats destroy a good Mississippi State team in Commonwealth on a Saturday night. All the talk about the Cats pointed to back to back road games at LSU and Georgia in mid to late October. After the Cats handed these SEC powers losses on their home turf, the rest of the football world took serious notice.
There are serious similarities between 1977 and 2018. This football team is not just the real deal, but they are surging, and we have not seen their best yet. In addition, the basketball Cats will open their season in about 5 weeks favored to bring home the hardware for the 9 th time in April. Could it be that the Big Blue Nation will be blessed with a top 10 football team in the same school year as a basketball national championship? Stay tuned for that answer in a few more months, but the basic ingredients all appear as of September 23, 2018.
I am so happy for these players, and especially for Mark Stoops. People talk about Benny, and rightfully so, but this defense is getting better by the day.
The following graph shows the ANE for each UK opponent (large red squares), adjusted for venue (small red squares), UK's game ANE for the first 4 games (large blue diamonds), and the UK trend line for ANE through the first 4 games, and extended (horizontally) for the next 8 games (no additional improvement assumed).
Enjoy your sip from my Sunday morning fire hydrant!
Submitted by Richard Cheeks