Tennessee avoided what would have been it’s first 8-loss season. The Vols also avoided a first-ever winless SEC season. But that is not the real story of this game. Read More…
As a Wildcat receiver for four years, senior Matt Roark did little. As Kentucky’s quarterback for a single afternoon, he did what numerous Wildcat quarterbacks could not do for more than a quarter century — beat Tennessee. Matt Roark is now a legend in the annals of Kentucky Wildcat football. His opponents on Saturday are now infamous, having lost their seventh conference game this season, the most conference losses in the annals of Tennessee Volunteer football.
Kentucky Wildcats vs. Tennessee VolunteersSaturday 26 November 2011 | 12:21 pm EST Commonwealth Stadium (67,606) | Lexington, KY | SEC Network
Johnny Majors spoke at a function in Chattanooga Monday evening and remarked that if the Vols defeat Kentucky on Saturday in Lexington, the comeback win last week over Vandy will be the turning point in Derek Dooley’s career. That means that the moment Las Vegas revealed Vanderbilt as a favorite over the host Vols before last week’s game will be officially labeled ‘the bottom’. Of course, all that goes up in smoke if the ‘Cats defeat Tennessee, and that would be a far worse bottom. And, it would break The Streak. And nothing comes easy for Tennessee in this series that, no matter how lopsided the W-L tally, is always a hard-fought contest.
On November 24, 1984, Kentucky defeated Tennessee, 17-12, in Knoxville, to wrap up a 9-year span (1976-1984) during which the the Battle for the Beer Barrel was competitive — Tennessee won five games and Kentucky won four during that stretch.
If you are searching for something to be thankful for on this Thaksgiving Day, consider this — your team, your school, has defeated one of your arch-rivals 26 consecutive years. It is the longest current winning streak by one team over another in NCAA football.
Yes, that game in 1984 was the last time the Wildcats defeated the Vols in football.
The last time Kentucky beat Tennessee…
Kentucky vs. Tennessee | 27 Nov 2010 | Neyland Stadium
12:21 pm EST | SEC Network/ESPN3.com
Let’s not forget what Saturday really is.
Kevin Cooper, Chad Cunningham, Savion Frazier, Gerald Jones, Daniel Lincoln, Ben Martin, Denarius Moore, Nick Reveiz, Jerrod Shaw, Luke Stocker, Victor Thomas, LaMarcus Thompson, Chris Walker, Gerald Williams, and Tyler Wolf.
These are the senior lettermen. These are The Group That Never Quit, so eloquently named by senior wide receiver Gerald Jones.
Here we are once again, in anticipation of facing a long-standing adversary who would like a win more than oxygen to live. The Kentucky Wildcats desperately want to erase a slate currently littered with embarrassing numbers. We had better be ready and equipped with our A-game.
That great line comes from John Lennon, who was murdered 30 years ago during a MNF game between New England and Miami. We’ll soon find out if it is an apt description for what the coaches face in rebuilding the Vols. Saturday’s game against the ‘Cats, with a streak and a bowl on the line, will speak volumes, very loudly.
And speaking of Lennon, if you are so inclined, be sure to watch the special on Lennon to be aired Monday night at 9 pm on PBS’ American Masters series.
Now for some odds and ends concerning that hole…
The self-proclaimed biggest game ever played for a generation of Kentucky football fans in front of 70,981 turned into more of the same Saturday night:
- A dog-fight of a Boarder-State Rivalry War; and
- A Tennessee victory.
With a win on Saturday, Kentucky would have fulfilled a string of significant accomplishments for their improving program under coach Rich Brooks.
- An 8-4 regular season, the first 8-win regular season since 1984.
- A second place finish in the SEC East for the first time since the realignment of the conference in 1992 and best SEC finish since 1977 (when they tied for first with Alabama).
- A likely New Years’ Day bowl date for the first time since the 1998 season (Outback Bowl, Jan 1, 1999 vs Penn State).
- And perhaps, most importantly, an end to The Streak – 24 consecutive losses to their bitter, long-time, border state rival.
But, would have didn’t materialize. Read More…
I had the Rolling Stones’ song When the Whip Come Down rattling around in my head all Thanksgiving Day. I think I know why – it started to morph into Will the ‘Posts Come Down?
Kentucky (7-4/3-4) is due to break their losing streak of 24 against the Vols (6-5/3-4).
During the period 1985-2008, the ‘Cats are 0-24 by a total score of 911-400 and an average score per game of 38-17. The Vols shutout the ‘Cats four times and held them to under 10 points an additional four times. Tennessee scored over 50 points seven times. Five of those seven 50-plus games were in consecutive seasons (1996-2000).
But, all good things come to an end. The streak will be broken sooner or later. I’m just not ready. I’d rather see 2009 anointed as the silver anniversary of the last Kentucky win of the Beer Barrel (where in the hell is that thing now anyway?). Read More…