The tide rolls in, the tide rolls out; it’s an inexorable force of nature. Man cannot hope to tame the tide.
This past weekend the Crimson Tide Nation rolled into Lexington. It rolled in via cars, trucks, planes and land yachts. It appeared to be the most visiting fans to ever attend a game in Commonwealth Stadium. The sheer number of Crimson Tide fans helped pump up the central Kentucky economy by making lavish contributions to the coffers at Keeneland, local restaurants, and hotels. Then they rolled back, happy and content to their sweet home, Alabama.
While here, they saw a familiar story play out on the gridiron. Kentucky had no hope of containing this Tide. The size and number of quality Crimson Tide football players easily rolled over Kentucky on a night when the Cats, once again, lost their starting quarterback.
Jalen Whitlow went down with an ankle injury in the first quarter. Max Smith could not rally the Cats offense against Bama as Kentucky lost 48-7.
Much like their no nonsense, stoic leader, Nick Saban, Alabama was just in town to take care of business. Coach Saban is drawing comparisons to the legendary Bear Bryant, and rightly so. The Tide has won three of the last four national championships; and it could have easily been four in a row but for a very tough loss to Auburn three years ago. Much like our own Coach Cal in SEC basketball, Coach Saban has everything rolling his way in Tuscaloosa. He is getting the “best of the best” high school football players to join him at UA, and once there, coaching them to be successful.
This blowout brings a very unhappy end to the first half of the season. In fact, a killer stretch of games sees the Cats at 1-5 at the midpoint.
If Kentucky fans think the second half of the season will see the high tide recede, they best think again. For UK, there is no low tide in this SEC ocean.
While the opponent rankings in the second half may not be quite as high, there will be no easy SEC games for UK.
With a bye week before hitting the road to Starkville for a Thursday night ESPN game against Mississippi State, Kentucky will have 10 days to try and get healthy and regroup for a push to end this season with some positive outcomes. Problem is they have not beaten MSU in the last four outings.
Missouri is currently undefeated and ranked 14th, but they have probably have lost their starting quarterback for the season, which may give UK a better chance for a victory when the Tigers come calling in Lexington.
Most fans regularly pencil in Vandy as a very winnable game, but the Dores’ have won the last two outings against the Cats by a combined score of 78-8.
The final road game of the year sees the Wildcats go down between the hedges to Athens to take on the Dawgs, who until injuries starting taking a toll, were marching toward the SEC east championship.
This may be the last season Kentucky plays Tennessee in the final regular season game. In this tradition-rich battle, UT first-year coach Butch Jones will have the Vols primed to once again exert their dominance over the Big Blue.
As always in the SEC, put on your life jacket, and swim at your own risk.