In case you haven't noticed, things have been pretty quiet around here this week, and not just because SB Nation United — more on this on Sunday — is nearing, along with a couple of exams in that college thing that is still a pesky part of my life. That's my bad, but I think it's also reflective of another truth: It is impossible to get up for the Kentucky game, especially this year. Here's why.
Hammers don't get up for nails
Florida's 25 consecutive wins over Kentucky make it virtually impossible for Gators fans to even imagine the Gators losing. That so few of those wins have even been close — only five of the 25 wins have been one-possession games, and two of those came while Ron Zook was coaching Florida, so they barely count — makes taking the Wildcats seriously as a threat incredibly difficult. For Florida fans, trying to get up for Kentucky is like Floridians, storm-ready (and storm-weary) like few people on Earth, reacting to an afternoon thunderstorm.
This particular nail doesn't care, either
I took some flak last year for asking if Florida fans would trade football wins against Kentucky for basketball wins: Of course we wouldn't. But I can assure you that there are maybe a dozen denizens of Big Blue Nation who would choose a football win over Florida over a basketball win over Florida, and maybe one or two who would choose football glory if the choice was snapping the streak or sweeping Billy Donovan's crew. Kentucky's is the most insanely devoted college basketball fan base in the country, and part of being that deeply connected to the Wildcats of the court is spending a little less psychic energy on the Wildcats of the field.
This Kentucky team isn't even good
Florida has played two ranked Kentucky teams during its 25-yard winning streak, the No. 25 team in the nation in 1998 (Tim Couch would throw for 406 yards, the eighth-most Florida has ever allowed, in a 51-25 loss to the Gators) and the No. 8 team in America in 2007 (Andre' Woodson threw for 415 yards, the seventh-most Florida's ever allowed, and five touchdowns in a 45-37 loss), and though both of those were "big" games, they were not the biggest games on Florida's schedule in either of those years. And those were the good Kentucky teams of the last two decades: Most of the Kentucky teams have been mediocre at best, and so Florida has scored 35 or more points 19 times in the streak, and 40 or more points 15 times.
This is not a good team, and it might not even be a mediocre one, given how Western Kentucky pushed it at home, and its performance thus far has been without a true freshman left tackle starting against rising menace Lerentee McCray. There's a reason A Sea of Blue is hoping for a lot of luck tomorrow.
This is a letdown game
I can project this confidently: Whatever Florida does tomorrow is going to be less satisfying than the wins over Texas A&M and Tennessee were. There's no way beating a team the Gators always beat at home will feel as good as road wins do, or wins over good teams do, or comeback wins over good teams do, and if Florida, Tebow forbid, loses, it's going to be a shock of unfathomable proportions. It's sure to be a letdown for the team and coaching staff, too, if Florida sleepwalks through part of the day.