COLUMN: Upcoming series critical for Cats’ bowl hopes


UK is playing a little too Music City Bowl-esque for my liking this time of the season.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Nashville and all — I’m just bored with it (though I have grown quite fond of that building shaped like Batman pressed against the nighttime sky).

But it’s too familiar of a place to tickle my fancy. And last year was terribly cold.

The Cats do have a great opportunity to right the ship but it must start now, in their approaching three-game home stint.

With a triple-headed stretch of conference games at Commonwealth Stadium in UK’s immediate future, it must perform its best. Can UK win?

Auburn: Unlikely. The No. 8 Tigers are 5-0 and currently boast the eighth-best rushing attack in the Football Bowl Subdivision, with 269 yards per game. Cameron Newton will likely torch UK’s deficient defense, as he has done to five other teams this season. The Cats haven’t really seen anyone like Newton and they will have little practice in stopping someone so dynamic.

South Carolina: This one is slightly less impending doom-ish, but still an unlikely win. The Gamecocks will provide a situation that could earn the Cats higher merits come bowl game decisions. Given South Carolina is ranked when it comes to town, UK has an opportunity to score itself some national coverage with a win. The team’s numbers are similar and the stage is set.

Georgia: The most feasible win, given the Bulldogs haven’t been playing up to Southeastern Conference snuff. Granted, they have played a tough schedule to this point, but fans should expect a win here.

The most likely scenario is that a 2-1 record will be tacked onto UK’s numbers over the next three Saturdays. A 2-3 start to conference play wouldn’t be the worst thing to happen, and it could put UK in a good position with the lackadaisical remaining conference schedule.

A 1-2 finish and it should be back to the drawing board for the coaching staff. In that case, it’s also probably back to Tennessee in December. But if they can manage a 3-0 tear, the Cats will find themselves in a place UK football rarely — Happytown, USA.

A 0-3 record, though, essentially knocks UK out of contention for a bowl game. More importantly, it won’t get the girls.

But only time will tell. Cats, let’s shoot for something coastal this year. Everyone deserves it. We’ll all keep our fingers crossed we don’t draw Clemson again.