25 reasons to watch UK football

Herald-Leader Sports ColumnistAugust 31, 2010 

Twenty-five reasons the current Kentucky Wildcats football season could be fun:

25. Derrick Locke. One more season of explosion from UK's pocket rocket.

24. Chad Ochocinco. Has a reason to root for the Cats: Freshman running back Brandon Gainer lists the former Chad Johnson as a cousin.

23. A Tamme 'offspring?' The best UK tight end of the 21st Century has been ex-Boyle County star Jacob Tamme. Slated to start at tight end for Kentucky against Louisville is ex-Boyle County star Jordan Aumiller — who Randall Cobb calls "Baby Tamme."

22. Checked out of heartbreak hotel. Kentucky — which long seemed to have a patent on the torturous late-game collapse — has won 13 times since 2006 when it was behind or tied in the fourth quarter.

21. Randall to the rescue. Randall Cobb has already scored the game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter of four different UK games.

20. Does Tee trump UT? New UK wide receivers coach Tee Martin quarterbacked Tennessee's undefeated national championship team in 1998 — so he knows something about winning in Neyland Stadium.

19. Lorena Bobbit. Has a reason to root for the Cats: Kentucky linebacker Jacob Dufrene's listed hometown is Cut Off, La.

18. Steve Spurrier. Always a chance this is the year the Cats finally snap their oh-for-all-eternity streak against the Head Ball Coach.

17. Marquis Teague. Has a(nother) reason to root for the Cats: UK safety Dakotah Tyler is a cousin of the prized Cats basketball recruit from Indianapolis.

16. Morgan Newton. Nothing invigorates the fan experience quite like a quarterback controversy. If you think the sophomore from Indiana should be the Kentucky starter, imagine the arguments you can make.

15. Does it mean more? Three UK coaches — Joker Phillips, Chuck Smith, Greg Nord — played for the Cats. A fourth, Mike Summers, grew up in Lexington and married one of Joe B. Hall's daughters.

14. Danny Trevathan. Chance to see if the Kentucky junior linebacker can bring some "Woodyard-ian" lumber.

13. Donald Russell. The Cats' sophomore running back should be used to "spirited" coaching: His head man at Dwyer High School in West Palm Beach (Fla.) — Jack Daniels.

12. Raymond Sanders. Won't it be fun to see if the little freshman running back (5-8, 185) from Georgia is the heir to the firm of Cobb & Locke?

11. Florida. Always a chance this is the year the Cats finally snap their oh-for-the-last-23 streak against the Mighty Gators (OK, probably not much of a chance).

10. Ryan Mossakowski. Nothing invigorates the fan experience quite like a quarterback controversy. If you think the redshirt freshman from Texas should be the Kentucky starter, imagine the arguments you can make.

9. Let there be light. Given the playmakers Kentucky has on offense and the questions it has on defense, the scoreboards at UK games this fall could resemble the Vegas Strip.

8. The LaGrange Pipeline. With defensive backs Randall Burden and Mychal Bailey set to start and linebacker Qua Huzzie bidding to do so, the west Georgia town continues to be remarkably kind to Kentucky.

7. Four-way star. Randall Cobb could produce touchdowns in four different ways — running, passing, catching, kick returning — in the same game.

6. Georgia. If UK were to beat the Dawgs, it would have done so for the third time in five games — and wouldn't that be something?

5. Reggie White. Somewhere in the afterlife, the late NFL and Tennessee Volunteers star has a reason to root for the Cats: UK wide receiver Chris Matthews lists him as a cousin.

4. Mike Hartline backers. Nothing invigorates the fan experience quite like a quarterback controversy. If you think the senior from Ohio deserves to be the Kentucky starter, this is the last year to defend him.

3. Mike Hartline detractors. Nothing invigorates the fan experience quite like a quarterback controversy. If you think the senior from Ohio does not deserve to be the Kentucky starter, at least this is the last year you'll have to watch him.

2. People you know. The best thing about college football is that star players like Derrick Locke and Randall Cobb are around long enough to feel a familiarity with them.

1. Tennessee. Always a chance — on paper, a viable chance — this is the year the Cats finally snap their oh-for-the-last-25 streak against the Rocky Toppers.

From Paducah to Pikeville, imagine the fun that would set off.

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