Stephen Johnson: We wanted to show what we could do
Kentucky’s postseason destination likely won’t be clear for another week, but the win likely will help the Cats standing in the group of six available bowls in the Southeastern Conference’s second tier.
After the initial Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl and Citrus Bowl are filled, the league assigns teams to the next six bowls.
“I think we’ll go do the best we can to go find a bowl that will fit hopefully what we’ve accomplished,” Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said after the Cats’ 41-38 upset win at No. 11 Louisville on Saturday. “I think that will be something our fan base can jump on board and be a part of. I’m excited about that.”
Barnhart, who will get to make recommendations to the SEC about where the Cats want to play, said he has two goals in doing that.
“One, the best we can do for our team and I want it to be something our fans can get to and go enjoy this team,” he said. “They’re fun to watch.”
The six main bowl options include:
▪ Texas Bowl at Houston (Dec. 28, 9 p.m.) — SEC vs. Big 12
▪ Liberty Bowl at Memphis (Dec. 30, Noon) — SEC vs. Big 12
▪ Belk Bowl at Charlotte, N.C. (Dec. 29, 5:30 p.m.) — SEC vs. ACC
▪ Music City Bowl at Nashville (Dec. 30, 3:30 p.m.) — SEC vs. ACC or Big Ten
▪ Outback Bowl at Tampa, Fla. (Jan. 2, 1 p.m.) — SEC vs. Big Ten
▪ TaxSlayer Bowl at Jacksonville, Fla. (Dec. 31, 11 a.m.) — SEC vs. ACC or Big Ten
As for pundits and national media types who think UK is a two running back team with not much to offer as far as excitement, Barnhart challenged them to watch the win over the Cardinals this weekend.
“Guess what? We’re a little more than that,” the athletic director said. “I’m hopeful that someone will recognize that and say, you know, that’s something we’d like to have in our bowl game.”