Kentucky coach Rich Brooks has always said his top goal this season was for the Wildcats to be a factor in the Southeastern Conference race. This wasn't exactly what he had in mind.
Tennessee comes to Lexington Saturday needing a victory to clinch the SEC East and a berth in the title game against LSU. The Wildcats (7-4, 3-4) are out of the race but still playing to upgrade their bowl position and end a 22-game losing streak against the Volunteers.
"It's significant going into the last week of Kentucky football that we can determine who the SEC East champion will be," Brooks said.
Should the Wildcats win, the East title will go to Georgia, which beat Kentucky 24-13 Saturday. It was the lowest point total of the year for Andre Woodson and Kentucky's high-octane offense, which has struggled the past four weeks.
If Kentucky loses, it could be a case of deja vu from last year. The Wildcats would end the regular season with the same number of wins, and could be headed back to Nashville, Tenn., to play again either in the Music City or Liberty Bowl.
That would be a disappointment, Brooks and his players say.
"It's a great sign that we're disappointed at this point with where we're finishing in the SEC East," Brooks said.
As for Woodson and the other seniors, Brooks says they should have no shame regardless of the outcome.
"Their legacy is as good as anything that's happened around here for the past 30 years," Brooks said. "Win or lose it shouldn't tarnish it, but win, it should do a great deal."
Enter your number for a chance to win great prizes!
Message and data rates may apply