Confident Kentucky football already celebrating, rejects underdog role vs. Georgia
ATHENS —Kentucky football is proving itself the loudest, most confident underdog in recent college football history in the days leading up to its showdown with Georgia.
The No. 6-ranked Bulldogs are the defending SEC champions and are coming off a hard-fought 36-17 win over Florida in Jacksonville, but it’s the No. 9 Wildcats doing all the celebrating and making proclamations.
The University of Kentucky began an advertising campaign in New York City’s Time Square earlier this week in an effort to attract attention in the world’s center of commerce entering into the 3:30 p.m. game with Georgia (TV: CBS, Radio: WSB 95.5 FM, 750 AM) at Kroger Field in Lexington.
Times Square is historically noted as the place where New Year’s — hence new eras — are celebrated annually.
The message to Georgia is clear: Kentucky football believes it has arrived, and the game hasn’t even kicked off yet.
It appears some people are buying in: The line on the game has dropped from 10 to 8 1/2, an indication most of the bettors are taking Kentucky.
Wildcats tailback Benny Snell did an extensive Q & A with Bleacher Report, declaring that Kentucky is “not a basketball school anymore,” and “the days of us being an underdog team are over.”
The Wildcats (7-1, 5-1 SEC) are playing to win what would be their first SEC East title since the league split into divisional play in 1992. Kentucky has not won an outright SEC championship since Paul “Bear” Bryant was coaching the program in 1950.
Already, Kentucky has clinched its first winning league mark since 1977, a span of 41 years.
Georgia (7-1, 5-1), meanwhile, looks to continue its narrative of dynasty-in-the-making under third year head coach Kirby Smart.
The Bulldogs landed the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation last season, and the roster has 21 players who were once rated 5-stars.
Snell, who was a 3-star, indicated he questions Georgia’s talent in that respect because recruiting rankings are “politics.”
“They have the 5-star quarterbacks throwing to the 5-star wide receivers, who are covered by the 5-star defensive backs,” Snell told Matt Hayes of Bleacher Report. “They let them battle and go at it. I understand that, but who’s to say who’s good?
“Why not put a 3-star against a 5-star and see what happens? There’s so much hidden talent all over the camps that people don’t see.”
The college football world has seen and heard a lot about Kentucky all week, from Times Square, to SEC Network features and Snell’s interview.
“Can we beat Georgia?” Snell said, setting up his trademarked catchphrase, “Snell Yeah!?
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