Just a small pep talk of sorts for my fellow fans who might be thinking, "Gah...we could lose to Kentucky and it'll all be for naught."
First of all: Isn't it funny that, despite the ups and downs of our program, we haven't lost to Kentucky at least once over the past decade? Hell, we've lost to Vandy twice in that stretch. And Kentucky has even fielded decent squads a few years. Really is hard to believe they didn't take at least one of those games, considering we had some years that were shaky at best.
That said, we should feel confident that this streak continues. I'm not trying to screw with karma here...we all know anything can happen. And I understand the overarching feeling of "Oh man, I hope we don't screw it up this weekend!" Coach Spurrier emphasized in his presser today that a loss this weekend is a reality. Despite the magnitude of the Bama win, it's still just one lonely tick in the win column. In a fantasy world, we'd win every remaining game by default for beating the #1. Here in real life, we don't even get ranked ahead of that team.
But I think we need to remember that we're the favorite in this game for a reason. Our #10 ranking is earned--it was not the result of picking on cupcakes while the big boys tumble, which, despite some nice wins, had a little something to do with our elevated ranking in 2007. This year, we trounced the #1 team in the nation; we took another top ten team to the final drive; and we shut down a Georgia team that, while obviously in disarray, is still playing with top-tier talent.
We've played good football, and we deserve the confidence that good football stirs up. We shouldn't get proud or cocky; but we can't let our nervousness trump our excitement. It's not fair to ourselves as fans. Our boys have given us every reason to believe that they're capable of success. For the first time in a while, my mindset going into a weekend is "Can't wait to see what we do on Saturday!" as opposed to "OH GOD OH GOD DONT SCREW UP!"
Now in full disclosure, that thought has crept into my mind once or twice. But it's probably on the mind of every fan of a winning sports team going into a game. The point is this: We don't have to spend the whole week yanking our hair out, chomping our nails to the nub, and placing bets on how we'll blow it this week.
Who knows, we might lose, and that will suck. But for now, I think we all owe it to ourselves to believe that we probably won't.