There once was a time when UK football fans were elated with a 4-5 win season. It wasn't that 4-5 wins a year was acceptable, it was that in the tough-as-nails SEC, winning that many games at UK WAS successful. As early as 10-15 years ago, UK fans celebrated at the prospect of a bowl game once every 3-4 years. That is no more.
Somewhere between Tim Couch and Rich Brooks, that outlook changed. After probation left UK on its heels, Coach Brooks toughed it out and turned UK into a program where less is no longer acceptable. And, I for one, am glad it has happened.
The coaches coach hard and recruit hard. The players give it all on the field. They deserve more than accepting a sub-par result game after game. They've shown they can play and compete at a higher level, and in turn, those expectations have risen.
Which is why I can walk away from a Georgia loss with a piece of solace. Yes, we turned the ball over. Yes, we got ourselves in a hole AGAIN in the first half... all things UK has done not only many times this season, but also for many seasons in the past. But, there was a difference: We were expected to win this game. UK was favored in an SEC matchup not involving Vanderbilt.
Which makes that piece solace come at the price of disappointment.
We WERE expected to win the game and we absolutely should have.
So, as the gauntlet of UK's former mediocrity has been passed onto the future of success, it's time for us all to change our expectations. This season can still be a great one. It can happen if the players believe in what has happened the last 3-4 years. It can happen if they realize they are what we thought they were: a football team that deserves a remarkable season.