This Saturday, January 8th at noon, UK will take on Pittsburgh at the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham, AL. The game will be televised nationwide on ESPN.
While the Wildcats finished up the season at a dissappointing 6-6, a win against Pittsburgh would go a long way to take into next season. Joker's first year had some big-margined wins at the beginning, a thrilling victory against South Carolina, and an almost perfect finish against Auburn. While there are many who believe the Mississippi State and Tennessee games were ones UK let slip away- their ultimate goal of reaching a bowl game was reached... even if it is only the Compass Bowl.
It very well could be the last game UK fans will see both Derrick Locke and Randall Cobb dress for the blue and white. Both players will go down in UK history of some of the best to play for the pigskin 'Cats.
Still, with off-the-field grabbing headlines for the upcoming bowl game, like Mike Hartline's arrest, Pitt's firing then hiring then firing of two different coaches, it would be easy to divert attention away from the actual game. And, it would seem UK would have more to prove.
Yet, the betting lines favor Pittsburgh at this time as 3.5 over the Cats. True, UK will be fielding a new QB in the form of Morgan Newton. But, with the coaching uncertainty, I would have to put my money on the Cats for this matchup. The SEC is tougher than the Big East, Joker is ready to elevate his alma mater, and Randall Cobb wants to go out as a star.
That's why I'm picking the Wildcats over Pittsburgh, 30-28.