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Tennessee Vs. Kentucky Preview: Motivation Is Important, But Only Goes So Far

Tennessee Volunteers at Kentucky Wildcats, 12:21 p.m. ET, SEC Network

Who's got more to gain by winning this game? It depends on what you see as the more important goal.

For Tennessee, a win assures a bowl berth in one of the conference's mid-tier games. It won't be anything close to the Sugar Bowl, and even something like the Chick-fil-A Bowl might be out of the picture, but the Vols could easily make a trip to the Music City or Liberty Bowl with a win here.

Kentucky's dreams of continuing its bowl streak officially died last week. But the 'Cats still have a reason to try to win this one: Pride. Kentucky has not defeated Tennessee since Ronald Reagan was celebrating his re-election. It's been 27 years since the Wildcats won a game in this series.

But motivation might be more than a bit irrelevant this year. Tennessee is not by any means a great team -- but Kentucky is a terrible one. Tennessee does a few things relatively well, but Kentucky does almost nothing well, at least not in comparison to its SEC peers. If Kentucky isn't able to get a big boost on motivation and the game doesn't come down to net punting, the Wildcats are in trouble.

And they probably are. It's hard to see Kentucky doing much to slow down Tyler Bray and Co., and hard to see the Wildcats offense keeping up. But this being a Kentucky game against a team from Tennessee, they'll probably get a two-point conversion along the way.

Tennessee 24, Kentucky 11

Woo Pig Sooie