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Kentucky Vs. Tennessee Preview: The Relegation Bowl

If there were relegation in the SEC, this game would at least play a major role in it. At least then there might be a reason to watch it


Kentucky Wildcats vs. Tennessee Volunteers, 12:21 p.m. ET, SEC Network [PDF]

It's somewhat amazing to think that there are three teams in the SEC right now that are still winless in the conference. There will be at least one but no more than two after Saturday, in part because two of the winless teams are meeting in this game.

As you might expect and almost certainly know, both programs are now looking for new head coaches. Joker Phillips will lead Kentucky into Knoxville for the last time, one year after breaking what seemed like an unbreakable winning streak by Tennessee in the series. Derek Dooley decided that it would be best for him to not be a distraction for his players in their last game. Both men's decisions were driven by their concern for their players, and neither is wrong.

Consider that in this game, we will have the teams that are last in the SEC in the following categories: total offense, scoring offense, total defense, scoring defense, passing efficiency, sacks and tackles for loss. Expand that list to 13th or 14th and you can add rushing defense, passing efficiency defense and passing yardage defense to the list. It is not a clash of titanic SEC powers.

The difference is that Tennessee does one thing well -- offense -- while Kentucky really does nothing all that well. Neither team has gotten a particularly easy schedule, with each playing Mississippi State and the other teams in the SEC East and Tennessee adding Alabama to the list. But when it comes down to which team has shown the ability to win games sometimes and the one that you could pretty much watch at any time and realize it's 0-7 in the SEC, the edge goes to Tennessee.

It's probably not going to be the prettiest game you've ever watched, and odds are that not many of you will watch it. But it will be the man who's not on the field whose players will be celebrating when the game is over.

Tennessee 20, Kentucky 10