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Kentucky Wildcats vs. Vanderbilt Commodores Football Preview: The Pendulum Swings

There was a time when this game coming around on the schedule would have been a good thing for Kentucky. Not anymore

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky Wildcats vs. Vanderbilt Commodores, 12:21 p.m. ET, SEC-TV

If there used to be something that Kentucky fans could take comfort in, it was that the Wildcats were better than Vanderbilt. From 1996-2010, the Commodores never beat Kentucky twice in a row, and only won three times. Even at the low-water mark of the Rich Brooks Era, when UK won five games total in 2004 and 2005, two of the victories came against Vanderbilt.

In James Franklin's tenure as head coach at Vanderbilt, that has ... changed. Not only do the Commodores come into this game on a two-game winning streak, those wins came by a combined score of 78-8. With a win today, Vanderbilt can move the series back to even overall (41-41-4) and punch their ticket to an unprecedented third straight bowl. Kentucky, meanwhile, has nothing to play for but pride.

It's a reversal of fortune from just a few years ago, when the Wildcats were on the rise and seemed poised to occupy the middle tier of the SEC East for a while. Between the progress that Mark Stoops has made in Lexington and all the rumors swirling about whether or not Vanderbilt can keep Franklin, the dynamics might change again -- but not today.

Vanderbilt 40, Kentucky 14