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Tennessee Volunteers vs. Kentucky Wildcats Preview: Getting Back to Playing for Something

Two teams collide with very little on the line. The job of making this rivalry make a difference lies ahead of both programs

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee Volunteers vs. Kentucky Wildcats, 7 pm ET, ESPNU

This game has never be one of the top SEC contests of the year -- Tennessee absolutely dominated the series for a long time, and arguably still does -- but it has become a particular non-event over the last couple of years. In 2011, the teams were a combined 9-13, though Tennessee at least had the chance to make the postseason. Last season, neither team could make a bowl and the loss by Kentucky was its 10th of the season.

And here we are again. The Vols and the Wildcats are 6-16 this season, a collective 10 games under .500, and there's really nothing to play for but self-esteem. Neither team is going to a bowl game, so it's not like they're jockeying for position in the postseason pecking order. The most that could be said is that a win here would give Kentucky a tie for sixth place in the SEC East with Tennessee and the tiebreaker. This is not something that can be used as a recruiting pitch.

That's sometimes the recipe for a good game -- a couple of teams with nothing to lose playing out the string. With these teams, though, it's probably just the recipe for a quiet end to the season. Both teams hope to the be the one to make this game an event again, but nothing they do this year is going to accomplish that -- that's a matter for the offseason, starting after the clock runs out.

Tennessee 20, Kentucky 13