Kentucky Football Looks for Respect Against Alabama

Nathan TowlesCorrespondent IOctober 3, 2008

As we all know, the University of Kentucky will travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday to face the Crimson Tide.

Every Saturday in the SEC is usually the same—a hard-nosed fight, where anything can happen.

As we all have witnessed in the past three years, the bottom tier of the SEC is catching up the the so called "elite" teams of the conference.

However, this Saturday some 'Bama fans are looking at Kentucky and saying, "It's just Kentucky. That's a win already."

Kentucky should have earned a whole lot more respect for what it has done in the past two years, going 8-5, gaining back-to-back Music City Bowl rings, and upsetting last year's BCS champion, LSU.

That is not the case for Kentucky. They are getting no respect and no "love" from other programs.

The Wildcats are currently 16.5-point underdogs going into to the 'Bama game.

We all know that UK hasn't had a very hard schedule so far this year, but when you play in the SEC, you can't afford a hard non-conference slate. Everybody should know and understand that.

I am not saying Kentucky will kill or beat 'Bama on Saturday; all that I'm asking is to show a little respect, and some will be given back.

The Kentucky players are showing a swagger never seen in Lexington in some 50 years. They believe they can hang with Alabama and maybe just upset the Tide.

The evidence is showing in how they act and play. They know that to get respect they have to earn it.

"In order to get respect, you have to win," Derrick Locke told the Herald-Leader. "Even if you play a good game and stay close, it's like, 'Well, you still lost. You're still the old Kentucky.' You're not climbing up the ranks if you lose. We've got to win."

That is a tall task, but it can be done. Look what happened with LSU last year.

"The more your program elevates, the bigger the game gets," Dicky Lyons Jr. said to the Herald-Leader. "These are the games we need to start winning and proving we can win on a year-to-year basis. We had a great team last year when we beat LSU. If we can come out and beat Alabama, then I think people have to start saying that Kentucky has a great program."

In order for UK to win, they need to air it out, make trick plays, and just do things that 'Bama won't think they will do.

"Now we're going down to Alabama, and we're going to let it fly. We have nothing to lose. They have everything to lose," Lyons said.

That pretty much sums it up.