This is the game everyone has not been waiting for. This is the game that has absolutely no impact on anything. A win here won't save a coache's job. Tennessee's Dooley and Kentucky's Phillips have already been fired. Neither teams are Bowl eligible. The only thing that is up for grabs is the traditional beer barrel bragging rights.
But the winner is the loser in this year's contest I am dubbing, the Battle for the Brat. Yes, the loser here is indeed the wurst team in the SEC East this season. They will be dubbed the winner in this battle for the Brat. So Vol and Wildcat fans, fire up the grill and enjoy a delicious treat while watching what could be the most meaningless game this season. Here are the only things that matter (to Kentucky and Tennessee fans) today.
1. Bragging rights. Tennessee fans use to love to gloat about the longest rivalry win streak in college football history. And boy did last year's loss take the wind out of their sails. Kentucky fans really rubbed it in to their Southern neighbors faces. Tennessee would love to end the season with a win if only to save them the embarrassment of another year of Kentucky torment.
2. Joker's last game. If you read my articles at all, you know what I loved about Derek Dooley is that he got Tennessee football. He played the part well. He wore the pants, had the Southern charm and created the Vol for Life program that has spread like an angry cancer (or something nicer, I don't know). But Joker may be even more than that to Kentucky. This is a guy who played Kentucky football, got his coaching start at Kentucky and would rise to become the man at the helm. So for Phillips, a win here would mean a lot to end his career with the Wildcats.
3. Last chance to catch the scouts' eye. For Bray/Hunter/Patterson, last week's performance at Vanderbilt will not sit well with the scouts. The only standout is Patterson's 81-yard punt return when all hope was already dead. If they are ready for the big time, this is the last chance to prove it. Just a little addition to this, I read an article wondering if the Bears should draft Bray to be Jay Cutler's back up. Never thought I would see the day a Vol would play second fiddle to a Commodore, but, hey, it's Tennessee 2012- The Nightmare.
4. Future head coaches glimpse. Both of these teams will have new head coaches next season. So for whoever that ends up being, this is the chance for them to see the bones of what they will be working with. Maybe someone will catch Gruden watching the game on a plane and snap a terrible photo and upload it to twitter.
So that's what's on the line this week. Stay tuned as we discuss the meaningless results later.
GO BIG ORANGE!