Minor bowls can produce major progress
Let's start Kentucky's maiden voyage to the AutoZone Liberty Bowl with a little straight talk.
The 2008 edition of the Kentucky Wildcats is not a good football team.
Loser six times in the final eight games. Winner over exactly no teams that finished the season with a winning record (combined record of teams UK beat: 26-46).
Last in the SEC East.
UK's bowl matchup with East Carolina is about as sexy as Seth Rogen in a Speedo.
Yet, even with all that, what Rich Brooks & Co. did in 2008 by making a bowl for the third straight season was exactly what is needed to give Kentucky football at least a chance to finally move forward as a program.
UK last played in three consecutive bowl games (1949-51 seasons) when Harry Truman was in the White House and Bear Bryant was coaching in Lexington.
In the case of coaches Fran Curci, Jerry Claiborne and Hal Mumme, the UK football program enjoyed two strong seasons but fell back in the third year each time.
"All I heard after last year was 'Kentucky's success is measured in two-year cycles,'" Brooks said. "We want it to be, not just three in a row, but four, five, six in a row. We have a lot of work to do."
If you look at how historically downtrodden football programs have built into pigskin relevance, the tried and true path is through multiple years of consecutive bowl appearances.
People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.
'Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum'
"To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men."