According to Matt Jones of Kentucky Sports Radio, UK linebackers coach Chuck Smith guaranteed a victory over Louisville during a speech at a conference in Ohio on Saturday.
A few things here:
1) Guaranteeing victory is always a ridiculously awful idea - the risk has significantly outweighed the reward for the 207,453 people who have done it since Namath - but I can't imagine a worse year for a coach on either side of the rivalry to make such a bold claim.
Any fan of Louisville or Kentucky who claims they have a solid handle on exactly what's going to take place the night of Aug. 31 is completely and utterly full of shit. Each team is riddled with question marks at nearly every position, and this year won't have a couple of tune-ups to work out the kinks before battling for the Governor's Cup.
I would honestly have more confidence guaranteeing a winner in a regular season game between the Sabres and Predators (that's hockey).
2) You're doing this on July 19? Two weeks before the start of fall camp?
Somewhere around half the starting positions on both teams are still up for grabs, and you know beyond the shadow of a doubt that one squad is vastly superior? You don't even know who your quarterback is going to be.
It's a good thing nothing major has ever happened to a football team during its first month of practice, or else predicting winners in season-opening games six weeks away wouldn't be such an effortless task.
3) This is a very un-Rich Brooks staff thing to do.
It's as impossible to dislike Brooks as it was to dislike Tubby Smith. Even if I can't stand the program he heads or the majority of people who support him, his personal affability is undeniable and leads me to believe that he can't be happy about something like this.
4) Smith is a linebackers coach.
You want to guarantee that Kentucky's linebackers are going to be better than Louisville's linebackers, go ahead. It's still a bit brash for my taste, but I'm not gonna argue with you.
Smith guaranteeing a UK victory over U of L is sort of like Timmy Timmons from The Sandlot guaranteeing victory over the Little League punks. Love the confidence, Tim, but let's leave the bold votes of confidence to Benny the Jet or Hamilton Porter...a DeNunez guarantee might also be acceptable, depending on the situation.
Ultimately, of course, this means absolutely nothing, and any significant traction that results from it is merely the product of this being the middle of the summer in a college sports state. Still, it will make the victory - should it occur - in six weeks that much more satisfying, and for that, I thank you Chuck Smith.
UPDATE: According to Jones, the guarantee was a joke, which is cool. Although I can't imagine it was very funny.