Write it down, September 27, 2008, WKU Hilltoppers versus the Kentucky Wildcats. Wow, I never saw that one coming and I am sure many more did not see it coming either.
This game will have tremendous interest across the Bluegrass. Make no mistake about it, this will be a big game in every since of the phrase, "Big Game". Alumni will want bragging rights, fans will want bragging rights, players will want bragging rights, coaches will want to gain an in-state recruiting edge, and this is a game everyone will have an interest and no one will want to lose.
It would be great if this game could develop into an annual rivalry. I believe many fans would love to have a rabid rivalry to look forward to at the end of the season such as Alabama Vs Auburn, Michigan Vs Ohio State, etc. These types of rivalry games are historical and have national fan interest. These are the type of rivalries where the records go out the window and you had better strap it on tighter because players seem to be a lot quicker, faster, hit harder and simply refuse to lose. Imagine the possibilities if WKU, Louisville and Kentucky played each other, every season, and had a new version of the "Battle for the Bluegrass"? It may never happen but fans always discuss the possibilities of what would happen if their favorite team played each other. It's the offseason anything is open to discussion, right?
WKU has not published the official schedule for 2008 but an unofficial 2008 schedule can be located at http://www.wkusports.com/pdf/FutureWKUFootballSchedules1.pdf . The unofficial schedule has the Hilltoppers at Alabama, at Arkansas State, Ball State at home, at Eastern Kentucky, Florida Atlantic at home, at Florida International, at Indiana, at Miami (Ohio), MTSU, Murray State, North Texas all at home, finishing the season at Troy.
Here are changes to the unofficial schedule published through different media outlets. It now appears the Hilltoppers will open the season on the road against Indiana August 30th. (http://iuhoosiers.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/sched/ind-m-footbl-sched.html)
On September 13th WKU will visit Tuscaloosa to play Alabama. (http://alabama.scout.com/3/fbschedule.html) Announced today, the game in Lexington against Kentucky on September 27th. On October 4th, there may be a possible trip to Blacksburg, VA to play Virginia Tech but nothing official has been released from the Hill. (http://www.alumni.vt.edu/football/index.html)
Count them up fans, two SEC teams, possibly one ACC team, and one Big Ten team, all finished last season in a bowl game. With the addition of Florida Atlantic and Ball State, the Hilltoppers have the probability of playing six teams that played in a bowl game last season. Now that is not a football schedule for the weak of heart and this fan loves the possibilities of such a strong schedule for the Hilltoppers.
Dr. Wood Selig, WKU athletic director, deserves to be commended for aggressive scheduling as well as Coach David Elson to put his team on the field against the best possible teams that Dr. Selig can schedule.
Recruits watch the games that have college football's brand names playing in them. You can bet recruits will get to know more of whom WKU is after watching the Hilltoppers play these teams.
WKU has a plan and the 2008 season will be another step in the journey toward a bright future for Hilltopper football.