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Roundtable: The most important football game on UK's schedule

Kentucky doesn't have an easy football schedule this fall.

The 'Cats take on Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Auburn, Louisville, Mississippi State, and a number of other teams that could be in the postseason.

Today's roundtable topic, featuring opinions from Cats Illustrated writers: What's the most important game on UK's schedule?

Travis Graf: Tennessee. For all of the good things Mark Stoops has done for the Kentucky football throughout the last decade, he still has not been able to shake the Tennessee monkey off of the program’s back. If Kentucky’s able to beat either Florida or Auburn, there’s a decent chance that Kentucky could be playing Georgia for the SEC East if the ‘Cats can beat the Vols. Kentucky has been on the doorstep, and even beat Tennessee in 2017, but they played horrific in 2018 matchup with one of the best teams in school history, and let a 13-0 lead slip away last season.

Justin Rowland: Florida. Winning twice in a row in the Swamp would be a huge signal to the rest of the SEC that Kentucky's football program is here to stay. The Gators are going to be a preseason Top-10 or Top-15 team, yet because of how the 'Cats have played against the Gators against Mark Stoops it won't be a surprise to anyone if this is a close game going into the fourth quarter. But most importantly, for Kentucky to have a dream season and to reach Atlanta, I think this is a game they have to win. UK matches up with the Gators better than the Bulldogs but UK would probably need to win one of those two games to have a chance to represent the East.

Jeff Drummond: A lot of people will probably suggest Georgia because that’s the current king of the East and the last hurdle in the division that Stoops & Co. have yet to clear. One can make a good argument for that game, but I tend to think it’s more likely to be Mississippi State. It's not a "sexy" pick, but that just has the look of a huge swing game to me, and there should be a lot buzz surrounding the matchup between what figures to be another good Mark Stoops defense and a Mike Leach offense.